Commissioned by Music of Remembrance
Lori Laitman, composer; Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, poet
Megan Chenovick, soprano; Benjamin Hausmann, oboe; Mina Miller, piano
"In Sleep the World is Yours" is a song cycle based on the poignant poetry of Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, who died at 18 in a Nazi labor camp. Selma was a first cousin of the famous poet Paul Celan. Laitman offers the following remarks:
"What I found inspiring about Selma’s poetry was that she was able to speak the truth in simple but clear poetic language. Behind the apparent simplicity of her words, however, was a depth of feeling and thought that, for me as a composer, was very exciting — because when setting a poem to music, I look for words that an audience can grasp aurally —but also for an underlying complexity that provides me with opportunities for creating dramatic music to illuminate the text. In this respect, Selma’s poems were perfect."
The above video is a stirring clip of “Lullaby” from the world premiere in Seattle on May 12, 2014. Music of Remembrance (MOR) is a Seattle-based non-profit organization dedicated to remembering the Holocaust through music. In addition to introducing audiences to the art and lives of Holocaust-era musicians, its unique commissioning program has offered opportunities for today's leading composers to create daring new works inspired by the Holocaust, creating testimonies for tomorrow and building living bridges with a new generation of artists and audiences. "In Sleep the World Is Yours" is MOR's eighteenth commission since 1998.