Performing Remembrance with A Survivor from Warsaw
The composer and critic Pauline Hall appears to have been the driving force behind the Norwegian premiere of A Survivor, which took place in Oslo on March 21, 1954, and was conducted by Heinz Freudenthal. Hall was chair of the national section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), known as Ny Musik, and had heard Scherchen conduct the work in Vienna in 1951. The only other piece on the concert was Darius Milhaud's Sacred Service, with Swedish cantor Leo Rosenbluth as soloist. The concert program is read as an attempt to bring the Norwegian Holocaust into a public discourse about the war that had become defined by the national narrative of the country's resistance movement against the Nazis. The small number of Jewish casualties (776) made it easy to ignore the fact that that number nevertheless amounted to half of of Norway's Jews, as well as the fact that harm had been inflicted by Norwegians, as well as Germans. Numerous concert reviews are analyzed.
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