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Fractured Lives: Music of the Holocaust

All Saints Pavement, York

Noreen Silver (cello) Phillip Silver (piano)



Josima Feldschuh, photo courtesy of Nekamia Ben-Shem Feldschuh

A concert of music emphasizing renewal and (re)discovery, with four composers who were caught up in the horrors of the Holocaust. The composers to be presented are Josima Feldschuh, James Simon, Paul Ben-Haim and Hans Gál, artists of differing backgrounds and denouements whose common linkage is their victimisation during the Holocaust.

The poignant story of Josima Feldschuh is one of potential not permitted to develop. A prisoner in the Warsaw Ghetto, she composed a small number of promising solo piano works before going into hiding, and dying of tuberculosis at the age of 12.
Now just being rediscovered, the richly Romantic music of Berlin-born James Simon is far removed from any connection with 20th century developments. Simon was to eventually perish in Auschwitz.

In contrast, Paul Ben-Haim is one of a number of émigré composer. He managed to flee Germany and became one of Israel’s leading composers, with music which blends Western and the Middle Eastern idioms.

Austrian-born Hans Gál found sanctuary in the UK. His considerable body of music is now enjoying a welcome return to the concert repertoire.


Josima Feldschuh:
Mazurek No. VI, Op. 10
Sabbathiada No. 1, Op. 14
Sabbathiada No. 2, Op. 15
Sonata, Op. 17

James Simon:
Sonata in D Major for Cello and Piano Op. 9
I. Allegro
II. Allegretto grazioso quasi Minuetto
III. Poco Adagio (attacca)
IV. Allegro ma non troppo

Paul Ben-Haim:
Three Songs Without Words
1. Arioso (Molto moderato)
2. Ballade (Allegretto)
3. Sephardic Melody (Largamente rubato e molto appassionato)

Hans Gál:
Suite for Cello and Piano Op. 6
I. Präludium (Lento, un poco rubato)
IV. Capriccio (Allegro un poco sostenuto)

Based at the School of Performing Arts, University of Maine, Phillip and Noreen Silver are internationally acclaimed artists. Their most recent CD of music by the German-Jewish composer Bernhard Sekles was released on the Toccata Classics label. MusicWeb International described it as “a really valuable discovery” marked by “flawless playing.”… “thoroughly deserving to be heard by every chamber music lover.” Concert tours in 2015 included the Czech Republic and Israel.

The works performed will be introduced by Phillip Silver.

Admission free

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