The songs Anne Sofie von Otter, assisted by baritone Christian Gerhaher, sings on the CD Terezín – Theresienstadt, released in 2008 on Deutsche Gramophon (DG 4776546), belong to a variety of music genres. They have one thing in common: all of them were composed in the Terezín concentration camp and their creators who were deported there were later murdered in Auschwitz.
The initiative came from von Otter herself: for the Holocaust commemoration in Stockholm she collected a wide selection of the ‘Terezín songs’ and compiled a recital of them. This programme was then recorded for CD, ” because we must never forget. “
It is a CD you really need to listen to from start to finish even though many of the songs come from the lighter genre. Most moving are the songs by Ilse Weber.
Try to keep a dry eye when listening to ‘Wiegala,’ the lullaby that Weber sang to the children in the gas chambers. Or the terrifying words “I want to go home so badly” from Weber’s ‘Ich wandre durch Theresienstadt.’
Below ‘Wiegala’ by Ilse Weber, sung by Anne Sofie von Otter:
The beautiful violin solo sonata by Erwin Schulhoff does not really belong here, Schulhoff has never been to Terezín. He was arrested in Prague on 23 June 1941 and deported to the Würzburg concentration camp, where he died of tuberculosis in 1942. You can hear that Daniel Hope has been devoted to Schulhoff’s music for many years, as he interprets the work in an inimitable way.
Below Daniel Hope plays ‘Andante Cantabile’, the second movement of Schulhoff’s sonata. It is a recording from the CD ‘Forbidden Music’, released by Nimbus:
Ilse Weber, Hans Krása, Viktor Ullmann, Pavel Haas, Karel Svenk, Erwin Schulhoff
Terezín – Theresienstadt
Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Daniel Hope (violin), Bengt Forsberg (piano), Bebe Risengf (accordion, guitar and double bass) and others.