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Rivkele and the Forgotten Musicians for Woodwind Quintet

By John Gibson

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Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Woodwind Quintet, Horn in F - Advanced - Digital Download
Composed by John Gibson. 21st Century, Recital. Score, Set of Parts. 59 pages. Published by JB Linear (S0.552679).

Item Number: S0.552679

Rivkele and the Forgotten Musicians for Woodwind Quintet (Clarinet Soloist) by John Gibson. This piece is dedicated to those  forgotten musicians who were made to use their craft to extend their lives  while imprisoned in concentration camps during the Holocaust. The readings are from  survivor’s memoirs and spoken by the French Horn player.

During my  research before composing this piece, I discovered that most of the  concentration camps had an orchestra of sorts. They were to play light music  such as marches or popular songs including tangos. It seems the Nazi's felt  that American jazz was decadent, but tangos were acceptable, and there was  already a tradition of popular Yiddish tangos prior to the war. “Rivkele” is a Polish name for “Rebecca” and the title of a Yiddish tango from which I drew  inspiration.

The sometimes brutal subject matter dictates how the music must respond, although there are times of quiet beauty and a single note of hope at the very end. The piece takes about 13 minutes and is for very advanced performers.

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