While Abir’s notebooks from the youth are full of sketches, his deep reverence toward great creations of classics made him suppress his own compositional inspiration. It took him decades to admit that he has a right to call himself a composer. It was Giora Feidman who, profoundly appreciating Abir’s art of arrangement encouraged him to compose. As far as Sergei Abir allowed himself to overcome his modesty and to release his creative imagination, a Pandora box had been opened. It appeared that this mature musician, equipped with refine taste and sophisticated skills, has his own individuality. Opposite to elitist snobbism of modernity, his music can be defined as melodic and friendly, although intense in ideas. Scores are dynamic and full of action; they are well-elaborated and affable for performers. Musicians have much to perform, although their parts are conveniently playable, and the overall sound is always enjoyable.
Among Abir’s compositions are:
- Klezmer’s Smile, caprice on traditional tunes for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra (commissioned by Geneva Chamber Orchestra, 2011, versions for Clarinet, Mandolin and Chamber Orchestra and for Clarinet and reduced Chamber Orchestra)
- Romantic Song and Merry Rondo, for Strings, Harp and Percussion (1998, version for Clarinet and Strings, 2006) – 4’30
- Hello, my Klezmer, suite for Clarinet and Strings (2006) – 18′
- Jewish Songs without Words for Clarinet and String Orchestra (2007, versions for Clarinet Quintet, String Quartet, and Saxophone Quartet) – 10′
- Freilach Family for Clarinet and String Orchestra (2009, versions for Clarinet Quintet, String Quartet, and Saxophone Quartet) – 15′
- Concerto for Mandolin and Strings (2009) – 20′
- Niggun for Clarinet and Strings (2008, version for String Quartet) – 4′ 30
- Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra Partita Ebraica (2008) – 16′
- Prelude for String Quartet (2008) – 7’30
- Incidental music to Stefan Barbarino’s and Jan Linder’s production Nothing but Music, (Munich, 2005)
- Intrada for Concert Band (1994) – 4′
- Fantasia for Concert Band (1994) – 10′
- March Â“SmileÂ” for Concert Band (1999) – 2’30
- March Â“FestiveÂ” for Concert Band (1991) – 3’30
- Gabi’s Freilach, in Giora Feidman presents: Klezmer in the Galilee (2007)
- Freilach Maxi, in Giora Feidman, The Spirit of Klezmer (2008)
Sergei Abir is a sophisticated expert in both – music styles and mastering instruments. He treats instruments with a special respect to their characters and ways of using them in different styles. This happy combination of complementing qualities developed in him a special taste to arrangement of classic music. Arrangement not as a forced adjustment of the existing repertoire to alternative ensembles, but as an art of authenticity. In his works, instruments live and behave in perfect harmony with the manner of the source. Inflamed by other composer’s idea, his inspiration leads Abir to penetrate into the composer’s way of thinking and to create an imaginable version of the piece as if written by composer himself. Abir works with such ensembles as the Israel Camerata Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Tel-Aviv Soloists, The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, das Georgische Kammerorchester in Ingolstadt, Russischen Kammerphilharmonie St. Petersburg and others.
Among his arrangements are:
- Tchaikovsky-Abir, The Seasons for Symphony Orchestra (2012)
- Schumann-Abir, A Woman’s Love and Life for voice and Chamber Orchestra (2011)
- Mozart-Abir The closing variation from the cycle of piano variations on the theme “Ein Weib ist das Herrlichste Ding”, KV 613 for Chamber Orchestra (1991)
Among the recorded arrangements are:
- Dudu Fisher, Standing Where You Are (2006)
- Gil Aldema, In Chassidic Mood, in Giora Feidman, Rhapsody (2000) and in Safed (2004)
- Astor Piazzolla, Tanti anni prima, in Feidman plays Piazzolla (2002)
- Sulchan Zinzadse, Five Miniatures, in Giora Feidman, Impressions (2007)
- Hava Nagila – Folk, in Giora Feidman, Imressions (2007)
- Sit Among Friends, traditional Jewish Songs, in Feidman, Safed: Feidman and Safed Chamber Orchestra (2004)
- Songs by Moshe Vilensky ‘I’m from Safed’ and ‘Calaniot’, in Safed: Feidman and Safed Chamber Orchestra (2004)
- Ori Leshman, An Oriental Fair a song cycle for voices and symphonic orchestra (2009)
Scores for any conventional and non–conventional ensembles can be commissioned. Among them are symphony orchestra, string orchestra, brass orchestras and bands, various chamber ensembles: strings, woods, brass and percussions, as well as their mixed combinations.
In addition, concert band and big band; piano solo and four-hands; choir, vocal ensembles etc., as well as various kinds of folk instruments and folk ensembles; combinations of Oriental instruments and classic ensembles; plucked instruments: mandolin, guitar, balalaika, oud, santour, tar, saz and others; folk woodwinds: duduk, zurna and others – can be used according to artistic or practical needs.
In addition to classic style, Sergei Abir brilliantly commands light ethnically flavored manners: Hassidic, Yiddish, Ladino, Middle East and Russian.
Arrangements and compositions can be written in genres of instrumental pieces, suites, transcriptions, potpourris, fantasies, pasticcios, dances, marches, fanfares, as well as choruses and vocal songs and hymns.