ART FROM ASHES, volume one
Paul Schoenfield: Camp Songs (2001) Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
1. Black Boehm
2. The Corpse Carrier’s Tango
3. Heil, Sachsenhausen!
4. Mister C
5. Adolf’s Farewell to the World
Erich Parce, baritone
Laura DeLuca, clarinet
Mikhail Shmidt, violin
Jonathan Green, double bass
Paul Schoenfield, piano
Robert Dauber: Serenata (1942, Terezín) US premiere recording
Leonid Keylin, violin
Mina Miller, piano
Erwin Schulhoff: Five Pieces for String Quartet (1923)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin
Leonid Keylin, violin
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola
Mara Finkelstein, cello
Herman Berlinski: Sonata for Flute and Piano (1941, revised 1981) US premiere recording
Allegro molto, rhapsodically
Allegro non troppo
Jody Schwarz, flute
Mina Miller, piano
David Stock: A Vanished World (1999) Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Jody Schwarz, flute
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola
Valerie Muzzolini, harp
Recorded in the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Seattle, Washington June 24-26, 2002
Executive Producer and Recording Engineer: Albert Swanson
Piano: Steinway model D “Kids for Keys” instrument of the Seattle Symphony
Cover Art: Photographic etchings by Etta Japha
Illustrations: The Café and Entertainment by Bedrich Fritta, and The Café by Leo Haas)
Paul Schoenfield: unpublished; Robert Dauber, copyright Robert Dauber, unpublished; Erwin Schulhoff: (Schott ED 7735, 1925); Herman Berlinski: Southern Music Company (ST 408, 1984); David Stock: Norruth Music, 1999.
Camp Songs Paul Schoenfield
Texts by Aleksander Kulisiewicz
Translation by Barbara Milewski
Czarny Boehm Black Boehm – 1942
Czy to w dzieÕ czy to w noc, Whether it’s by night or day,
trupy wÄdzÄ wesoÓ hoc! I burn corpses – jump for joy!
Puszczam czarny, czarny dym, I make a black black smoky smoke –
bom ja czarny, czarny BØhm! ‘Cause I am black black Boehm!
I kobietki i staruszki, I’d like to burn some chicks or hags,
i dzieciaki chciaÓbym teü I’d like some kiddies, too.
sto kominÙw tu bym miaÓ I wish I had a hundred chimneys,
so genau jak Birkenau. Like they have in Birkenau!
Hulaj dusza! Czort Katiusza! Oh, happy soul! Sending Ruskies to hell!
Aber Judem sind nich da! Still, there aren’t really quite enough Jews here;
Jejku bo w czterdzieíci trzy I could use more Jews in ’43 –
i esma ny byd· szyÓ! Else they might send some SS-guys to me!
Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah!
Wtenczas zdrÙw i wtenczas hoc Soon, healthy, happy and jumping for joy,
wÄdziÓ bÄdÄ w dzieÕ i w noc. We’ll smoke by night and we’ll smoke by day;
TÓusty, tÓusty pÙjdzie dym, We’ll send up a real fat smoky smoke –
a z nimczarny, czarny BØhm. We’ll send up black black Boehm.
Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah!
Tango Truponoszow The Corpse Carrier’s Tango – 1943
Ta psia jucha Germania Germany, that dog from hell,
cholerna mÄczy czÓeka juü czwarty rok. Has tortured us four years already.
W krematorium truposzÙw przypieka; The crematorium corpse-carrier sweats,
tym to ciepÓo, milutko bo… It’s warm where he works, but very pleasant.
Bo przypieka tam czÓowiek After all, he’s burning people in there –
czÓowieka ni topiekarz ni rzeünik to; You can see he’s no butcher or baker!
wiÄc do pieca, synalku, nie zwlekaj!! So, dear boy, be off to the oven and don’t delay!
Immer langsam und sicher und froh! Ever slow, ever steady – and full of joy!
Po szturchaÕcu pierwszym jest ci lepiej, After the first poke, you’ll feel better.
w morÄ lej· a ty humor masz… A second punch in the face – but you’re laughing still!
i kopniaczek trzeci siÄ przylepi, The third kick you’ll really remember –
a po czwartym…mokre portki, ach!… And after the fourth, you’ll wet your pants!
