March 6 & 7, 2016

Voices Remembered with Hope

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Commemorating Music of the Holocaust

A festival with film, lecture, and concerts

March 1 - 7

Internationally-celebrated violinist, producer, and author Daniel Hope curates this festival commemorating voices silenced by the Holocaust and the role that music played during this dark time in history.

FILM: Terezín – Refuge in Music
March 1, 7:30pm at Kenwood Theater
Daniel Hope documents the story of two extraordinary musicians who survived the Holocaust and whose performances brought comfort and hope to so many.
Proceeds to benefit The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education.
Film Tickets: $10

Call (513) 487-3055 or visit HolocaustandHumanity.org

Film ticket holders receive a $5 discount to the March 6 or 7 concerts. Please call 513.381.6868 to utilize this special price.

LECTURE: Daniel Hope, guest speaker
March 6, 9:45am at Congregation Beth Adam
We, as human beings – I’m not just talking about musicians – have a responsibility to keep this history alive. - Daniel Hope
Lecture Admission: Free

CONCERTS: March 6 & 7

Artists

Daniel Hope, violin
Timothy Lees, violin
Eric Kim, cello
Benny Kim, violin/viola
Philip Dukes, viola
Keith Robinson, cello
Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano

Program

Krása
Tanec (Dance) for String Trio
Dauber
Serenade for Violin & Piano
Schulhoff
Sonata No. 2 for Violin & Piano
Schulhoff
Duo for Violin & Cello
Klein
Trio for Strings
Schulhoff
Sextet for Strings

Internationally-celebrated violinist, producer, and author Daniel Hope curates this program of voices silenced by the Holocaust. A musician of German-Jewish descent, Hope has devoted years to intensive study and musical preservation of this lost generation of composers.

Program Notes

Today’s concert features a special program comprised of works written by composers killed during the holocaust. Hans Krása, Robert Dauber, Erwin Schulhoff, and Gideon Klein all represent accomplished, influential composers whose careers were tragically cut short by the events of World War II.

Krása, Tanec (Dance) for String Trio
Czech-born Hans Krása is today best known for his 1938 children’s opera, Brundibár - a work which received 55 performances during the composer’s internment in the Terezin Ghetto. Krása was one of the leading talents of a generation of voices inspired by Mahler, Schoenberg, and Zemlinsky; that talent is ably displayed in his first string trio, Tanec.

Completed in 1944, Tanec translates to ‘dance,’ a title that is either deeply symbolic or intentionally misleading. Far from a light-hearted dance, the trio opens with a driving cello ostinato that marks the first of several musical references to the sound of trains. From there, Krása runs the emotional gamut from eerie nostalgia, to subdued menace, to explicit violence. While the work does revolve around a main dance theme, this melody is driven by a manic energy that continually flirts with the possibility of completely losing control, until finally doing so on the work’s final page.

Hans Krása was deported by train to Auschwitz on October 16, 1944, and was killed in the gas chambers two days later.

Dauber, Serenade for Violin & Piano
Robert Dauber developed his musical style heavily influenced by the arrangements, performances, and recordings of his father’s popular Prague-based Dauber Salon Orchestra. This musical upbringing led Robert to learn both piano and cello, both of which he performed on throughout his internment in Terezin.

While Dauber was an active member of the musical life of the Terezin Ghetto, the Serenade for Violin & Piano is his only surviving work. It is the essence of light-hearted beauty: the playful melody works its way through rich opening harmonies to a masterfully crafted polonaise and eventually back to full harmonies that give way to an ethereal closing.

In early 1945, Robert Dauber was send to Dachau, where he died of typhus.

Schulhoff, Sonata No. 2 for Violin & Piano
The most prolific composer featured on today’s program, Erwin Schulhoff’s compositional career comprised distinct stylistic periods that drew on influences ranging from Debussy and Richard Strauss to modernism, neoclassicism, and jazz. While the Sonata No. 2 for Violin & Piano falls squarely in Schulhoff’s jazz-inspired third period, the style of the work is distinctly more Bartók than Ellington.

