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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mary Ann Joyce-Walter, Cantata for the Children of Terezin

Mary Ann Joyce-Walter has created in Cantata for the Children of Terezin (Ravello 7845) a kind of memorial to the victims of the atrocities committed in the 20th century.

The title work "Cantata for the Children of Terezin" pays tribute to the children incarcerated at the Terezin Concentration Camp. The text is based on actual poems the children wrote while imprisoned there. It is a moving work that interweaves Jewish traditional melody and original strains in a kind of post-Britten narrative lyric style. Soprano Oxnaya Oleskaya, the King Singers of Kiev and the Kiev Philharmonic do a great job with the work, which has a melancholy veneer but ultimately is a kind of prayer that these things will never happen again.

Similarly the companion work "Aceldaima" is a more general orchestral meditation on the atrocities of last century.

Both works are moving and memorable. Mary Ann Joyce-Walter is a composer we will be hearing more of, I hope.

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