PiÄciu drani w jedne kopie nery When five dirty dogs kick you in the kidneys,
i wypluwaj, bracie, zÄbÙw szeíº! Brother, you’ll spit out six broken teeth!
SiÙdmy obcas skacze ci po brzuchu!… A seventh dog digs his heels into your belly –
i dopiero wtedy fajno jest. That’ll certainly make you feel great!
Kostusia sliczna, joj! okey!… Oh, beautiful, lovely Lady Death! Okay! –
biedula bez partnera a üe Poor thing, she’s looking for a partner, a date!
do oczka wpadÓeí jej, wiÄc oczkiem ciÄ pozera… And you, dear fellow, are the guy that she’s ogling –
Do Leichen keller prosisz j·, She’ll eat you right up with her hungry eyes!
wyci·gasz giryw net You ask her to rendezvous at the corpse-cellar,
niedÓugo pÙjdzie And there you allow her to gaze at your festering wound,
z ciebie sw·d w czuÓym, Soon its stink will give way
trupim tete a tete… To a tender, decadent, tete a tete!
Za minutkÄ bracie, jesteí w niebie, One minute later, brother, you’ll find yourself in heaven,
cieplutenkie p·czkifrygasz dwa… With two warm doughnuts in your hand,
trzech anioÓkÙw w pupcie cie poskrobie Three little angels scrub your butt clean,
i wykrzyknie: so ein hòbscher Arsch!… And cry out in German, “My! What a lovely ass!”
Czwarty anioÓ, toº milunia Ania A fourth angel – darling little Anna –
piÄº kielichÙw wlewa w durny pysk. Pours five shots of whisky down her throat,
Z anioÓkami lulaj dziesiÄcioma… While ten sweet angels lull you off to sleep:
lulajw niebie, lulaj, c’est la vie! So, rest peacefully in heaven, now. C’est la vie!
Heil, Sachsenhausen! - 1941
Jestem sobie na wpÙÓ I’m a half-wild savage, you know,
dziki scheissenPoluí, cham. scheissenPolus, cham. One dumb prisoner, an uncultured clod –
und warum denn warum denn do Afryki? Why then sail off to Africa?
Tu kolonie mam! We have a colony right here!
Kupili ciÄ chÓopie, They bought you like a slave, man,
Kupili z gna tami Bought you – lock, stock and barrel.
Krew ci z’mordy kapie Blood drips from your mug, right here,
alles Scheiss ist egal. ‘Cause everywhere, all crap’s the same!
Aj, Sachsenhausen Heil, Sachsenhausen!
Kolonia gwarna parna Hot, stinking colony.
Germania richtig dzika Germany, it’s the real thing!
Heil Sachsenhausen. Heil, Sachsenhausen!
Giry tycie jak bambusik, Our legs are thin as bamboo shoots,
trupie Óebki to kaktusy, The corpses stink – whew! – they’re naked, too!
Heil, heil, es lebe Kulturkampf. Heil! And long live Kulturkampf!
M¬dchen sobie zafundujÄ I’ll buy myself a nice German girl,
Polaczyko ja… Poor Pole that I am.
Gibt’s denn so was? wy bestyje! But what do you give me, you uniformed beasts?
íliczne oczka ma sliczne oczka ma Well… she does have beautiful eyes.
A z tej M¬dchen matki She, the sweet young girl and mommy,
i z durnego tatki Me, the drooling, stupid daddy,
bÄd· kindchen w kratki Our kids will wear checkered clothing –
schwartz und weiss und rot… Black and white and red.
Aj, Sachsenhausen! Heil, Sachsenhausen!
BÓogosÓawiony raju wszak Heavenly paradise you are,
wielbi ciebie ludzkoíº… All humanity adores you –
Heil, Sachsenhausen. Heil, Sachsenhausen!
A jak bÄdÄ jutro zdychaÓ, And if, tomorrow, I should die like a dog,
lew· nÙük· zafikam: Today, I’ll kick up my feet and dance!
