music for International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2022
Gideon Klein String trio (terezín 1944), Second Movement
Gideon Klein, often recognized by survivors as "our own Leonard Bernstein," composed this work just ten days before his transport from Terezín to Auschwitz. It feels accessible and light-hearted, but it also includes references to works by other composers and folk music of his native Moravia, perhaps a message about the loss of European and Jewish culture.
The second movement, haunting and soulful, takes up a melodic theme from a folk song Klein's nanny sang to him in his native Moravia, about a goose grieving the fate of her babies as she falls to her death from a hunter's bullet. It's a personal and sorrowful goodbye.
The trio was first performed in 1946 in Prague's Rudolfinum, in a concert organized by Klein's sister, Eliska, and conducted by Karel Ancerl, who was also interned in Terezín. Ancerl wrote, "Where there was a valuable cultural performance, there for sure Gideon Klein was the initiator."
Here is the second movement of Klein's String Trio, performed by the Hawthorne String Quartet.