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<<  -- 4 --  Malcolm Miller    'I WANDERED THROUGH THERESIENSTADT'

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Though they are described as cabaret songs, the Terezin songs by Ilse Weber which ensued, were particularly moving in their performance by Hilda Bronstein, accompanied on the accordion by Sarah Aaronson. Weber perished with her son at Auschwitz, yet her husband, whom she refused to allow to be deported alone (she followed him) survived, as did one son who had already escaped. I wandered through Theresienstadt and Weigala, both sung in German, were both poignantly atmospheric. Remarkably, Sarah Aaronson, who directs the NW London Orchestra, had participated in the Canterbury concert in 1986 with Edith Kraus and Pavel Berman shown earlier in the film.

Hilda Bronstein continued her song selection with Schnirele Perele, a Yiddish song of hope, and all performers came on stage for the finale, the Terezin March, a popular song that summed up a spirit of defiance of despair, with a Kurt Weil lilt. One audience member recalled singing it, which underlined all the more how the pages of this chapter of history still lie open, the memories still vivid. The evening helped one to appreciate and imagine some of the unspeakable experiences of those times. At the 60th Anniversary Holocaust Day in 2005, Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks and the Prime Minister Tony Blair stressed that sixty years on, it is the responsibility of the current generation to bear the burden of memory of the past as the memories of older generations fade. And this memorial concert evening, which featured so many young musicians, proved that in spite of the destruction from which it was born, the memory of a people and a culture, may act as an inspiration and affirmation of life.

Copyright © 18 April 2006 Malcolm Miller, London UK

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WHEN THE RABBI DANCED

VIKTOR ULLMANN'S 'THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS'

CHAMBER MUSIC FROM THE UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM

MUSIC OF REMEMBRANCE - ART FROM ASHES

THE 'UNDESIRED' QUARTETS OF PAVEL HAAS

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

JEWISH MUSIC INSTITUTE SOAS

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