Heil, Heil, Es lebe Kulturkampf! Heil! And long live Kulturkampf!
Mister C – 1940
Roczek wtÙry, mÙj ty Boüe It’s the second year, dear God,
bryka sobie hakenkreuz… And the swastika’s still frolicking;
üadna siÓa go nie zmoüe, There is no power that can exhaust it,
bo inaczej to kniebeug! So we’d all better get down on our knees!
Taki straínie wielki fòhrer, Such a terrible, great, ferocious Fuehrer,
taki z pendzlem r¬ubergoj, Such a robber-goy – with paint brush, yet!
we Óbie pluszcz· mu pomyje, And his head’s filled up with dirty dishwater,
blØdes Volk mu ryczy Heil!! While his stupid people shriek out: “Heil!”
A mister C. cygaro pali, Meanwhile, Mister C puffs his big cigar,
mister C. cygaro ºmi, Mister C blows out some smoke;
Europa siÄ nam wali, Europe crumbles all around us,
a on gieÓdÄ a on gieÓdÄ ma i spleen. And he’s as cool as cool can be!
Mister C. cygaro stÓumi But, Mister C will snuff out his smoke,
Adolfowi plunie w “Sieg”, And he’ll spit on Adolf’s “Sieg!”,
pogrzeb fundnie mu na Rugli He’ll pay for Adolf’s funeral on the Isle of Rugia –
moüe w dziewiºset czterdzieíci trzy… Maybe as early as ’43!
Moüe, ach, moüe ach, moze oj, Maybe, oh, maybe, maybe we’ll see –
ktÙü to wiedzieº moüe? Maybe… but who can really know for sure?
Morze gÓÄbokie, nieboüe, Maybe, poor devil, we’ll see – the deep sea,
angielskie zwÓaszcza morze, morze… Maybe, especially, the English sea…
Jump· tiu, di di di jump·… Yoom pom tiu di di di yoom pah,
jump· day di di di you! Yoom pom tiu di di di yoo –
moüe moüe ktÙü to wiedzieº moüe Maybe, maybe…but who can really know for sure?
moüe wschodni wietrzyk mu pomoüe? Maybe the “eastern wind” can help.
Pozegnanie Adolfa ze Swiatem Adolf’s Farewell to the World – 1943
Nad WoÓgi fal· goni·c Moskala By River Volga, chasing after the Russkies,
szlachetna truppa zwiewaÓa… The noble troop-p-ps, in fact, were buggering off!
Und immer naprzÙd, und immer weiter, “And ever forward, and ever further” –
a szkopÙw Rasija gnaÓa. Now Mother Russia was chasing the Krauts!
Und immer naprzÙd, und immer weiter “And ever forward, and ever further” –
a SykopÙw Rasija gnaÓa. Now Mother Russia was chasing the Krauts!
üegnaj mi Moskwo, üegnaj Samaro, Farewell to Moscow, farewell to Samara,
mÙj Leningradzie daleki! My distant Leningrad, farewell!
Oj, jubel minie, kiedy na Krymie Ah, the party will be over, when soon in Crimea,
zerün· mnie w portki na wieki... They take the crap out of my pants – forever!
Oj, jubel minie, …… Ja, ja – it’s really true….
¨egnam was gÙry, gÙry Uralu Farewell to your mountains, your fair Ural Mountains,
i ciebie z Rud· Armad·. And your armada, I bid it farewell.
Ty jesteí Stalin Stalin ze stali, You are the man Stalin, man-of-steel Stalin,
ja jestem impotent Adolf… And I’m only an impotent Adolf.
Und immer naprzÙd und immer weiter
praszczaj wiÄc wdziÄczna mi Europo Forgive me, hospitable Europe!
za moj· Arbeit und Freude! Forgive my “Arbeit und Freude”!
gdzieí w siÙdmym niebie, pod siÙdmym pÓotem, Perhaps, in the seventh heaven, beneath the seventh fence –
moüe za üonÄ ciÄ pojmÄ… I shall take you as my bride.
Adieu teü wszystkie szwabskie dziewice, KtÙraü mi… Adieu to you, my lovely Kraut virgins,
karty rozÓoüy Now who will spread the tarot cards for me?
