Showing posts from April, 2020

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 19th April - 16th May 1943 - 77th Anniversary

In a history increasingly bleached by time, Warsaw suffered gross physical destruction by the Nazis, murderous repressions without parallel in revenge for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising from 19th April - 16th May 1943 and the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944. 

The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest and most infamous of the Nazi ghettos where a total of almost 480,000 Jews[1] died from either disease, malnutrition, execution or simply murdered at Treblinka. In the ghetto it was said that everyone had ‘death in his eyes’ or ‘a skull instead of a face’.[2] The creation of it necessitated the displacement of over two hundred thousand Poles and Jews from their homes and businesses. A popular saying among Germans at the time was ‘The Poles we hate instinctively; the Jews we hate in accordance with orders.’[3] The displaced lost everything. 
The Germans divided the ghetto into three main sections. In the ‘Little Ghetto’ wealthy Jews and the intelligentia lived well. 

The pianist Władisław Szpilman (known…

The Social Distancing Music Festival - Exploring those 'espaces imaginaires'

During this time of chronic and unaccustomed isolation over Easter, I sit at home reading, writing and practising the harpsichord and piano. A grey mist has descended over all our lives and everything we do. All the while I contemplate the sad demise this year of the many sublime music festivals and competitions I usually cover in such detail on this internet journal - the Leipzig Bach, the Chopin Nohant, Chopin and his Europe, Duszniki Zdroj, Music for Peace in Japan, the great International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition held every five years in Warsaw, which may or may not take place in October 2020.
It occurred to me that I could cover, perhaps describe, as a sort of recompense, what Chopin so tellingly referred to as his espaces imaginaires. Music conceived but without an audienceThis might consist of the many stories of disappointed hopes that must  lie out there with classical musicians and my readers due to suddenly cancelled concerts, recitals, the music of religious fest…