Holocaust Remembrance Program

Sunday, May 8
At Mead Chapel, Middlebury College

yom hashoa star candle

Rachel Joselson is an opera singer and an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Iowa. Her most recent recording is a CD of Holocaust-themed songs, with pianist (and fellow University of Iowa Professor) Rene Lecuona to be released by Albany Records.

As a soprano of  Eastern European Jewish heritage, Rachel is passionate about interpreting and presenting this repertoire.  Rachel and Rene are currently touring the country giving presentations scheduled around Yom HaShoah, and we are lucky enough to have them present here in Middlebury, in a joint Middlebury College/Hillel/Havurah event, on Sunday, May 8th.

Their presentation will include three arrangements of Yiddish folksongs by renowned classical composer Viktor Ullmann, an inmate at Terezin who perished in Auschwitz.  Terezin was designated as an “artist colony” by the Nazis.  They present several selections by Ilse Weber, who composed mainly for the children interned there, separated from their parents—lullabyes, songs to give hope, and wistful songs of escaping the camp remembering home. They will perform Ein jüdisches Kind by Carlo Taube, which speaks of how Jewish children are in so many ways like all other children, but without a homeland. Ich Weiss bestimmt, ich werd Dich wiedersehn by Adolf Strauss is an example of a cabaret song, resembling light-hearted operetta, but macabre and thematically tragic— young lovers who know for sure they won’t be seeing each other ever again. In addition, Wiegenlied by Gideon Klein (Hebrew).

They will do several contemporary German-language selections by Norbert Glanzberg. Born in Poland in 1910, Glanzberg escaped to France where he was banned from the classical composers’ union. He served on the Polish front and then dedicated many years of his long life to film music, songs and show business. His name, up till the last quarter of his career, was always associated with the entertainment world and such famous names as Edith Piaf, Yves Montand and Maurice Chevalier. In the late 1980s, he returned to his classical roots and Jewish heritage. He was inspired by a collection of writings by prisoners in concentration camps, both Jews and resistance fighters: Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland, later adapted for a documentary by Lea Rosh.

Be sure not to miss this moving program as we remember the lives lost and celebrate the music that lives on.

rachel joselson

Dr. Rachel Joselson