ChÓopak ja byÓem dumny i íwiÄty, As a boy I was always proud and saintly –
bom nigdy nie cudzowÓozyÓ… I never stuck it where it didn’t belong!
Sieg heil, general mÙj GÙwnernament, Sieg-heil, my General-Gouvernexcrement!
dobroci dzieÓo ogromne… You great and magnificent province!
EmeryturÄ sut· dostaniesz You’ll receive a grand pension to compensate
za goebbelsiowski mÙj Bromberg. For the loss of, as Goebbels would say, my Bromberg.
Gitara brzÄÓa, Germania jekÓa… A guitar plinks, Germania sighs;
Victoria zmarzÓa wírÙd tundry Victory was frozen on the tundra!
a oí Adolfa jak Bardia pÄkÓa, Adolf’s axis is broke as a poet –
i zostaÓ znÙw bezprizorny… And he remains, an orphan again.
a oí Adolfa jak Bardia pÄkÓa, Adolf’s axis is broke as a poet –
i zostaÓ znÙw bezprizorny… And he remains, an orphan again.
Music of Remembrance
Founded in 1998 by Mina Miller, Music of Remembrance is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization dedicated to remembering Holocaust musicians and their art through musical performances, educational activities, musical recordings, and commissions of new works.
It is well known that the Nazi regime banned performances of music by living and historical Jewish composers, and by many others they deemed degenerate. But there were courageous musicians who dared to create even in the ghettos and camps. It is a priceless gift that much of this music has survived as moral and artistic defiance in the face of catastrophe. We must ensure that these voices of musical witness be heard.
The Music of Remembrance mission is not religious, nor is its scope limited to Jewish music. Although the Holocaust was an assault on Jewish culture, others suffered as well in what was history’s most potent instance of totalitarian suppression of intellectual and creative work. Musicians’ resistance took many forms, and crossed many national and religious boundaries. This resistance cannot have been in vain. We must remember these musicians through the preservation and performance of their music.
Paul Schoenfield: Camp Songs 2001 (b. 1947, Detroit)
Camp Songs is a setting of five poems written in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II. The poems are part of an extensive collection of music, art and poetry by hundreds of camp prisoners, compiled by Aleksander Kulisiewicz, a non-Jewish Polish survivor who was incarcerated because of his politics. After liberation, Kulisiewicz devoted his life to collecting these works, which are now housed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Music of Remembrance Artistic Director Mina Miller discovered the collection while doing research in the Museum’s archives. She decided, “There was no question that I wanted Schoenfield to do something with this.”
Miller and Schoenfield met in July 2000 at the Museum to delve into the collection, with the guidance of resident musicologist Bret Werb. Schoenfield selected five poems, all by Kulisiewicz himself. Schoenfield was especially drawn to the mocking, sarcastic ones. As he told a Seattle public radio audience, “When I saw the movie The Producers, I decided that if I were ever going to express my anger to God about the Holocaust, it would be like that.”
Camp Songs challenges the expectations of even the most hardened student of Holocaust art. Schoenfield has selected poems that lay bare the raw life and fury seething beneath the terrors of the camps. “The poems that I am setting,” he writes, “are caricatures which (in Joseph Conrad’s words) ‘put the face of a joke upon the body of truth.’ They are an affirmation of dignity; a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him.”
Camp Songs received its world premiere performance at Music of Remembrance’s Holocaust Remembrance Day concert on April 7, 2002 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA. Mina Miller, to whom the work is dedicated, was the pianist for that performance.
Robert Dauber: Serenata (1942, Terezín) (born c.1922; d. 1945, Dachau)
Discrimination against Jews in Czechoslovakia after the German occupation culminated in the creation in 1941 of the infamous Terezín concentration camp. A town-sized military fortress 35 miles north of Prague, built in 1780 by the Emperor Josef II and named in honor of his mother Maria Theresia, Theresienstadt (as the Germans called it) was a propaganda tool, a "model city" created by the Nazis to show how well Jews were faring. A visit from the Red Cross was met with staged performances of happy people enjoying a rich cultural life. In fact, this was a place to which artists and musicians in great numbers were sent, and a sham “self-government” actually supported a program of musical composition and performance. While creativity, both public and surreptitious, flourished in Terezín, all who were interned there faced disease and starvation, and the constant dread of assignment to the next train to a death camp. A successful children’s opera, Brundibar by Hans Krasa, was staged many times with the roles double-cast, to cover for the possibility that the little singers might vanish before the next performance.
