Soprano Voice with Instruments #3, Vol. 19
Terezin Children’s Songs
Dorothy Parker Love Songs
Terezin Children’s Songs for Soprano, Violin, and Piano
The ghetto of Terezin (Theresienstadt), located in the hills outside Prague, was an unusual concentration camp in that it was created to cover up the Nazi genocide of the Jews. 97,297 died among whom were 15,000 children between the years 1942-1944; less than 100 children survived. In the poems and drawings of the children, many smuggled out of the camp, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their courage and optimism, their hopes and fears. These innocent and honest depictions allow us to see through the eyes of the children what life was like in the ghetto. Their art reveals a maturity beyond their years, are haunting reminders of what no child should ever have to see. In spite of the circumstances, the poetry is beautiful and uplifting – telling a story that resonates in each of us.
I. Birdsong – 1941 Anonymous
II. Forgotten – Anonymous
III. On A Sunny Evening – 1944 Anonymous
IV. The Butterfly – 1942 by Pavel Friedman
V. Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep – 1932
Dorothy Parker Love Songs for Soprano, Violin, and Piano
An American poet, short story writer, screenwriter, satirist and critic, Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) had an unerring acuity for commenting on twentieth-century urban peculiarities. She became renowned for her writing as in The New Yorker and as a member of the Algonquin Round Table.
Her poetry often has an ironic twist – a declaration of love in A Certain Lady that conceals the true feelings of the poet. Nocturne is a love affair that she knew would end – sooner or later. There are conflicting feelings in Love Song – on one side there is an ode to her lover, and on the flip side she wishes he were far away or worse! The music attempts to portray the poet’s feelings with piquant harmonies, unusual key changes, and imitation between the soprano, violin, and piano.
I. A Certain Lady • II. Nocturne • III. Love Song
Harriet’s Story for Soprano, Violin, and Piano
Harriet’s Story – remembering Harriet and Dred Scott
Harriet’s Story contributes to the rich historiography of Missouri and Midwest through music. The impetus for this dramatic song cycle was the 150th anniversary of the state’s entrance into the Civil War in 1862. Harriet’s Story was inspired by the life of Harriet and Dred Scott whose legal struggles to obtain their freedom helped catapult the nation into the Civil War. The lyrics of the first two movements were created in the voice of Harriet Scott, and the lyrics of the third movement are the inspirational quotes of Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds to freedom in the North as the most famous “conductor” of the Underground Railroad.
I. Frontier Slave • II. No Reason to Learn • III. Sister Harriet Tubman