|▼||Symphony No. 4 "Memorial Candles"||61:43|
|I. Visitations (Slow, unhurried) “Someone Blew the Shofar”||20:47|
|II. Manifestations (Steady tempo) “Footsteps”||25:25|
|III. Transcendence (Calm, unhurried) “But Who Emptied Your Shoes of Sand”||15:31|
|▼||Piano Trio No. 2 "Silent Voices"||14:40|
|Piano Trio No. 2 "Silent Voices"||14:40|
Benjamin Lees is the featured composer on this fifth album in Volume 19, Out of the Whirlwind: Musical Reflections of the Holocaust. Listeners familiar with Lees’ work will likely already know his Symphony No. 4, subtitled “Memorial Candles.” An extensive work composed in honor of the victims of the Holocaust—as well as those of other genocidal atrocities—it was intended for premiere on the 40th anniversary of the Allied victory over the Third Reich. At more than an hour in length, it’s a gargantuan work of mostly instrumental forces, but incorporates three thoughtfully set poems by Nellie Sachs. Richly orchestrated and powerful, a Washington Post review of one of its early performances described it, colorfully, as portraying a “’Wailing Wall’ of sound, which the orchestra dismantles with wrecking ball efficiency.”
Lees’ Piano Trio No. 2, subtitled “Silent Voices,” opens with a forceful statement that is developed among all three instruments and serves as the unifying element of the single-movement piece. Described by the composer as a “small gesture of remembrance to those whose voices were forever stilled by pogroms and genocides of the past,” it brings the album to a poignant, if somber, close. It is performed by George Marsh (violin), Steven Honigberg (cello), and Joseph Holt (piano).