In its focus on the repertoire of composers who fell victim to the totalitarian systems of the 20th century, eda records sought to avoid labeling them with catchwords such as “verfemt” or “entartet” (literally “outlawed” and “degenerate,” terms used in the Third Reich’s persecution of musicians and artists) in order not to practice modern-day ghettoization. The rediscovery of composers such as Viktor Ullmann, Hans Krása, Pavel Haas, and Gideon Klein quickly led to the term “Theresienstadt composers,” which suggests that the musicians somehow belonged together, as if they were part of the same school or artist group. The fact that the Nazis confined them in a concentration camp became their identifying feature, which actually makes it even more difficult to adequately address the composers’ respective biographical particularities and highly disparate stylistic approaches.
As with the other CDs in eda records’ catalogue dedicated to composers who were interned in Terezín and murdered in Auschwitz, it is intended to highlight the context in which they developed and to designate the place they should rightfully claim in European history of music, with all of their individual features. This CD broadens the Terezín-context with world premiere recordings of works by Franz Schreker and Bohuslav Martinů. The Bohemian and Moravian roots of the composers portrayed here manifest themselves in markedly different ways, and amalgamate with later influences into exciting personal styles. Diving into the flair of Paris, a city charged in equal measure with surrealism as well as neoclassicism, was of decisive importance to both Krása and Martinů. The world premiere recording of Franz Schreker’s dance play Der Wind (The Wind), which oscillates between impressionism and fin de siècle longing (written in 1910 for the Wiesenthal sisters in Vienna), foreshadows other focal points in eda records’ catalogue, such as the exploration of the origins of expressive dance (eda 13, Schreker/Toch) or Schreker’s impact as a teacher in Vienna and Berlin (eda 17, 19, 24).
Franz Schreker: Scherzo for String Orchestra (c. 1900)
Franz Schreker: Der Wind (1908/09)
Hans Krása: Overture for Small Orchestra (1934/44)
Pavel Haas: Study for String Orchestra (1943)
Bohuslav Martinů: String Sextett arranged for String Orchestra by Martinů (1948)