Aside from the postcards Robert Dauber sent home from Terezín to his parents, who remained in Prague, this little piece is all that remains of the short life and compositional efforts of this talented pianist and cellist. The father had been leader of a popular salon orchestra; Dauber played the cello in the orchestra at Terezín, including performances of Brundibar. Before he could form the piano trio he wrote home about, he was sent to Dachau, where he died of typhus. Keylin and Miller performed the work’s US premiere at MOR’s Holocaust Remembrance Day concert on April 12, 1999. Music of Remembrance is grateful to musicologist David Bloch, of the Terezín Music Memorial Project, for sharing this work and making it available for recording.
Erwin Schulhoff: Five Pieces for String Quartet (1923) (b. Prague, June 8, 1894;
d. Wülzburg concentration camp, August 18, 1942)
Emphatic rhythms dominate these pieces. Like many of his contemporaries, Schulhoff explores the dance suite, infusing new ideas into this relic of the renaissance and baroque periods. The presence of a tango among the pieces marks this composer as one of the stylish voices of his era, captivated with this exotic form from the energetic New World.
The musically prodigious son of a German-Jewish family, Schulhoff was encouraged to explore his talent at an early age: at 10, in the Prague Conservatory; at 12, in Vienna; at 14, in Leipzig, where his composition teachers included Max Reger. By the time he was 19, Schulhoff was in Cologne, receiving honors as both composer and pianist. Service in World War I as an Austrian soldier interrupted his studies, and brought him to a new direction as a composer. He spent 1919 through 1923 in Germany, hot on the trail of the radical new music scene. Schulhoff explored the worlds of atonality and expressionism, and fell deeply in love with jazz. The Berlin Dadaist painter George Grosz became his friend. The two shared a passion for amassing large collections of jazz recordings, and Schulhoff dedicated a 1919 jazz cycle, Picturesques for Piano, to Grosz. The works of his prolific 1923-1930 period in Prague, include a “jazz oratorio” called H.M.S. Royal Oak, Rag-music, Cinq Etudes de Jazz, and a piece for alto saxophone and piano called Hot Sonata.
Socialist politics captured Schulhoff’s creative imagination in the 1930s. In addition to half a dozen symphonies, he composed a “manifesto on words by Marx and Engels” for choirs and winds in 1932-33. As his compositional style changed to reflect socialist doctrines, his political commitment brought him into conflict with the deadly forces at work around him. Schulhoff was in demand all over Europe as a pianist, but his work, including the planned Berlin premiere of his opera Flammen, was banned from Germany after 1933. He performed under a pseudonym as a jazz pianist on Prague Radio after 1939. An effort to emigrate to the Soviet Union as a Soviet citizen led to his arrest in Prague in June of 1941. He died of tuberculosis in the Wülzburg concentration camp in Bavaria a little over a year later. Five Pieces for String Quartet received its premiere performance in 1924 at the International Society for New Music Festival in Salzburg.
Herman Berlinski: Sonata for Flute and Piano (1941, revised 1981) (b. Leipzig, 1910;
d. Washington DC, 2001)
Berlinski’s early contact with the non-Jewish world was limited by his strict religious family and education, but as a young adult he rejected religion. Years later he would attain a position of great respect and influence as a composer of liturgical music for the Conservative and Reform synagogues in the United States. His death on Yom Kippur of 2001 left a void in the religious music community of Washington, D.C., where he served as minister of music of the Hebrew Congregation for nearly two decades.
The German-born son of Polish immigrants, Berlinski graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory in 1932 with a diploma as a piano soloist. During those student years he was among the many young musical talents who created political satire for the Weimar Republic’s cabarets. “I wanted to be part of a battle which was tragically lost before it ever was joined,” he later wrote. He left Germany in March of 1933, three months after the Nazis came to power. Before crossing the border, he destroyed his political cabaret songs.
