I Have Taken An Oath To Remember
Art Songs of the Holocaust
Transcontinental Music Publications 950094
Paulina Stark, soprano
Robert Stern, piano
Nadine Shank, piano
Lazar Weiner (1897 - 1982) was born in Cherkassy, Belosrussia. He received his early music training at the choir school of the Brodsky Synagogue in Kiev and at the Kiev Conservatory. He immigrated to the United States in 1914, settling in New York City where he worked as a vocal coach, accompanist and piano teacher. He was one of the most active Jewish musicians of this century in the United States, where he organized and conducted hundreds of people in the Workmen's Circle Choirs throughout the United States, served as the music director of Central Synagogue in New York City for more than 40 years and served on the faculties of the Schools of Sacred Music, both at Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He composed more than 300 works in all genres. He was often referred to as the "Schubert of Yiddish Art Song".
Larry Zimmerman has led two diverse careers, one as a military officer/systems engineer, and the other as a composer, pianist and conductor. His first career was spent in the United States Navy as a flight officer onboard the E-2C Hawkeye, operating off various aircraft carriers. On one of his Navy tours, he directed the Naval Air Training Command Choir, performing extensively throughout the country. He currently is an employee of a small Defense Department consulting firm (Whitney Bradley and Brown) in Vienna, Virginia. Two of his major works include "Wind Songs," a song cycle dedicated to the young people of Terezin and his piece "I Thank Thee Lord." The latter piece utilizes the poetry of CDR Ralph Gaither an American prisoner of war held captive in North Vietnam for seven years which is scored for men's chorus and orchestra. His music is published by Transcontinental Music and some of his compositions were recorded while serving in the Navy. He has a Master of Arts degree from the Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies and is a recent graduate of George Mason University with a Master of Arts with an emphasis on composition.
Robert Stern (1934- ) was educated at the Eastman School of Music and UCLA. His teachers include Louis Mennini, Kent Kennan, Wayne Barlow, Bernard Rogers, Lukas Foss, and Howard Hanson. He has received grants from the NEA, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Martha Baird Rockerfeller Fund for Music, and ASCAP. Stern has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony for the Arts, Yaddo, and the Alfred University Summer Place. His Yam Hamelach (The Dead Sea) won a second prize in the Premio Musicale Citta di Trieste in 1979. Mr. Stern presently teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Helen Greenberg (1939- ), composer, singer and conductor, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Following completion of a BA in English and Secondary Education from Goucher College, she moved to Montreal and later to Toronto. Ms. Greenberg studied composition with Oskar Morawetz, Edward Luafer and Srul Irving Glick. She has written a large body of secular and liturgical works using Hebrew, Yiddish and English texts. Her works are being widely performed in concerts throughout Canada and the United States.
Simon Sargon (1938- ) was born in Bombay, India, of Sephardic-Indian and Ashkenazic-Russian descent and was brought to the United States as an infant. He took private piano lessons with Mieczyslaw Horszowski and studied music theory at Brandeis University, from which he graduated magna cum laude. He went on to study composition at Juilliard under Vincent Persichetti and at the Aspen School of Music under Darius Milhaud. Mr. Sargon taught at Sarah Lawrence College from 1965-1968 and served as the head of the Voice Department of the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem from 1971-1974. In 1974, he was appointed the director of music at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, and in 1984 he joined the music faculty of Southern Methodist University, where he currently serves as a professor of composition. Mr. Sargon's works are published by Transcontinental Music Publications, Boosey and Hawkes, Southern Music, and Lawson-Gould. He is listed in Baker's Biography and the International Who's Who in Music (eleventh edition). His work as both composer and pianist can be heard on the New World, Crystal, Ongaku, and Gasparo labels. Two CDs devoted entirely to his compositions have been issued by Gasparo: Shema (Transcontinental 950033, GSCD 318), featuring works published by Transcontinental Music, and A Clear Midnight (GSCD 333).
Michael Horvit (1932- ) received his BM and MM from Yale University and his DMA from Boston University. He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, Walter Piston, Quincy Porter and Gardner Reed. Dr. Horvit has been the recipient of awards from ASCAP, BMI, National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has had numerous commissions from the Houston Symphony Orchestra, among others. His compositions encompass a wide variety of traditional media as well as work with electronic processes. Dr. Horvit is the director of the New Music Ensemble and chairman of the composition and theater departments at the University of Houston School of Music. He served for many years as music director of Congregation Emanuel in Houston. His works are widely published. All of his works of Jewish interest are published with Transcontinental Music.
Max Helfman (1901-1963) was born in Radzyn, Poland. After immigrating with his family to New York in 1909, he attended various music schools after which he received a three-year fellowship to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. After relocating to California, Helfman served as music director at the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and Temple Israel of Hollywood, among others. From 1944 to 1961, he served as head of the music department at the Brandeis Arts Institute in Santa Susana. At Brandeis, Helfman influenced such younger composers as Jack Gottlieb, Charles Feldman and Yehudi Wyner. In 1961, he founded the School of Fine Arts at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and later became the founding dean of the School of Fine Arts at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City. Helfman's compositions show an array of musical styles featuring Jewish themes. His works include Israeli folk melodies, sacred choral compositions, secular vocal music for solo and chorus, preludes for organ, a violin sonata, chamber music, ballet music, and song arrangements. Helfman's Friday evening service, Shabbat Kodesh (1942), is considered his most successful and enduring work. He led the Philharmonic Choral Society, the Bach-Handel Society, the Jewish Music Alliance Chorus (New York), and the Paterson Singing Society. Helfman was known as a charismatic conductor, composer, teacher and lecturer.