Jonathan Leshnoff
Naxos 8.559398

Total Playing Time: 55:56
Violin Concerto
Wetherbee, Charles, violin
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
Thakar, Markand, Conductor
1. Allegro (5mn 28s )
2. Slow (8mn 04s )
3. Scherzo (4mn 04s )
4. Slow - Fast (4mn 15s )
5. Elegy (3mn 25s )

6. Distant Reflections (10mn 54s )
Wetherbee, Charles, violin
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra
Thakar, Markand, Conductor

String Quartet No. 1, "Pearl German"
Carpe Diem String Quartet
7. Winter (6mn 03s )
8. Spring (3mn 50s )
9. Summer (5mn 03s )
10. Autumn (5mn 19s )

“I once heard a story from a Holocaust survivor. He told me that in a certain camp, the SS guards lined the inmates up and forced difficult labor. To insult the prisoners further, the SS would require that the inmates sing Nazi propaganda songs, which they did. However, as the guards advanced farther up in the line, the prisoners in the back of the line would infuse prayer into the melody of the propaganda song. The story haunted me for a long time. …I had to do something with this story, but I did not know what. My solution came in the structure of this concerto. The second movement is a sustained adagio. The harmonies are quite poignant, and the tone is contemplative. This, to me, represents the prayer of the survivor. This sustained ‘prayerful’ moment is juxtaposed by several agitated and restless movements, which utilize motives of the second movement. The elegiac fifth movement, following a large climax at the end of the fourth movement, brings all elements of the concerto to an introspective close. The integration of the prayerful motives in various textures represents the courage and faith of the inmates that transcended their immediate environment. This work does not use quotation of liturgical prayer or programmatic representation of the concentration camps.”