“Patricia Hall went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in 2016 hoping to learn more about the music performed by prisoners in World War II death camps,” writes Jeff Karoub in Tuesday’s (11/27) Associated Press. “The University of Michigan music theory professor heard there were manuscripts, but she was ‘completely thrown’ by what she found in the card catalogs: Unexpectedly upbeat and popular songs titles that translated to ‘The Most Beautiful Time of Life’ and ‘Sing a Song When You’re Sad,’ among others…. Subsequent trips to the Polish museum over the next two years led her to several handwritten manuscripts arranged and performed by the prisoners, and ultimately, the first performance of one of those manuscripts since the war…. Sensing the historical importance of resurrecting music for modern audiences, Hall enlisted the aid of university professor Oriol Sans, director of the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, and graduate student Josh Devries, who transcribed the parts into music notation software.… Last month, the ensemble [recorded] ‘The Most Beautiful Time of Life’, and it plans to perform the work Friday during a free concert at the university.” The U-M Contemporary Directions Ensemble performs the work at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, with a livestream available at myumi.ch/LPw4o.
Posted November 30, 2018