After the Darkness
Nearly seventy-five years after the liberation of May 1945, World War II still plays a substantial role in European politics, in our thinking and our actions. We are now at a remove of three generations from World War II and are still discovering new facts, still confronted with new insights, still finding new testimonials from those times. In a certain sense, this album also belongs to the category of recently discovered testimonials from the dark years between 1933 and 1945. Everywhere freedom of speech was restricted, and not only in Europe. Moreover, several generations of Jewish composers and performing musicians seemed simply to have disappeared. Not until a quarter of a century after the war did people start to ‘discover’, little by little, just how much music had been lost through the war. Yet today, unknown compositi- ons from those years are regularly discovered, and works thought to have been lost are found again.
The music performed on this album is by Jewish composers whose lives were destroyed in World War II by persecution, murder or exile.
"After The Darkness is a project that lies close to our hearts. It is a privilege to let the music of these composers be heard and to create a lasting testament so their voices will never be forgotten. The title of this album refers to the book by Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel, After the Darkness: Reflections on the Holocaust.
It was an exciting challenge to choose the music for our recording from all the wonderful repertoire we have been playing for years and continue to discover. Whilst searching through the catalogue of the Nederlands Muziek Instituut, we came upon the one movement Trio à cordes by Dick Kattenburg. Seeing the original manuscript made a big impression on us: the neat handwriting contrasting with crossings out and corrections, a half-page colour drawing of himself and his friends playing the string trio together and comic doodles scribbled in the margins. Suddenly this was not just a distant, unknown composer, but a man with a personality who clearly had a sense of humour.
Collaborating with the Leo Smit Stichting and Eltjo de Lange was a very special experience, deciphering the manuscripts together to create a version for Donemus to publish, so that this trio will be accessible to everyone. Through this album it is our sincere hope that this wonderful music shall live on After the Darkness."
- Justyna, Julia & Miriam
The Hague String Trio