Hans Gál: Book and CD launch

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Hans Gál: Book and CD launch

  • Mon 19 Jan 2015
  • 6:30PM
Imported 2093
Imported 2093

Central Synagogue

40 Hallam StreetLondon W1N 6NW


In 1940 the celebrated Austrian composer Hans Gál, having escaped to Britain from the Nazi horrors, found himself incarcerated as an ‘Enemy Alien’ at Huyton, near Liverpool, and then on the Isle of Man. For the first time the diary Gál kept during his captivity has been translated into English and published by Toccata Press, entitled Music behind Barbed Wire: A Diary of Summer 1940.

The diary is a vivid account of personal survival and creativity in extraordinary circumstances. It illuminates the deprivations and intrinsic absurdity of imprisoning Hitler’s most dedicated enemies, but also the resourcefulness with which these refugees, thrown together in captivity, were able to create intellectual and musical nourishment.

There will be readings from the diary and live music from What a Life!, a satirical revue produced by the internees with music by Gál. It will include songs from the revue and a performance of the ‘Ballad of Poor Jacob’ (the story of the eternal wandering Jew). The performers are Tom Guthrie (baritone and reader), Norbert Meyn (tenor and reader) and Michael Freyhan (piano).

Hans Gál: The Four Symphonies, conducted by Kenneth Woods with The Orchestra of the Swan, will also be launched at this event, as a double CD set. These highly acclaimed recordings mark the first integral cycle of the Gál symphonies ever recorded, gathered here for the first time in a single volume.  Avie’s previous all-Gál recordings include the complete string trios, complete works for solo piano, the complete sonatas for violin and piano, and the Concerto and Concertino for Violin and Orchestra, coupled with the Triptych for Orchestra.

Kenneth Woods, who featured throughout the week when Gál was Radio 3’s ‘Composer of the Week’ (May 2014), will provide an engaging overview with ample musical examples of this remarkable symphonic cycle.

Further information and review copies

Toccata Press Martin Anderson martin@toccatapress.com
Avie Records Melanne@musiciinternational.com   
Hans Gál Society  tanya@hansgalsociety.org

JMI podcast with interviews with Eva Fox-Gál and Martin Anderson here: http://www.mixcloud.com/jewishmusicinstitute/hans-gal-music-behind-barbed-wire  

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