After The Darkness

The Hague String Trio

(8 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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Nearly 75 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 compositions 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.

The Trio members tell us “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 color 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 humor.

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.”

The Hague String Trio
Justyna Briefjes – Violin
Julia Dinerstein – Viola
Miriam Kirby – Cello


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Passacaglia - Sehr ruhig
Fuga - Allegro molto
Tanec - Presto
String Trio - Allegro
String Trio - Lento
String Trio - Molto vivace
String Trio Serenade - Andante
String Trio Serenade - Adagio
String Trio Serenade - Allegro
Trio a cordes - Maestoso
Trio - Allegro con moto
Trio - Andante
Trio - Moderato assai

Total time: 01:01:05

Additional information





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Analog to Digital Converters

Hapi, Merging Technologies


Acoustic Revive

Editing Software

Pyramix, Merging Technologies

Mastering Engineer

Tom Peeters


B&K 4003, modified by Rens Heijnis


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Original Recording Format


Tom Peeters

Recording Engineer

Tom Peeters

Recording Location

Koepelkerk in Renswoude, The Netherlands during July 2018

Recording Type & Bit Rate



KEF 105.3

Release DateJanuary 25, 2019

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

The sound quality of this recording is superb—direct, dynamic, detailed, and very natural. Tom Peeters has done a terrific job of capturing both the timbre and detail of the instruments, but also the acoustic space in which they are performing. This is very close to my ideal for a chamber music recording. The music is great, and the sound quality is top of the pile. What are you waiting for?

BBC Music Magazine, May 2019 4 out of 5

This outstanding music burns bright, and The Hague String Trio brings energy and soul to this heartfelt collection. A highpoint of the disc is a world premiere recording of Dick Kattenburg’s Trio à cordes, completed on the brink of World War II, when Jewish participation in professional musical life effectively vanished…Concise and powerful, the trio is a vibrant single-movement work packed with invention, and performed here with dizzying verve.

Gramophone, July 2019

The Hague Trio’s accounts of Klein’s Trio, Krása’s Passacaglia and Fugue and Tanec (‘Dance’, a miniature tone poem on the idea of dance) are nothing if not competitive with the best of their rivals (listed below). Their ensemble is as tight as their collective intonation is sure, and they bring a keen expressivity to these scores written under appalling conditions. Rival recordings tend to couple them with music by other ‘Holocaust’ composers, though Weiner and Kattenburg will be new names to most collectors. Kattenburg (1919 44), a one-time pupil of Willem Pijper, was for many years known only by a flute sonata until the chance location of a box of manuscripts in an attic in 2004. His compact Trio is a real find. Weiner studied with Kodály, whose influence is manifest throughout this charming Serenade.

Pizzicato, May 2019 5 out of 5

Sie gestalten die Werke mit technischer Raffinesse und einem stupenden Gefühl für die Stimmungen. Die ruhelosen gehetzten Passagen überzeugen mit ihrer Intensität und Unnachgiebigkeit. Das kurze Trio von Kattenburg stellen sie als Ersteinspielung in einer überzeugenden Interpretation vor. Das Andante in Weinbergs Trio ist einer der wenigen melancholischen Ruhepunkte auf dieser Aufnahme. Eingefangen hat die Technik das Spiel mit einem warmen, aber keinesfalls verwaschenen Klang, der verhindert, dass diese Musik zu trostlos wird.===String Trios written by composers who suffered from totalitarianism show the high quality of a music created under difficult circumstances. The Hague String Trio plays intensely and atmospherically, so making this a really rewarding and exciting release.

MusicWeb International, April 2019

There’s a well-researched booklet note to read and an unproblematic, well-balanced recording to enjoy. The performances are very persuasive and the programme balanced and attractive.

Music Frames, March 2019

‘After the Darkness’ is een schitterend album, waar violiste Justyna Briefjes, altvioliste Julia Dinerstein en celliste Miriam Kirby van het The Hague String Trio de zwarte-2de-W.O.-bladzijde transformeren tot fabelachtige muziek die ze met zeel veel verve uitvoeren! == ‘After the Darkness’ is a beautiful album, where violinist Justyna Briefjes, viola player Julia Dinerstein and cellist Miriam Kirby of The Hague String Trio transform the black-2nd-W.O.-history into fabulous music which they perform with great verve!

De Gelderlander, maart 2019 5 out of 5

Het driedelige Strijktrio van Klein werd voltooid ruim een week voordat de componist Theresienstadt moest verlaten voor het werken in een kolenmijn nabij het vernietigingskamp Auschwitz. Ook hier speelt volksmuziek een belangrijke rol. Met name in de contrastrijke variaties over een Moravisch lied. Briefjes, Dinerstein en Kirby spelen in dit tweede deel hun sterkste troeven uit. De kleuren en de accenten laten de luisteraar haast in trance achter. Ongelofelijk dat destijds zoveel moois kon ontstaan te midden van de afschuwelijke realiteit van een concentratiekamp….In de catalogus van het Nederlands Muziek Instituut in Den Haag ontdekten de dames van The Hague String Trio het manuscript van Trio à cordes van de jonge Dick Kattenburg uit Bussum. Ze verzorgen hier de schitterende wereldpremière van het magnifieke, zeer eigenzinnige eendelige werkje uit 1937-1939. Kamermuziekliefhebbers mogen zich deze kans niet laten ontgaan. Adembenemend. — Maarten-Jan Dongelmans

Opus Klassiek, febr 2019

Het Haagse Strijktrio (2006) bracht op het Nederlandse Cobra-label onder de naam ‘After the Darkness’, de titel ontleend aan het gelijknamige boek van Elie Wiesel, deze cd uit die in het teken staat van de reeds eerder genoemde vier componisten wier leven door de nazi’s werden verwoest: Hans Krása (1899-1944), Gideon Klein (1919-1945), László Weiner (1916-1944) en Dick Kattenburg (1919-1944).


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