A brief stay in Poland, where he did not speak the language and found crushing misery among his Jewish relatives, convinced Berlinski that he needed to be in Paris to grow as a musician. The trip from Warsaw took months instead of days, because “I had no thought of entering Germany again, even with a Polish passport.” The three months in Poland left a deep impression. “Poland is deep in my bones,” he wrote. It became “the world of my father, and my relatives, part of the millions of others who perished in the Holocaust, who live in my emotions and consciousness. They are in my music.” The German-born musical sophisticate, Herman Berlinski, entered Paris as a Polish Jew.
The Music of Remembrance West Coast premiere of Berlinski’s Sonata for Flute and Piano took place on April 7, 2002, just seven months after his death. Looking forward to the performance, Berlinski wrote the following program notes:
It is Paris in 1936 and I had been a student of Nadia Boulanger for over two years. We shared a common dislike, namely each other. Most American-Jewish composers who had come to her (including Aaron Copland) tried very hard, and successfully so, to move out of a parochially limited Jewishness into the larger realm of American music. They had good and valid reasons for doing so, and the music they eventually created became an asset to American culture. Nadia Boulanger, who sensed this, could only encourage them in this direction. Not only she, but America, stood behind them. (They also had dollars!)
I did not come to Nadia Boulanger from America, but as a political and religious refugee from Germany, a country which had set out to destroy me and all those of my origins and persuasion. If being a Jew, so I felt, meant to face a dangerous, very dangerous world, it also required of me not only to be marked as a Jew but to learn, from the bottom up, to be one. Even Arnold Schoenberg at that time re-converted in a most ostentatious fashion back to Judaism.
My concern with Jewish music bewildered Nadia Boulanger. Eventually I left her and enrolled as a student at the Schola Cantorum, where Leon Algazi was already teaching Jewish Music as an academic subject. I was received with open arms by the French composer Daniel-Lesur and his group “La Jeune France,” which also included Olivier Messiaen. They understood that I wanted to be as much a Jew as they were Catholics.
Out of this relationship came the first suite, From the World of My Father, a piano composition entitled Allegretto grazioso (Hommage a Maurice Ravel), and the sketches for this Sonata for Flute and Piano. On September first 1939 I was in French uniform and I did not return to Paris. With the exception of the suite From the World of My Father, everything was lost. Only in America, at the beginning of 1942, did I reconstruct the two other works, and finished them in New York. They were performed for the first time in 1943 over the radio station of the City of New York with Ruth Freeman, flautist, and I at the piano. There was also a subsequent performance in 1944 at the Jewish Music Forum in New York with Samuel Baron as flautist.
The work, in the classical sonata form, is also an attempt to sublimate an historical Jewish Eastern European prayer Mode (Ahava Rabba), now dissociated from its original prayer function, into a vehicle for a purely artistic music-instrumental work. The rhapsodic and improvisatory mood of the Mode (familiar to me because I come from an Eastern Jewish environment, where this Mode was the prevailing prayer Mode) is maintained. Only in the last movement enter dance-like folkloristic elements which are treated in a polychromatic and polytonal manner, a technique obviously derived from my acquaintance with the French Impressionistic music school, especially with the work of Maurice Ravel. Marc Chagall, who lived at that time in Paris, also exerted a great deal of influence over me.
This is not a complex work, and the Holocaust, which has marked so many of my later works, had not yet become a part of my consciousness. However, it was a declaration of independence from Nadia Boulanger, to whom I never returned, and an affirmation of that which I am, regardless of the price which one pays for such an act of faith.
David Stock: A Vanished World (1999) (b. 1939, Pittsburgh)
Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
A much-honored pillar of the Pittsburgh music community, David Stock founded the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in 1976; he retired from that position after 23 years of dedication to new music and the living composer. Professor of Music at Duquesne University, where he conducts the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, Stock has been Composer-in-Residence of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Seattle Symphony. Among his many commissions are Kickoff, premiered by the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur during the orchestra’s 150th anniversary; a violin concerto, premiered by Andres Cardenes and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Lorin Maazel for that orchestra’s 100th anniversary; and the Second Symphony, premiered by the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz.