Undeniably the work of a mature composer, the sonata is unified by a three-note opening motif that permeates the entire work. Both contrasting themes of the opening movement are built upon this rhythmic idea. Schulhoff continues developing this motif as the piano opens the Andante movement only to be interrupted by the violin interjecting the opening rhythm. The rhythm returns once again as the opening of the third movement Burlesca, and the finale begins with a complete repetition of the sonata’s opening bars before Schulhoff at last moves in a new direction to bring the work to a propulsive and exciting close.

Schulhoff, Duo for Violin & Cello
Schulhoff’s Duo for Violin & Cello was dedicated to “Mr. Leos Janácek in deep admiration.” This dedication can perhaps be seen as a nod to Janácek’s movement to break from Schoenberg’s style of “new music” and do something completely different. Rather than relying on the calculating musical ideals of the time that formed the basis of many works composed during this period, Schulhoff’s duo relied on native musical tongues as its source of inspiration.

The result of this “anti-philosophical” approach to music is a duo that brilliantly combines the sounds and inspirations of folk music with modern techniques. The work begins with a traditional pentatonic melody that quickly gives way to the addition of chromatic pitches. This motif is recalled throughout later movements as a means of not only unifying the work as a whole, but revisiting this blend of old and new. With the addition of folk music rhythms juxtaposed with Hungarian fiddle playing, left-handed pizzicatos, and artificial harmonics and the result is a duo that feels both traditional and modern in a delightfully natural way.

Klein, Trio for Strings
Gidoen Klein was born in Prerovv, Moravia on December 6, 1919. He was deported to Terezin on December 1, 1941, where he immediately became an active member of the camp’s cultural life. Completed in 1944, his Trio for Strings was his last composition.

Klein’s final work is a tribute to the folk music of his native region. The first and third movements are filled with allusions to folk music, while the second movement is a set of variations on a Moravian folk songs. It is a tribute to Klein and the human spirit that such a wonderful life-affirming work could be written under such circumstances as his internment.

Nine days after completing his string trio Gideon Klein was sent to Auschwitz on October 1, 1944, and from there to Fürstengrube, a coal-mining labour camp for men near Katowitz in Poland. He died under unclear circumstances during the liquidation of the Fürstengrube camp in January 1945.

Schulhoff, Sextet for Strings
Schulhoff’s Sextet for Strings received its premiere at the Donaueschingen Festival of Contemporary Music on July 19, 1924 by the Zika Quartet, notably featuring Paul Hindemith performing the second viola part. The work nods to the influence of the Viennese avant- gardists with its heated expression of tragedy, but does so without the extremes of dissonance and melodic fragmentation embraced by that style.

The opening movement divides into three large, sharply-contrasted formal chapters - the outer sections take on an almost militaristic tone, while the center is eerie and unsettling; interrupting overt lyricism with a repeated moaning figure. Though the Andante is marked Tranquillo, the movement sounds more mournful than peaceful and recalls a profound sorrow. The movement’s long, sad melody is repeated three times over a murmuring accompaniment marked “senna [without] espressione.” The Burlesca presents an off-balance scherzo in 5/8 time played with a heavy, almost violent tone. The finale begins tentatively, tries twice, and fails twice, to mount a passionate climax, before descending through wandering counterpoint to a static, tranquil close.

An avowed communist, Schulhoff considered relocating his family to the Soviet Union in 1939 after the signing of the Munich Agreement and Hitler's seizure of Czechoslovakia. He took Soviet citizenship in 1941, but his efforts to avoid the Nazis failed. Schulhoff, a Czech Jew now associated with an enemy nation, was captured and imprisoned in the Wälzburg concentration camp. He died there from tuberculosis on August 18, 1942.

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Schulhoff String Sextet: III. Burlesca