LSM Newswire

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Seed of Dream

Journal of Singing Hails Laitman's THE SEED OF DREAM on Naxos

"Laitman has an uncommon ability to breathe new life into a text with her music without obscuring its original essence, and she demonstrates that sensitivity here to a remarkable degree."

The Journal of Singing, 2008

New critical acclaim for a Naxos recording of American composer Lori Laitman's 'The Seed of Dream' has been published in an article by Gregory Berg in the November/December 2008 issue of The Journal of Singing. The CD, 'For a Look or a Touch,' includes works by Jake Heggie, Gerard Schwarz and Lori Laitman. All three compositions were commissioned by Music of Remembrance to commemorate the extraordinary musical and artistic gifts of musicians who perished or survived the Holocaust.

The Journal writes: "A worthy companion to Heggie's song cycle is Lori Laitman's The Seed of Dream, in which she sets five poems by Abraham Sutzkever, a gifted Yiddish writer who lived for years in the Jewish ghetto of Vilna, Lithuania, but who eventually managed to escape to the outside world to become a courageous member of the resistance movement in his homeland."

Berg continues with a thorough analysis of the songs and the performers: "Laitman has an uncommon ability to breathe new life into a text with her music without obscuring its original essence, and she demonstrates that sensitivity here to a remarkable degree. ...In "To My Child" Sutzkever is a heartbroken father trying to articulate the sorrow of losing his son, who was murdered by the Nazis. The text is a tortured ride through a maze of conflicting emotions and images, and Laitman's music rides the waves of those emotions without dictating their course. As the poet speaks of feeling the corpse of his child for the first time, Laitman spins out the word "cool" with a brief, subtle, yet exquisitely expressive melisma. When the text abruptly turns from sadness to anger with the words, "how can you shut your eyes, leaving me here," the music reflects that same turn, not with histrionics, but rather with quiet assurance. This is exactly what great song writing is all about.

Laitman achieves similar success in "Beneath the Whiteness of Your Stars," in which she weaves her own music with that of Lithuanian composer Abraham Brudno, who also lived in the Vilna Ghetto and, unlike the poet, did not survive. His main melodic theme, which we hear first in an instrumental interlude, comes from his own setting of this same text, and the combination of Laitman's gentle music with the more vigorous music of Brudno, is an intriguing and captivating combination...The work ends radiantly with a poem about the precious power of memory, which Sutzkever wrote after escaping the ghetto and finding refuge in the woods by Lake Narocz in the winter of 1944. "No sad songs, please," the poet requests, and Laitman sets these words with touching restraint and affection."

Baritone Erich Parce sings these songs with understanding and great care, and he has invaluable collaborators in MOR founder Mina Miller at the piano and Amos Yang on cello. These three musicians achieve remarkable magic here and these beautiful and important songs deserve nothing less." Laitman has been in touch with Abraham Sutzkever and he is very pleased with the song cycle.

Lori Laitman is represented by Jona Rapoport Artist Management.

CD Details:

Naxos 559379, 61 minutes

HEGGIE: For a Look or a Touch; SCHWARZ: In Memoriam; LAITMAN: The Seed of Dream

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