Holocaust Cantata
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Unique release with a strong emotional drawn for all listeners.

It is well-known that during the Holocaust inmates wrote music while incarcerated in concentration camps. What about the music that was composed by the common man in these camps? Music embraced by the whole community and passed secretly by aural transmission - music that carried with it powerful words revealing different aspects of camp life, or expressing the inmates' innermost feelings, of mourning, resistance, or patriotism? Was there another Holocaust music from the one we are more familiar with today? Was there a music that spoke with startling immediacy to express the agony of the victims of the Nazi regime? It was this question that first led Donald McCullough on a year-long journey through one of the cruelest chapters of the 20th century. His quest, to extract from the mammoth archives of the United States Holocaust Museum, the material that formed the basis of the Holocaust Cantata , was, like all difficult endeavors, marked with equal amounts of intuition and good luck. The result is the music heard on this disc.
Contents:
Michael Horvit, composer
Even When God is Silent
Master Chorale of Washington Chamber Singers, Donald McCullough, conductor

Michael Horvit, composer
A Child's Mystery
Master Chorale of Washington Chamber Singers, Donald McCullough, conductor

Szymon Laks, composer
Passacaille for Cello and Piano
Miriam Bolkosky, cello, Robert Lamar Sims, piano

Donald McCullough, composer
The Holocaust Cantata
Master Chorale of Washington Chamber Singers, Donald McCullough, conductor

Donald McCullough, composer
Is Not A Flower a Mystery?
Master Chorale of Washington Chamber Singers, Donald McCullough, conductor

Donald McCullough, composer
We Remember Them
Master Chorale of Washington Chamber Singers, Donald McCullough, conductor

Review:
"There is no shortage of musical works inspired by the savagery of Adolf Hitler's Germany, but, even among the many, this remarkable cantata stands out. It is special because for the most part the victims are allowed to speak for themselves via their own music. Donald McCullough, director of Washington DC's Master Chorale, crafted the piece after immersing himself in the Aleksander Kulisiewicz Collection at the US Holocaust Museum. Imprisoned for antifascist activities in Poland, Mr. Kulisiewicz spent the war at the Sachsenhausen camp near Berlin where, the informative notes tell us, "he took on the role of camp troubadour, performing his own songs and those of his fellow prisoners." After the War, he crisscrossed the former Reich compiling music that had been composed by inmates of the camps. McCullough had several compositions from the Kulisiewicz Collection translated (with reverence) into English and proceeded to set them for chorus, occasional soloists, cello and piano. His arrangements, interspersed with writings by those forced to endure the unendurable make for a gripping commentary on the resilience of gentle souls caught in the vortex of human depravity at its worst. The songs, as you'd expect, are heart-rendering in their simplicity and their sadness....I pray with all my heart that the nobility of Donald McCullough's work has brought a measure of rest to Kulisiewicz's eternal soul." (American Record Guide)
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