Darkness & Light, Vol. 2
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Deeply moving, introspective music.

Steven Honigberg, a cellist with the National Symphony Orchestra, is the Music Director of this series of Chamber concerts at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Jozef Koffler was born in Strij, Poland (now Ukraine), and educated in Vienna, where he earned a doctorate in musicology. Very active in Polish music circles, Koffler wrote newspaper music criticism, edited two music journals, served on the board of the Composers' Union, was a choral and Orchestral conductor, and held a full-time post as professor of theory and composition at the Lwow Conservatory. He was, furthermore, a talented composer who could count among his works three symphonies, a ballet, a cantata, and numerous Chamber compositions. After German armies occupied Lwow in June, 1941, Koffler, who was Jewish, fled to the West. His subsequent fate is not known for certain: according to some sources, his hiding place was discovered in 1943 in a south Polish village, where, together with his wife and young son, he was put to death by German soldiers. Born and educated in Warsaw, Szymon Laks trained as both a composer and conductor. He moved to Paris in 1925, where he found work writing and directing music for the stage, films and the recital hall. In 1941, after the capitulation of France, Laks was deported as a Jewish foreign national; in 1942 he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Because of his musical training, he was recruited by the camp prisoners' Orchestra, of which he eventually became director. He was later transferred to Sachsenhausen and finally to a sub-camp of Dachau, from which he was liberated in May 1945. The other composers on this disc need no introduction, except to say it is terrific to have Diamond's First String Quartet available in the fine performance it receives on this disc.
Contents:
Paul Ben-Haim, composer
Music For Violoncello Solo
Steven Honigberg, cello

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, composer
Piano Trio No. 2 in G
George Marsh, violin, Steven Honigberg, cello, Joseph Holt, piano

David Diamond, composer
String Quartet
Deanne Lee, Claudia Chudacoff, violin, Nancy Bittner, viola, Steven Honigberg, cello

Jzef Koffler, composer
Sonatine for Pianoforte, Op. 12
Joseph Holt, piano

Szymon Laks, composer
Passacaille for Cello & Piano
Steven Honigberg, cello, Carol Honigberg, piano

Olivier Messiaen, composer
Louange l'eternite de Jesus
Steven Honigberg, cello, Carol Honigberg, piano

Review:
"This is the second volume of "music performed in concert from the Chamber music series at the Holocaust Memorial Museum."Another prize here is David Diamond's First Quartet from 1940 in what is surely its recorded premiere. This is a warm, spirited, likeable example of Diamond's vintage manner, combining an indefinable American tang with sturdy contrapuntal vigor and classic form.Performances are devoted and persuasive and sonics good, if a little variable. Much praise is due Steven Honigberg and his fellow musicians for their continuing efforts to rescue this (and much more) fine music from unwarranted oblivion." (American Record Guide)
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