Victims of the Holocaust
Born: 8 June 1894, Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died: 18 August 1942, Wülzburg Concentration Camp
Ervin Schulhoff's early life and career showed all the earmarks of potential greatness. Like many famous composers and musicians he was a prodigy: by the age of ten, he had begun piano studies at the Prague Conservatory (at the urging of Antonin Dvorák). His subsequent formal education followed a typical path toward musical importance—studies in Vienna, at the conservatories of Leipzig and Cologne, and with Reger and Debussy. By 1918 he had won the Mendelssohn Prize twice—once for piano and once for composition.
In 1923 Schulhoff settled in Germany where he quickly became involved with the burgeoning arts scene of the late Weimar Republic. There he collaborated on productions with leading visual artists including Däubler, Grosz, and Klee.
He returned to Prague in 1929 where he taught composition and score-reading at the Prague Conservatory while continuing to make a name for himself as a composer, pianist, and champion of the music of his contemporaries (particularly Alois Haba). Not surprisingly, he was also a dedicated jazz pianist.
Like a number of his contemporaries, Schulhoff took an interest in the Communist Party, and he became an active member in the early 1930s. The combination of his political views and his Jewish background would truncate his career and his life. He was imprisoned during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, and died in the Wülzburg Concentration Camp on 18 August 1942.
Schulhoff's compositions were influenced by a remarkably wide range of musical styles. Impressionism, late German Romanticism, Czech and Slavic folk music, Expressionism, and even jazz can all be discerned in a very personal and eclectic body of work.
The works on this recording (the String Quartet No. 1, the Flute Sonata, and the Concertino for Flute, Viola, and Bass) were all composed between January 1924 and June 1925.
Born: 24 January 1915, Brno, Czechoslovakia
Died: 16 June 1940, Montpellier, France
Like Schulhoff, Vítĕslava Kapralova's formal education and early career should have destined her for musical importance. She studied composition with Vítĕslava Novak and conducting with Vaclav Talich in the master classes at the Brno Conservatory from 1935 to 1937. She subsequently studied in Paris with Bohuslav Martinu and Charles Munch. During this three- year period she became one of Munch's most popular conducting students.
But again the Nazi upheaval interfered. Attempting to flee the Nazis, she went to the South of France in hope of making her way to the United States. She contracted military tuberculosis in Montpellier and died there on 16 June 1940.
The Dubnova Preludia Suite was dedicated to the eminent Czech pianist Rudolf Firkusny who befriended Kapralova during her years in Paris.
Born: 6 December 1919, Prerov, Czechoslovakia
Died: January 1945, Fürstengrubbe Concentration Camp
Gideon Klein's Duo for Violin and Cello, previously lost, was among the compositions that his sister, Eliska Kleinova, found in a package in June 1990. The first movement is dated (in Klein's own hand) 6 November 1941. The second movement is incomplete, the act of composition interrupted by his transport to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in December 1941. This incomplete work is tragically symbolic of Klein's truncated life and career. Karl Ancerl (the renowned conductor) wrote: "Had he survived, Gideon would have achieved the highest standard as piantist, composer and conductor."
Klein's formal studies Were also cut short. In 1939 he enrolled as a doctoral candidate in Musicology and Philosophy at Charles University in Prague while continuing his studies in composition with Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. But in 1940 the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and the enforcement of the Nuremberg Racial Laws put an end to these studies as well as to Klein's performances as a pianist (although for a while he continued to perform secretly under the name Karel Vranek).
Klein was among the first to be sent to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp where, incarcerated among many other artists, composers, and writers, he soon became an extraordinary force as a pianist, educator, conductor, and composer. But even this exceptional creative activity amidst horror and deprivation was short-lived. Like almost all of those who did not die in Theresienstadt, Klein was sent to other camps: first to Auschwitz and finally to Fürstengrubbe, where he died in late Janary 1945.
Those compositions which survive reveal the influences of Janacek and Schoenberg and a blending of expressive folk elements from Gideon Klein's Moravian background. But these works are not derivative; rather they display a deeply mature and creative command of compositional techniques, especially in Klein's treatment of thematic material and use of tonal textures.
In this world premier recording of the Duo for Violin and Cello, the listener will not hear a reconstructed version of the second movement. Instead, it ends abruptly, unfinished as Klein left it. Perhaps what is unheard speaks most powerfully.
—Mark Ludwig and Martin Donoff
Some Notes about Musical Culture in Terezin
by Gideon Klein
While inspecting the weekly music program published by the Freizeit Gestaultung,* people who never lived here will look at the multitude of music reproduced here with admiration and amazement. They will admire both the feasibility of producing demanding works and the multitude of choices.
The quantitative (cultural) calculation of Theresienstadt would correspond to the cultural activity of a metropolitan area. Of the highest standard are the performances by instrumental soloists; these musicians played a major role in the musical life of their respective countries. If we consider the demands of the programs connected with the strain on the artist who lives in a changed setting under unfavorable living conditions we will understand that these artistic efforts cannot be evaluated alone by the standards of a metropolitan critic.
Written 20 August 1944 at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. Translation by Dr. George Homer.
* "Administration for Free Time Activities," a prisoner organization responsible for organizing cultural activities in Theresienstadt.
Theresienstadt was not just a Concentration Camp or a transit point to the Nazi death camps. It was a propaganda device, which the Nazis used to deny the existence of the Final Solution.
