Piano Works by Jewish Composers 1922-1943
Zefir Records ZEF 9669
Marcel Worms, piano

  1. Szymon Laks (1901 – 1983) : - Blues 5:47
  2. Dick Kattenburg (1919 – 1944) : - Novelette (1941) 3:21
  3. Paul Hermann (1902 – 1944) : - Toccata 3:54
  4. Mischa Hillesum (1920 – 1943) : - Prélude No 1 6:58
Nico Richter (1915 – 1945) : - Sonatine (1934)
  5. I 1:00
  6. II 1:28
  7. III 0:54
Erwin Schulhoff (1894 – 1942) : Studies (2) WV 119
  8. Composition optimiste 2:36
  9. Marche des travailleurs tchèques 2:57
Viktor Urbancic (1903-1958) :  - Sonatina In G
10 I. Geschwind 7:20
11. II. Romanze 3:37
12. III. Möglischt rasch 2:53
Gideon Klein (1919 – 1945) : - Sonate
13. I. Allegro con fuoco 4:27
14. II. Adagio 2:32
15. III. Allegro 2:40
Leo Smit (1900 – 1943)
16. à Sherlock Holmes 3:56
17. à Remington 3:36
Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919 – 1996) : - Sonate No 1
18. I. Adagio 5:21
19. II. Allegretto 2:42
20. III. Andantino 2:59
21. IV. Allegro molto 3:46


La Seconde Guerre mondiale a laissé un énorme vide dans la communauté juive européenne.
Cela était naturellement vrai aussi de la vie musicale juive: de nombreux musiciens et compositeurs ont été victimes de la persécution nazie.
La seule chose qui relie ces compositeurs les uns aux autres est leur origine juive.
On ne trouve généralement pas d’éléments juifs spécifiques dans leur musique. La musique qu'ils composaient était assez variée.
Avec leur mort, souvent leur musique a également disparu de l'intérêt public et de la mémoire collective.
Maintenant, Marcel Worms pensait qu'il était temps d'enregistrer un certain nombre d'œuvres pour piano de compositeurs juifs de l'entre-deux-guerres.
L'approche du 75e anniversaire de la libération des Pays-Bas en 2020 a donné une urgence supplémentaire à ce souhait.
Le répertoire dans lequel il a pu choisir est vaste et de nouvelles œuvres font encore surface.

We can safely call Marcel Worms the ambassador of persecuted and forgotten composers. For his latest CD, he has recorded piano works by composers from various European countries: the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France and Austria.
Not only the countries of origin are different, the compositions written between 1922 and 1943 also vary a lot. From jazzy and swinging through romantic, virtuoso and modest to an attempt at serialism.
The composers all have one factor in common: they were Jewish and all but three (Weinberg, Laks and Urbancic) did not survive the war. Weinberg fled to the Soviet Union, Urbancic (who was not actually Jewish but his wife and children were) to Iceland.
And Laks was very lucky to survive Auschwitz, as the bandmaster of the camp orchestra." The CD starts spectacularly with ‘Blues’ by Szymon Laks. It is unknown when this wonderful work was composed.
For myself, I think of the early 1930s. Dick Kattenburg’s ‘Novolette’ from 1941 fits in perfectly with this work. As well as the very rhythmic ‘Toccata’ by Paul Hermann.
The ‘Prelude’ by Mischa Hillesum (Etty’s brother) is another story.
The composition is strongly anchored in romance: never are Chopin and Rachmaninoff far away; and the two Hommage-pieces (to Sherlock Holmes and to Remmington) by Leo Smit, that you can’t actually ‘store’ anywhere, are simply delightful.
Victor Urbancic is a big unknown to me, it is the first time that I hear from him.
That is not very strange: his compositions are completely forgotten and the 1922 ‘Sonatine’ has its recorded premiere here. I don’t really love it, which may be due to my unfamiliarity with his idiom.
Wentholt What I really do love is the irresistible playing by the pianist. Marcel Worms plays as if his life depended on it. Full of conviction and a real pianistic zest.
English translation: Frans