Letter To Kamilla / Various - Letter To Kamilla / Various | RECORD STORE DAY
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Mosaic Voices are the Resident Choir at the New West End Synagogue, in London. The synagogue, designed in 1877 by the Scottish architect George Audsley, is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture, known for it's beautiful choral acoustic. A great deal of the material on this album is therefore music sung by Mosaic Voices, in Hebrew, during religious services and festivals, of which this music forms a functional element. Ochila la'El, El Melech Yoshev, and Avinu Malkeinu are key musical works that form part of the New Year festival liturgy. Shomer Yisrael is sung during the little-known, but beautiful, midnight service of Selichot, which is part of the penitential prayers of the Hebrew month of Elul leading up to the New Year. Tree of Life, Generation to Generation, Yis'mechu, Ein Keloheinu, Uv'nucho Yomar, and Veh'al Kulam are pieces that the ensemble regularly sings at weekly Shabbat services, and form part of the liturgy for those services. The Musical Director, Michael Etherton, writes: 'Exactly eighty years ago, my great grandmother Kamilla wrote a letter to her children. It was 1942. Fortunately, her children had escaped Nazi-occupied Austria, but Kamilla had not been so lucky. She endured four terrifying years of brutality and unimaginable suffering. The letter to her children was the last thing she wrote before being sent to Auschwitz, where she died. She did not know if her letter would ever reach her children. Eighty years later, my vocal ensemble, Mosaic Voices, is writing back to her in the form of an album of Jewish songs. We want Kamilla to know that, although she, her husband, and her sister, Minka, lost their lives in the Holocaust, all her children survived, and lived their lives successfully and happily in Britain, as proud Jewish people. Hitler's mission failed. Her touching letter, which Kamilla wrote in German, has been set to music as one of the songs on this album (Letter from Kamilla). The other tracks that we have chosen to record celebrate the diversity, mysticism, and beauty of the music that Jewish people have brought to the world over time.'