The Bay Area’s Ensemble for These Times (E4TT) will present the centerpiece concert of its Tenth Anniversary Season, entitled Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan, on April 15 in San Francisco. E4TT is comprised of Nanette McGuinness – soprano, Dale Tsang – piano, and Anne Lerner-Wright – cello, and they will be joined by Laura Reynolds – English horn and Ilana Blumberg Thomas – violin.
“Once/Memory/Night: Paul Celan” focuses on one of the most important post-WWII poets, who greatly influenced 20th Century European literature. Born to a German-speaking Romanian Jewish family, Celan was profoundly affected by the rise of Nazism. His parents perished in a concentration camp and he barely survived a forced labor camp, only to commit suicide in 1970. His poems—written in German, his mother tongue—speak to his experience of loss, imprisonment, and survival under fascism. The themes in his work—the rise of fascism, “strong men” leaders, and nations marching to the drumbeat of nationalism—deeply resonate today with the global right-wing resurgence; these themes are the force behind “Once/Memory/Night.”
The concert program includes the world premieres of three new E4TT commissions, two to poetry by Celan—Die Eichne Tuer by David Garner, co-founder and co-director of E4TT, and Nachtlang by Jared Redmond—and A Song for the End of the World by Stephen Eddins, written to poetry by Celan’s contemporary, Nobel Prize winning Polish poet Czesław Miłosz. The program also features 4 ½ by Libby Larsen and Mémoire de l’ombre (from E4TT’s 56×54 Call for Scores series) by Polish composer Aleksandra Kaca. Garner and Eddins will speak at the concert.
[Sources: press release, e4tt.org]