Stock’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States, and in Europe, Mexico, Australia, China and Korea. He has recorded on CRI, Northeastern, MMC, Ocean and Ambassador. He has been the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, and of awards including five Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, five fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and grants and commissions from the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, the Paderewski Fund for Composers, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, Boston Musica Viva, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Richard Stoltzman, Duquesne University, the Erie Philharmonic, and many others. As guest conductor, he has appeared with ensembles from Australia to Poland to Mexico to China, and across the United States. A Vanished World received its world premiere performance at Music of Remembrance’s Holocaust Remembrance Day concert on April 30, 2002.
Stock offers the following notes on A Vanished World:
Over the last decade and a half, I have written several works with explicitly Jewish content, including Yerusha (clarinet and chamber ensemble), A Little Miracle (mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra), and Third Symphony (Tikkun Olam). Each of these pieces is built from Jewish material–both musical and conceptual, some invented and some quoted. Thus it was a real challenge when Music of Remembrance commissioned me to write a Holocaust-related work. My starting point was the old tune Shalom Aleichem, which is quoted in full in the middle of the piece. This led to other tunes through association; again, some are “real,” some invented.
What eventually emerged was a kind of aural snapshot of the pre-war world of East European Jewry, living on the edge of the abyss. The music is frequently interrupted by instrumental screams–perhaps warnings of what is to come?
The title comes from a famous book by Roman Vishniac: a photographic and literary depiction of that same Jewish world, now kept alive only in memory and memento.
The score was completed in August 1999, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is dedicated to Mina Miller, founder of this remarkable series. The work was written especially for three wonderful musicians: Jody Schwarz, Susan Gulkis and Heidi Lehwalder.
Program notes by Gigi Yellen-Kohn
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola, is principal violist of the Seattle Symphony. She enjoys a varied career as an orchestral player, chamber musician, soloist and teacher. She received her Bachelor of Music in 1988 from The Curtis Institute, where she studied with Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle. Before assuming her current position with the Seattle Symphony in 1992, she served as principal violist of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Ms. Gulkis Assadi was a founding member of the Seattle-based Bridge Ensemble.
Laura DeLuca, clarinet, has been a member of the Seattle Symphony since 1986. She helped found the Seattle Chamber Players in 1989. Recent solo appearances include a performance with the Seattle Symphony of Robert Starer’s Rikudim (Dances) movement from his concerto Kli Zemer. Ms. DeLuca received her formal training at Northwestern University, where she studied with Robert Marcellus.
Mara Finkelstein, cello, studied at the Gnessin College of Music and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow before coming to the United States in 1989. Her active musical life includes serving as principal cellist in the Northwest Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra and the Federal Way Philharmonic. She has performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera, the Cornish Chamber Series, the Silsbee Piano Trio, the Seattle International Music Festival, and the Fear No Music Twentieth Century Ensemble.
Jonathan Green, double bass, joined the Seattle Symphony as Assistant Principal Bass in 1998. Before moving to Seattle, he performed with the San Diego Symphony for eleven seasons, including three years as Principal Bass, and with the San Antonio Symphony and the Tulsa Philharmonic. He has also performed at the Icicle Creek Music Festival, the Sedona Chamber Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival (Boulder), and the La Jolla Chamber Music Society’s Summerfest.
Leonid Keylin, violin, has been a member of the Seattle Symphony since 1991. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he began his musical education at the age of six, and was accepted at the Special Music School for Gifted Children of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He won numerous awards and prizes, performing as a recitalist and as soloist with orchestras in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other major cities in Russia. After emigrating to the United States in 1979, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay.
Mina Miller, Artistic Director and pianist, has been a distinguished recitalist and concerto soloist in major concert venues throughout North America, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and Europe. Under the sponsorship of the Danish Government and the Danish Cultural Institute, she made extensive tours of Denmark. She has performed solo recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Tivoli International Music Festival (Copenhagen), and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland). Over the past decade, Ms. Miller has earned an international reputation for her interpretations of the music of Carl Nielsen. The original double CD for Hyperion Records (London) of Nielsen’s complete piano music was re-issued by Danacord. She also released a CD of Janacek’s major piano works. A native of New York City, she studied at the Manhattan School of Music, where her principal teacher was Artur Balsam. She earned a Ph.D. in music from New York University.