On 24 November 1941, a transport of Jews was sent to transform the small garrison town of Terezin into the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. In this camp the Nazis incarcerated some of Europe's most gifted artists, musicians, and writers. Despite the inhuman living conditions, an active cultural community sprang up. Musical instruments were smuggled in and performances were given secretly in the barracks.
But these very activities were co-opted by the Nazis and used as part of a plan to deceive both the international community and Jews under German occupation. Performances were staged for a visit of the International Red Cross; the camp was transformed into a Potemkin-like village with gardens, playgrounds, and an outdoor music pavilion for a propaganda film entitled "The Fuhrer Presents the Jews With a City," all designed to give the impression that Theresienstadt was a "Paradise Ghetto" for the Jews.
But of the 140,000 people who were transported to this "Paradise Ghetto," 33,000 died from starvation, lack of medical care, disease, starvation, overcrowding, and torture. Of the 87,000 people transported from Theresienstadt to the Nazi death camps, five percent survived. Of the 15,000 children who passed through, only 93 survived.
String Quartet No. 1 16:58
- i Presto con fuoco 2:26
- ii Allegretto con moto e con malinconia 4:25
- iii Allegro giocoso alla slovacca 2:52
- iv Andante molto sostenuto 7:01
The Hawthorne String QuartetConcertino for Flute, Viola, and Bass 15:25
- i Andante con moto moderato 5:50
- ii Furiant 3:15
- iii Andante 3:56
- iv Rondino 2:09
Dubnova Preludia Suite, for solo piano, Opus 13 7:35
Cesky Hudebni Fond
- i Allegro 2:04
- ii Andante 2:16
- iii Andante semplice 1:18
- iv Vivo 1:44
Sonata for Flute & Piano 12:02
- i Allegro moderato 4:36
- ii Scherzo: Allegro giocoso 1:32
- iii Aria: Andante 3:07
- iv Rondo-Finale: Allegro molto gajo 2:26
Duo for Violin and Cello 9:13
- i Allegro con fuoco 6:32
- ii Lento 2:35
Sato Knudsen cello
Download Link: Enjoy the Music!
Other recordings of music by Ervin Schulhoff:
- Ervin Schulhoff: Symphonies 1-3
- Concertos Alla Jazz
- Songs: Magdalena Kozena
- Ervin Schulhoff: Chamber Works, Vol.1: String Quartet No. 1 / Funf Stucke For String Quartet / String Quartet No. 0, Op. 25 / String Quartet No. 2
- Schulhoff Quartets No. 1, 2, Five Pieces / Petersen Quartet
- Ervín Schulhoff Centenary Edition Chamber Music
- Schulhoff: Flammen
- Schulhoff: Chamber Music [Hybrid SACD]
- Composers of the Holocaust: Ghetto Songs & Instrumental Works
- Ervin Schulhoff Chamber Works Vol. 2: Sextet / Duo For Violin & Cello / Divertimento For String Quartet
- Schulhoff: Festive Prelude/Symphony No.1/Suite For Chamber Orchestra
- Ervín Schulhoff: Songs
- Forbidden Music: Music from Theresienstadt
- Kurt Weill: String Quartet; Schulhoff: Quartet No. 1; Hindemith: Quartet No. 3
- Schulhoff Quartet, Violin Sonata, Violin/Cello Duo, Sextet / Petersen Quartet
- Erwin Schulhoff: Ogelala, WV 64/Serenade, Op. 18, WV 36
- Erwin Schulhoff: Chamber Music (String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 / 5 Pieces for String Quartet / Sextet) - Schönberg Quartett / Jan Erik van Regteren / Taco Kooistra
- Schulhoff: Piano Music "Hot Music"
- Erwin Schulhoff: Solo and Ensemble Works, Vol.2
- Erwin Schulhoff: Ogelala; Suite; Symphony No. 2
- Erwin Schulhoff: Solo Piano Works
- Erwin Schulhoff: Sinfonien Nr. 2 & 5
- Schulhoff: String Quartet; String Sextet; Duo for Violin and Cello
- Erwin Schulhoff: Ogelala, WV 64/Serenade, Op. 18, WV 36
Other recordings of music by Gideon Klein:
- Chamber Music From Theresienstadt 1941-1945
- Gidon Klein: Chamber Music
- Forbidden Music: Music from Theresienstadt
- Henry Purcell - Gideon Klein - Ludwig van Beethoven, Works for string trio
- Gideon Klein: Oeuvres Instrumentales et Vocales
- Spiritual Resistance - Music From Theresienstadt
- Gideon Klein: Piano Sonata; Fantasie and Fugue; String Trio; Choral Works
- Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Rudolf Karel, Stepán Lucký: Chamber Compositions
- MUSIC FROM THE HOLOCAUST
- Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra; Martinu: Memorial to Lidice; Klein: Partita for Strings [Hybrid SACD]
- KZ Musik: Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps, CD 3
- Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps, CD10
- Doubles Jeux
- Shoah: Martyred Musicians of the Holocaust
- Like The Leaden Sky - The Terezin Ghetto Remembered in Works by Czech and Israeli Composers
- Pieces For Violin, Viola And Violoncello
- Voices and Light
- Klein/Ullmann/Krása/Haas-Music Written in Terezín