Passover passes, and remembrance continues on Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 8th at 9 pm. The composer and guitarist David Leisner tells the story, in Acrobats, of circus performers on a concentration camp-bound train who mistakenly end up at a circus.
Life-and-death decisions are made in split seconds. Raphael Mostel was concerned with the Second World War destruction and eventual liberation of Rotterdam, but as he composed in September 2001, a plane headed to the World Trade Center flew over his building. Shofars and brass shudder in Night and Dawn.
John Morton recalls, by way of a modified music box, a Passover meal’s interlude in The Parting. Conductor Gerard Schwarz is also a composer, and wrote In Memoriam for the passing of a friend. It premiered at a Holocaust memorial concert, and featured as soloist Schwarz’s cellist son Julian.
The Hebrew term for the Red Sea actually translates to “Sea of Reeds,” so that may be the body of water that the Israelites crossed in their Exodus from Egypt. From the Sea of Reeds CD by Gerald Cohen is a work for violin, clarinet, and piano, an extended blues called Variously Blue.
David Leisner: Acrobats
Raphael Mostel: Night and Dawn
John Morton: The Parting
Gerard Schwarz: In Memoriam
Gerald Cohen: Variously Blue
Every Saturday night at 9 pm Eastern, Kile Smith hosts Now Is the Time on WRTI, all styles of contemporary concert music by living American composers on WRTI’s all-classical stream at WRTI.org, and on the WRTI app.