Shoah Songbook II

Appropriately timed for Holocaust Remembrance Day, soprano Jaclyn Grossman and pianist Nate Ben-Horin in conjunction with the Harold Green Jewish Theatre presented a concert of music (mainly) from the Vilna and Kovno ghettoes in Lithuania.  Their earlier concert, which I wasn’t aware of, featured fairly well known material from Terezin but most of this program was unfamiliar, having largely survived by chance.  Some of it only exists as a melody line and had to be recreated by Ben-Horin.

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Singing Only Softly

Last night was the last performance at Heliconian Hall of Loose Tea Music Theatre’s double bill of Anne Frank operas.  The first half of the show centred on Grigori Frid’s monodrama for soprano and chamber ensemble (given here in piano score) The Diary of Anne Frank.   It’s a work in 21 scenes of which 15 were performed last night.  For a Soviet work of the 1970s it’s surprisingly modern in style with some interesting music for the piano.  The vocal part though is pretty unsympathetic and although Gillian Grossman managed it pretty well a lot of it lies too high for comfort or even comprehension.

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