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WRTI Spotlight

Never Forget: Music for Yom HaShoah on WRTI 90.1

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WRTI will honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and join with those in our community who remember them, with special programming on May 1st and 2nd.

Highlights include: Ernst Bloch: Suite Modale for Flute and Strings, performed by Polish National Chamber Orchestra and Katherine DeJongh, flute.

Viktor Ullmann: Don Quixote Dances a Fandango Overture, one of the last pieces Ullmann wrote, performed by Prague Symphony Orchestra and conductor Tomas Hanus

Eric Wolfgang Korngold: Marietta's Lied from Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City) - the first German opera to be mounted at the Met Opera after WWI. Performed by English Chamber Orchestra, soprano Renee Fleming and conductor Jeffrey Tate.

Ullmann is a composer that the Nazis considered "dangerous" to the Reich; music labeled "Entartete" or "degenerate" was banned, and many of the composers of those works were imprisoned and killed.

The music of those long dead, such as Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler, didn't escape the ban. Paul Hindemith and other non-Jewish composers had to flee the country when they disobeyed government orders to fire Jewish colleagues.

But others fared far worse. Twenty-six-year-old Gideon Klein, prevented from accepting a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Music, was sent to Theresienstadt with other musicians, including composer Viktor Ullmann. They both died in the camps, along with Erwin Schulhoff, Pavel Haas, and many others.

Listen to Philadelphia composer Charles Davidson's hauntingly beautiful, I Never Saw Another Butterfly. This, his best-known work, is a setting of poems by children imprisoned in Theresienstadt; only 100 of the 15,000 children there survived. I Never Saw Another Butterfly has received more than 4,000 performances throughout the world, and is the subject of two PBS documentaries. Charles Davidson is the cantor emeritus of Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park.