SCHOENBERG MEETS STRAVINSKY!
Now that I have your attention, let's try this again, as my first posting about this yielded few views.
This may be a brief piece, but it is a major one for me and posthumously for the author. Know that this is #1 of 2 planned scenes, the 2nd one will likely be around 3 times longer or so; I have only just begun to compose it.
I am fortunate to be the only person given blanket gratis permission to set the words of Abraham Koplowicz to music. He composed a book of poetry, plays, and artwork while imprisoned in the Lodz Ghetto before perishing later in Auschwitz before he could become a Bar Mitzvah. The contents of that book are quite good, sophisticated for his age. Abraham's late half-brother, Eliezer Grynfeld—who found the book in the 1990s—and I eventually became good friends. The Pope once kissed Eliezer's hand. That is how highly regarded this collection is and, by some stroke of luck or fate, I have got exclusive musical rights to the book until it enters the public domain.
In my setting of AT THE CLOTHING DEPARTMENT, I combine the musical language of Schoenberg's A SURVIVOR FROM WARSAW very nearly with the instrumentation of Stravinsky's A SOLDIER'S TALE (so far only with some added mallet percussion). The musical language of this brief opera scene is thus appropriately terse, very much in keeping with the oppressiveness of imprisonment.
Please have a look and a listen. Thank you for your consideration.
The sheet music is available from the composer and from Sheet Music Plus.
At the Clothing Department (W odzieżowym) - Chamber Version
A Three-minute Opera Scene for Six Vocal Soloists and Chamber Ensemble and Live or Pre-recorded Crowd Noise
Words originally in Polish by Abraham (“Abramek”) Koplowicz (b. 1930, Lodz, Poland, d. 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau) Translation by Sarah Lawson and Małgorzata Koraszewska Adapted by Stanley M. Hoffman
Translation by Sarah Lawson and Małgorzata Koraszewska.
© Copyright 1993 by Eliezer Grynfeld. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Eliezer Grynfeld.
Adapted by permission of Sarah Lawson and Małgorzata Koraszewska. Libretto by Stanley M. Hoffman.
Music by Stanley M. Hoffman
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Music: © Copyright 2020, 2023 by Stanley M. Hoffman. www(dot)stanleymhoffman(dot)com All rights reserved.