World premiere: April 30, 2000, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA at Music of Remembrance’s Holocaust Remembrance Day concert.
Recording: A Vanished World is available on the MOR CD, Art from Ashes, Vol. 1 (Innova), performed by Jody Schwarz, flute; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; and Valerie Muzzolini, harp.
David Stock offers the following remarks:
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, NM, 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.