Last Letters from Stalingrad
ELIAS TANENBAUM Last Letters from Stalingrad TROY247 - Price: $16.99
Go Back >

 

Chamber and vocal music for the adventurous.

Elias Tanenbaum was born in Brooklyn and studied trumpet at an early age and played with assorted jazz bands. After serving with the U.S. Army in World War II, he received a B.S. from Juilliard and an M.A. from Columbia. His composition teachers included Dante Fiorillo, Bohuslav Martinu, Otto Luening and Wallingford Riegger. To date he has composed more than 100 works in all idioms and his music includes works for the concert hall, jazz, theater, television and ballet as well as electronic and computer music. He is currently Visiting Composer at the California Institute for the Arts, on the composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and Director of the Electronic Computer Music Studio. The largest work on the disc, Last Letters from Stalingrad, consists of excerpts from letters written by soldiers from the German Sixth Army who were surrounded at Stalingrad in 1942-43. Of the 300,000 men in that army, only about 5,000 survived. What happened to those German soldiers in 1943 can and does happen to people everywhere. What would any of us write if we knew we were surrounded and doomed and that we had been sold out and abandoned by our leaders. The German High Command, in order to ascertain the morale of the troops, allowed the soldiers to send letters home. The letters were then impounded, opened and the addresses and senders' names removed. They were then classified by content and general tenor, tied in neat bundles, and eventually stored in the archives. Although the Germans were our enemies in 1943, these letters are a human document that bares the soul of men in their worst hour. This is a most moving composition.
Contents:
Elias Tanenbaum, composer
Shadows for String Quartet & Guitar
David Tanenbaum, guitar, Chester String Quartet

Elias Tanenbaum, composer
Last Letters from Stalingrad
David Tanenbaum, guitar and piano, Robert Osborne, baritone, Tina Pelikan, viola, Bill Trigg, percussion

Elias Tanenbaum, composer
Reflected Images for Flute and Guitar
David Tanenbaum, guitar, Amy Hersh, flute

Review:
"Modernist intensity and a striking rhythmic emphasis mark the music of Elias Tanenbaum. His Shadows for guitar and string quartet is a celebration of sound and counterpoint. Its easily-followed argument is, in general, a progression from non-pitched sounds to pitches and melodies. Last Letters from Stalingrad is a setting of terrifying and sad letters written by German soldiers as they were surrounded and hopeless in Stalingrad. Some of the songs are better than others, though most of the power of the pieces comes from the letters themselvesGuitarist David Tanenbaum is a fine performer. He is joined in this program by the Chester Quartet, bass-baritone Robert Osborne, violist Tina Pelikan, percussionist William Trigg, and flutist Amy Hersh, who all acquit themselves admirably." (American Record Guide)
 
Close  X