After the Darkness: the Hague String Trio brings suppressed composers back to life
The title of this CD is taken from the book with the same name by Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel, ‘After the Darkness: Reflections on the Holocaust’.
Gideon Klein and Hans Krása:
Hans Krása (1899-1944) and Gideon Klein (1919-1945) ended up in the Terezín concentration camp (Theresienstadt), before being deported to Auschwitz where they were murdered. But until that time they continued to compose as well as they could. In Terezín, yes. That is where both Krása’s Passacaglia & Fugue and Tanec (Dance) were composed, as well as Gideon Klein’s incredibly beautiful String Trio.
The Hungarian Lászlo Weiner (1916-1944) was deported in February 1943 to the labour camp in Lukov (Slovakia), where he was murdered a year later. I had not heard his Serenade for string trio from 1938 before. Why is that? It’s just beautiful!
The Dutchman Dick Kattenburg (1919-1944) did not survive the war either: on May 19, 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz. His Trio à cordes sees its world premiere here. I can’t listen to this with dry eyes. Yes, I know, I know, one has to limit oneself to the music, but sometimes it is so damn difficult! But trust me, the standard of what is on offer is of the highest quality and that the work is still performed so infrequently is due to… What actually? Uwillingness? Guilt?
This year it is exactly one hundred years ago that Klein, Weiner, Kattenburg and Weinberg were born. You would expect at least something in the form of (small) memorial concerts, wouldn’t you?
The Hague String Trio (Justyna Briefjes, Julia Dinerstein and Miriam Kirby) was founded in 2006. In the booklet they tell us that After The Darkness is a project close to their heart, which certainly can be heard. “We feel it is a privilege to bring the music of these composers to life and to create a lasting legacy, so that their voices are never forgotten”. Thank you!