The Recording and the Road Back to Terezin

May 07, 2019

It is one thing to create art rooted in the greatest tragedy in modern history. It is another to face that history, retracing it, with your work at the apex of the experience for its survivors and new generations.

Composed in 1968, cantor and composer Charles Davidson's "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" had seen many productions before finally being recorded 20 years later by the American Boychoir, to which the work was originally dedicated.

In 1991, American Boychoir was invited to perform the song cycle at the opening of the Ghetto Museum in Theresienstadt… the very place that, 50 years prior, was its atrocious inspiration. It was this occasion that brought the composer to the place where it all began.

Cantor Davidson shared a very personal essay with us on his experience leading up to and during that bittersweet historic performance, in all its ironies and spine-tingling symmetries.

In commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Terezin on May 8, 1945, we have published Cantor Davidson's essay and added the original American Boychoir recording to our collection. We invite you to read the essay and stream the complete recording now:

Essay: The Butterfly Comes Home »

Thank you for helping us to celebrate Jewish Heritage Month and to preserve Jewish culture and history through music.

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