Julie Mirel, mezzo-soprano, is a versatile performer whose national career has spanned opera, musical theater, symphony, cabaret and Jewish music. Born in Chicago, she trained at the conservatories of Oberlin College and the University of Cincinnati, where she studied with the Metropolitan Opera basso Italo Tajo. Ms. Mirel began her operatic career at the Cincinnati Opera. She has been a frequent soloist with the Seattle Symphony in such works as Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabeas, the Mozart Requiem, and Schubert’s Rosamunde.
Valerie Muzzolini, harp, has been the principal harpist with the Seattle Symphony since age 23. Born in Nice, Ms. Muzzolini began to study harp at age 7, and made her first national television appearance when she was nine. She studied with Elizabeth Fontan-Binoche at the Nice National Conservatory, where she graduated with top honors in 1994. She received her bachelor degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, and went on to Yale University for graduate studies. She has performed at the Tanglewood and Verbier festivals, and performed under the baton of conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa and Bernard Haitink.
Erich Parce, baritone, has been a frequent guest of opera companies throughout North America and Europe, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Greater Miami Opera, L'Opéra d'Nice and L'Opéra de Montréal. At the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Parce made his debut in Manon along side Alfredo Kraus and Carol Vaness, followed by Otello conducted by Carlos Kleiber, Carmen with Placido Domingo, and Julius Caesar. A native of Bellevue, Washington, Mr. Parce is a frequent performer with the Seattle Opera and the Seattle Symphony.
Paul Schoenfield, composer/pianist, received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona at the age of 22. Prior to this he was an assistant teacher for Nikolai Lapatnikoff at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Schoenfield’s music has been performed by leading orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, and recorded on EMI, Angel, BMG, Koch, Innova, New World and Nonesuch. He has received numerous commissions and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Fund, the Bush Foundation, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America.
Schoenfield is known for combining popular styles, vernacular and folk traditions, and the traditions of Western concert music, slyly twisting the old into a surprising new sound.
Jody Schwarz, flute, received her BM and MM from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Samuel Baron. While at Juilliard, she participated in the Lincoln Center Institute’s Chamber Music in the Schools Program, performing hundreds of educational chamber concerts throughout New York City. She was a member of the Musica Æterna Orchestra and the Music Today Contemporary Ensemble in New York. In Seattle, Ms. Schwarz has been soloist with the Seattle Symphony’s New to Seattle series. Ms. Schwarz taught and performed for three summers at the Aspen Music Festival, and has participated in the Waterloo and Sarasota Festivals.
Mikhail Shmidt, violin, has been a member of the Seattle Symphony since 1990. Born in Moscow, he attended a music school for gifted children from age six, and received his master’s degree from the State Gnessin Institute of Music. He has performed with the Moscow State Symphony and the Moscow Radio String Quartet, and as concertmaster of the Camerata Boccherini Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Shmidt has recorded for Melodiya and Erato, and has toured extensively in the USSR, and in Eastern and Central Europe. He is a founding member of the Seattle Chamber Players, and the Bridge Ensemble.
David Tonkonogui, cello, has been a member of the Seattle Symphony since 1990. Born in Moscow, he received his Master of Music degree, and the Doctor of Music Arts from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied cello with Natalia Shakhovskaya, and chamber music with Dmitry Shebalin of the Borodin Quartet. A first-place winner in the 1984 National Chamber music competition, Mr. Tonkonogui was co-principal cello with the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra. He has performed in numerous festivals throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. A founding member of the Seattle-based Bridge Ensemble, he has recorded on the RCA, Koch International and Melodia labels.
This recording was made possible by the generous support of Music of Remembrance’s loyal friends, and with special gifts from Henry and Olga Butler, Drs. Irene Japha and Ronald Louie, Drs. Ernest and Erika Michael, and Mina Miller and David Sabritt.