ClassicsOnline Home » HEGGIE: For a Look or a Touch / SCHWARZ: In Memoriam / LAITMAN: The Seed of Dream (Music of Remembrance) > Review List



HEGGIE: For a Look or a Touch / SCHWARZ: In Memoriam / LAITMAN: The Seed of Dream (Music of Remembrance)

Composer(s):Heggie, JakeLaitman, LoriSchwarz, Gerard
Artist(s)
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber MusicOperaVocal
Catalogue 8.559379
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


Based on the true story of two teenage lovers the Holocaust tore apart forever, the dramatic song cycle For a Look or a Touch casts long-awaited light on the fate of gay Germans in the Holocaust. By noted young American opera composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, the work juxtaposes the exuberant freedom of pre-World War II Berlin with the brutal Nazi horrors that followed, while making an eloquent, poignant plea for remembrance. Seattle Symphony’s Gerard Schwarz penned In Memoriam, a beautifully meditative, elegiac piece for cello and string quartet, in honor of cellist David Tonkonogui (1958–2003). From acclaimed American art song composer Lori Laitman comes The Seed of Dream, a powerful song cycle based on five poems

more....

   




Review By Chris Shull,Fort Worth Star Telegram,June 2008

A dance-hall swing recalls the happy energy of Berlin before the persecutions began. The Story of Joe tells of a quiet boy savaged by guard dogs; The Singing Forest recalls a horrific torture, with the gentleness of Heggie’s melody contrasting the brutality of the scene.

There’s an educational element about For a Look or a Touch, which was commissioned and performed last year by the Seattle-based ensemble Music of Remembrance. (This recording also includes world-premiere recordings of a cello piece by Gerald Schwarz and a song cycle, The Seed of Dream, by Lori Laitman.) Like the monument recently unveiled in Berlin, Heggie’s message is simple and vital—a musical motif at the beginning and end implores listeners to Remember.




Review By David Denton, Naxos,May 2008

Music of Remembrance (MOR) is helping us gain deeper appreciation of the tragic losses of life suffered in the Holocaust. This recording brings to consciousness the terrible consequences of the Holocaust to homosexuals, a subject that has not been given the attention it deserves, in large part because it has been hard to find personal accounts of homosexuals persecuted by the Third Reich. Artistic Director Mina Miller comments: “For many years Music of Remembrance had envisioned commissioning a work that would address this tragedy. Our challenge was to find a composer who could communicate its moral and historical importance, and do so in a way that would be intimate rather than didactic.” She succeeded brilliantly in commissioning Jack Heggie to write For a Look or a .

Heggie (b.1961) has established himself as a significant opera composer (Dead Man Walking, The End of the Affair). The present 34-minute work, skillfully scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, can be varying categorized as a chamber opera, a theater piece, or a quasi song cycle. Whatever category it fits into, it is a brilliant, moving work, and only a hard-core homophobe can fail to be moved by it. Adapted by Gene Scheer from an actual diary of 19-year-old Manfred Lewin written for his lover Gad Beck, it tells the story of the visitation of Manfred’s ghost to his lover 60 years after his murder at Auschwitz in 1942. Gad, who survived the Holocaust, has worked hard to forget the events that separated them and led to his partner’s death, but in this visitation he finds healing through acknowledging how integral their love has always been in his life. Manfred is sung by the vibrantly-voiced Morgan Smith, while Gad’s lines are spoken by Julian Patrick, a veteran member of Seattle Opera—until the final bars where the two hum together in a moving expression that Gad has found a way to transcend the devastation of the past and reconnect with the power of love.

The opening scene immediately establishes a haunting tone and introduces the key motif that returns again to bring the work to completion and resolution: “Do you remember?” A central scene uses jazz and swing elements to characterize the days when gay love could find a safe haven before it was crushed by the Nazis.

For a Look or a Touch is the longest and most powerful work on this gripping release, but the accompanying works are also important expressions of remembrance. Gerard Schwartz’s In Memoriam (2005) for solo cello and string quartet was written for his son Julian when he was selected to be the first recipient of MOR’s David Tonkonogui Memorial Award. Julian recorded the work when he was 15, and his remarkably mature playing produces a large and lovely sound. If you heard this work without knowing who composed it, you might take it for a post-romantic work by its Straussian touches. Here the remembrance has less to do with the Holocaust; it is primarily in memory of Seattle cellist David more....





 

Affiliates  |  Classical Points  |  Press Room  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy

ClassicsOnline Newsletter Archive

Monthly Features on ClassicsOnline

Why choose ClassicsOnline?
ClassicsOnline is your source for classical music new releases, rare catalog, historical recordings and exclusive bargains. Our vast classical music catalog has over 1 Million tracks from more than 50,000 albums available in DRM-free MP3 (320kbps) and FLAC (lossless format). More than 500 new albums are added each month, all of which are carefully indexed, and searchable by Composer, Artist, Work and Label. Membership is free, and registration includes 5 free tracks for download. Get a free track every week and gain access to exclusive classical deals when you subscribe to our newsletter. ClassicsOnline was honored in 2010 as the Best Classical Download Site by the MIDEM Classical Awards Jury.

Some titles may not be available in all countries because of possible copyright or licensing restrictions.

Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.
Classicsonline.com – Your Classical Music Download Source
6:18:40 AM Saturday, August 30, 2014  -211-