Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Concert Line: (202) 707-5502
November 12, 1998
Kristallnacht Anniversary concert at the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, will present a special concert Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. in remembrance of the Kristallnacht destruction that occurred in Germany on Nov. 9-10, 1938. The theme for the concert is "A time to weep - a time to build."
The Dresden String Quartet, whose artists are members of the Dresden Staatskapelle, will perform Felix Mendelssohn's Quartet in A major, Op. 13; Erwin Schulhoff's Five Pieces for String Quartet; and a new work, Weihe des Hauses (Dedication of the House), by the young German composer Karsten Gundermann. Mr. Gundermann, a native of Dresden, has studied in such diverse institutions as the Chinese Academy of Traditional Drama in Beijing and New York University. He has composed solo piano music, chamber works and various film scores.
The concert's highlight is a world premiere performance of a Library of Congress commission, Herman Berlinski's memorial cantata Maskir Neshamoth (In Remembrance of the Soul), for flute, vocal quartet, string quartet and percussion. The composer drew from a wealth of sources for the cantata's texts: the Psalms, Hebrew and Spanish medieval poems, and poetry by modern authors, including Nelly Sachs, Arnold Schoenberg, and Paul Celan. Paul Traver conducts, with Rosa Lamoureaux, soprano; Patricia Green, alto; Robert Petillo, tenor; Donald Boothman, baritone; and members of the University of Maryland Chamber Chorus.
Herman Berlinski was born of Polish-Jewish parents in Leipzig in 1910. He received his primary music education at the Landeskonservatorium Leipzig and graduated with honors in 1932. Forced to leave Germany at the onset of the Nazi regime the next year, he moved to France, where he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and piano with Alfred Cortot at the Ecole Normale de Musique. During the German occupation of France, Dr. Berlinski moved to New York in 1941. At the Seminary College of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, he pursued advanced studies in Jewish liturgical music and was the first doctoral candidate of this institution to earn the degree of Doctor of Sacred Music in 1960. He has since lectured as a visiting professor in many institutions of learning both in the United States and Germany.
Herman Berlinski's prolific output includes symphonic and chamber works, solo works for organ, song cycles, numerous liturgical choral works, and oratorios. In 1993, Dr. Berlinski, with two other composers of religious music, Robert Helmschrott of Munich and Heinz Werner of Frankfurt, was commissioned by the Union Theological Seminary of New York to compose a work in honor of the German anti-Nazi fighter Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The resulting work, "Altar Tryptichon for Bonhoeffer," has become a landmark in sacred music of this century and has been performed in the United States, Germany, Israel, and South Africa.
The Kristallnacht concert is being produced at the Library of Congress in cooperation with Frderverein Bau der Synagoge Dresden, HATiKVA, the American Friends of Dresden, and the American Mendelssohn Society.
All Library of Congress concerts are free, but tickets are required. Tickets for this concert may be obtained at all TicketMaster outlets, including Hecht's department stores, Tower Records, and Kemp Mill Music, for a $2.00 service charge per ticket (four-ticket maximum per patron). TicketMaster phone-charge tickets may be obtained for a $2.75 service charge per ticket, plus a $1.25 handling fee per order (four-ticket maximum per patron). Call TicketMaster at (301) 808-6900 or (202) 432-7328.
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