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Spiritual Resistance - Music from Theresienstadt

Pavel Haas: Four Songs after words of Chinese Poetry
Karel Berman: Six Reminiscences (for solo piano)
Hans Krása: Five Songs, Op. 4: Der Mensch und sein Tag; Der Müde Soldat; Three Songs, Op. 37; Wiegenlied
Ilse Weber: I wander through Theresienstadt
Zikmund Schul: What Never Was
Gideon Klein: Three Songs

Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) Russell Ryan (piano)


This superb presentation in song, written and illustrated material is almost unbearable in its poignancy.

Theresienstadt, transformed by the Nazis into a resettlement camp for the Czech Jews, was presented as a model, self-governing ghetto with “normal” civic, educational, and cultural life. A committee of the International Red Cross in June, 1944 saw but a façade for the Nazi's brutal system of extermination (see propaganda photo). Most of these composers were soon to be killed in Auschwitz later that year, as were those in the audience....

Between 1942 and 1944 there had been concerts, opera, theater, cabaret, lectures, art exhibitions, and literary readings. Ullmann wrote " - - our will to create culture was as strong as our will to live".

Musically strong in its own right, this CD is at once inspiring and harrowing. Don't avoid it.

Peter Grahame Woolf