Santa Monica Concert to Commemorate Kristallnacht
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP
By Jorge Casuso
October 25, 2013 -- On the night of November 9, 1938, Nazi mobs stormed through Germany and parts of Austria ransacking Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues, killing 91 Jews and incarcerating 30,000 others in concentration camps.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht -- the Night of Broken Glass -- Santa Monica-based Jacaranda will stage a concert in the bayside city of music by Jewish composers.
“The concert will travel musically from the Jewish quarter to Hollywood via trains across the U.S. and Europe,” said Patrick Scott, Jacaranda’s artistic director.
The Jewish quarter will be evoked by Samuel Adler’s “Klezmer Fantasy” for solo clarinet. The son of a cantor, Adler was born in Germany and fled with his family to the U.S. in 1939.
Eric Zeisl’s “Hebrew Requiem” resumes the musical journey. Born in Vienna, Zeisl ended up in the film capitol cranking out scores for a stream of movies, including “Lassie Come Home” in 1943, the “Postman Always Rings Twice” in 1946 and “Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man” in 1951.
Zeisl was eventually able to trade the drudgery of Hollywood for academia, giving him time to compose more serious works. While his compositions were in a traditional vein, those of fellow LA resident and
UCLA professor Arnold Schoenberg were groundbreaking.
Considered the father of atonal music, Schoenberg created a method of composing using the 12-tone row that would set the course of 20th Century music.
The Jacaranda Chamber Singers will perform two of the modern master’s brief unaccompanied choral works about peace and endurance, “Friede auf Erden” (Peace on Earth) and “De Profundis,” which is set to the Hebrew-language text of Psalm 130 and uses the tone row.
The centerpiece of the concert is American composer Steve Reich’s Different Trains for string quartet and pre-recorded tracks, which won the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
The work uses train sounds and interviews with Americans and Europeans, including three Holocaust survivors, who recall the years before, during and after World War II. Reich, who is considered one of the early exponents of Minimalism, employs the “speech melody” technique he developed to turn the speck and ambient sounds into music.
The concert will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 2nd Street on Saturday November 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 and $20 for students. For more information visit jacarandamusic.org or call 213.483.0216.