In Memoriam: Warsaw 1943

Roger Ames

About this work:
This 'music drama for the concert stage' tells the story of 3 young Jewish people in Poland, from 1937 - 1943. Their hopes, ambitions and aspirations unfold just as Kristallnacht unfolds. Their true-to-life experiences are narrated, Greek style, by a large chorus, who play the roles of Nazis, Jewish families, prisoners of the 'work camps,' and ultimately the spirit center of the lost millions. The work was initially commissioned by the Greensboro Choral and Orchestral Society. Subsequently, the Long Island Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra completed the commission and premiered it in Great Neck, NY under the baton of Frances Roberts, artistic director and conductor. The music is eclectic, but primarily tonal. Some more abstract and aleatoric moments exist in the score, but the songs are written deliberately in an accessible, emotional style, while the choruses are multi-layered, often contrapuntal and sometimes frighteningly dissonant. The music is medium to difficult. The piece culminates in a choral double fugue, followed by the Mourner's Kaddish, set as a chorale in 8 voice parts. The score is rhythmically adventurous, with 5 percussionists, and the orchestration uses the same instruments as Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms.
Version: for 3 singer/actors, large chorus and orchestra
Year composed: 1997
Duration: 01:28:40
Ensemble type: Opera/Theater:Music Theater
Instrumentation: 1 Piccolo, 1 Flute, 2 Oboe, 1 English Horn, 2 Clarinet, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Bassoon, 2 Horn in F, 2 Trumpet, 3 Trombone, 1 Tuba, 1 Timpani, 3 Percussion (General), 1 Xylophone, 1 Piano, 18 Strings (General)
Instrumentation notes: Optional version for piano, organ and cello

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