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The Wonder And The Grace Of Alice Sommer Herz

Allegro DVD

This is a moving and inspiring DVD, a "spin off" from footage filmed for Christopher Nupen's deeply troubling film We want the light "about freedom and captivity, about emancipation, acculturation and assimilation - - the dream of fruitful, unproblematic integration of the Jews into German society; Wagner's ferocious anti-Semitism"; one which makes you think too about the not entirely unproblematic assimilation of the Jews into British society...

This is a great humanitarian document, graced by Alice Herz (98 when filmed) preserved with full faculties and memory, and such fluency in telling her story about the horrors she survived and her philosophy of life, that she is allowed to speak without editorial interruptions and promptings.

It is bound by this fine pianist's daily practising (two and a half hours a day still) with excerpts from Schubert and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata which convey her musicianship and positive approach to life uncompromised.

Unmissable. One hundred and six in December 2009, I hope Alice Sommer Herz lives for ever !

Peter Grahame Woolf

Guardian Article Jun 13 2010 - see Alice Herz still playing Chopin

20 1 2011: Nupen's award winning film Everything Is A Present: Alice Sommer Herz will be shown on BBC 2 at 23.20p.m. next Thursday for Holocaust Memorial Day (27 Jan)