Music by Theresienstadt composers and their contemporaries, marking the 75th anniversary of the death of Pavel Haas, Hans Krása and Viktor Ullmann
In 1944, the Nazis allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit Theresienstadt. Following an almost year-long “beautification”, the concentration camp-ghetto was toured by a three-member Swiss-Danish delegation. The excursion, which lasted six hours, was rounded off by a performance of Hans Krása’s children’s opera Brundibár. The Nazis succeeded in deceiving the guests. So as to present an idyllic picture of the camp, they even made a propaganda film about Theresienstadt, dubbed Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt (The Führer Gives a City to the Jews) by the inmates.
After the hoax project ended, the Nazis transported 18,000 Theresienstadt prisoners, including Krása and the children who sang in Brundibár, to Auschwitz. Along with other artists, on 16 October 1944 the composers Pavel Haas, Hans Krása and Viktor Ulmann were transferred to the extermination camp, where soon after their arrival they were murdered in a gas chamber.
Benjamin Britten: Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and String Trio, Op. 2
Pavel Haas: Seven Songs in Folk Style, to poems by F. I. Čelakovský, Op. 18
Hans Krása: Passacaglia and Fugue for String Trio
Viktor Ullmann: Six Songs, to poems by Albert Steffen, Op. 17
Bohuslav Martinů: Mazurka-Nocturne for Oboe and String Trio