Tom Cipullo's contemporary opera After Life explores the role of art in a troubled world and poses weighty questions about the artist's duty in confronting inhumanity. David Mason's libretto imagines an encounter between the ghosts of Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein, who reveal both their brilliance and their human flaws. Lori Laitman's song cycle In Sleep The World Is Yours sets three beautiful poems by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, who was to perish in a Nazi labor camp in Ukraine at the age of 18.
CDs & Recordings
Through recordings, Music of Remembrance makes the precious musical legacy of Holocaust musicians and artists available to all, thanks to an ongoing partnership with Naxos, the world's leading classical music label. MOR's recording projects are an essential but expensive part of our mission. Please inquire about underwriting opportunities for upcoming recordings. See recent reviews here.
In Out of Darkness, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer accomplish something remarkable. They convey the vastness of the Holocaust’s scope through emotionally rich portraits of those caught in its grasp, without reducing them to caricatures of martyrdom. The three chapters of this work relate stories that offer compelling musical witness to survival in the face of unimaginable adversity. Another Sunrise tells the amazing story of Krystyna Zywulska who, after being captured as a member of the Polish resistance, created poems and songs in Auschwitz that circulated secretly and became anthems of defiance among her fellow prisoners. Farewell, Auschwitz adapts Krystyna’s lyrics,...
Out of Darkness
An "important release," says American Record Guide. "Laitman’s music is smooth as a glove and suits the material to a T. It is warmly and simply romantic in idiom and lets the text do the talking." Every Friday for two years between 1942 and 1944, a group of teenage boy prisoners in the Terezín concentration camp shared their poems, stories and artwork in a secret magazine they called Vedem. Most of those boys perished in the Holocaust, but the pages of their magazine have miraculously been preserved. Inspired by this legacy, American vocal composer Lori Laitman has created an oratorio that gives new voice to the young prisoners’ unbending resistance to those who sought to rob them of...
American composer and pianist Paul Schoenfield is at the keyboard for two searing, heart-piercing works commissioned by Music of Remembrance. Schoenfield gives voice to the words of two brilliant poets - one a Holocaust survivor, one murdered - and the range of their emotions through rage, bitter humor, tenderness and fragile hope. This first English recording of his Camp Songs (a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist) joins the newest song cycle Ghetto Songs--transporting listeners from the horrors of the Sachenhausen concentration camp near Berlin to life in the Krakow Ghetto. Gerard Schwarz's Rudolf & Jeanette is a haunting, romantic chamber orchestra work evoking the life and love of the composer’s Viennese grandparents, who were killed by the Nazis.
Young American composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s “brilliant, moving work” (American Record Guide) is based on the true story of two gay teenage lovers the Holocaust tore apart forever. With an elegiac piece for cello and string quartet, In Memoriam, by Gerard Schwarz; and American composer Lori Laitman’s song cycle The Seed of Dream, based on poetry by Vilna Ghetto survivor Abraham Sutzkever.
Opera News called MOR’s Brundibár recording on Naxos one of the top ten opera recordings of 2007. In coordination with MOR, Naxos has created a podcast interview with Ela Stein Weissberger, who survived the Terezín concentration camp. She played the role of the Cat in the original performances of Brundibár there. Her perspective on the creation and first performances of this historical opera is poignant, stirring, first-person history. To listen, download the Naxos podcast. (To learn more about or buy the book I Never Saw Another Butterfly mentioned in the interview, visit...
“The combination of Thomas Pasatieri’s romantic, moving score and Jane Eaglen’s brilliant, expressive soprano makes for an unforgettable listening experience. I found the piece extraordinarily moving and Gerard Schwarz’s conducting seemed to bring out so much of the serious and elegiac qualities. The singing of the Kaddish at the conclusion must move anyone who hears it.” —Speight Jenkins, General Director, Seattle Opera
Called a “rewarding musical start” (Gramophone), MOR’s Grammy-nominated first recording includes Robert Dauber’s Serenata, Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces for String Quartet, Herman Berlinski’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, and two MOR commissions: Camp Songs--with original Polish libretto--by Paul Schoenfield, and A Vanished World by David Stock.