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Brundibar - A Opera for Children

Feature: Brundibar und die Kinder von Theresienstadt

By Hans Krasa

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Feature: Brundibar und die Kinder von Theresienstadt. Composed by Hans Krasa (1899-1944). 2 CDs. Duration 86'. Eda records #EDA 15. Published by eda records (M7.EDA-15).

Item Number: M7.EDA-15

Hans Krasa's children's opera 'Brundibar' has now come to be known throughout the world as a synonym for the music of Terezin, the ghetto in Northern Bohemia which gained its tragic fame as a 'model concentration camp' in the 1940s by becoming an involuntary residence for Jewish intelligencia and countless Jewish artists deported by the Nazis (above all composers and musicians). The camp administration organised 'recreational activities' to create a mock reality of Potemkin proportions for the international public, which became much, much more for the imprisoned participants in the regular concerts, presentations and theatre and opera performances: a recipe for survival. But the masks and curtains fell after the inglorious visit from the Red Cross in the autumn of 1944, which concluded in the presentation of several scenes from Brundibar: hundreds of artists were sent to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, including the last cast of the children's opera Brundibar, which by that time had put on no fewer than 55 performances in Terezin. Its creator Hans Krasa arrived at the camp in 1943. Conductor Rafael Schachter, who was also interred there, succeeded in smuggling in Krasa's piano score from the opera (which had already been composed in Prague in 1938), and Krasa proceeded to write a new full score for it. In this recording, eda records presented this Terezin version of this most magical children's opera of the 20th century for the first time in German; it was accompanied by a radio feature by Hannelore Brenner-Wonschick, in which the author recounts the biography of this musical gem and the life stories of several of its protagonists through the voices of contemporary witnesses.

  • Hans Krasa: Brundibar: Eine Oper fur Kinder (1938/43) 
  • Brundibar und die Kinder von Theresienstadt: Feature von Hannelore Wonschick 

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