A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration

MUSIC IN WARTIME: A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration

Thursday, December 7 at 7:30 pm
The Washington National Cathedral

William Sharp, baritone
Alexander Shtarkman, piano
Netanel Draiblate, violin
Benjamin Capps, cello
Members of PostClassical Ensemble
conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
The Cathedral Choir conducted by Michael McCarthy
Commentary by James Loeffler

Hanns Eisler: Workers’ Choruses
                          The Hollywood Songbook (excerpts)
Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2
Arnold Schoenberg: The Ode to Napoleon

For Pearl Harbor Day, we juxtapose galvanizing responses to World War II by Dmitri Shostakovich, Arnold Schoenberg, and Hanns Eisler. With the Cathedral Choir and members of PCE conducted by Michael McCarthy and Angel Gil-Ordóñez.

This program, including FDR’s declaration of war on Japan, begins with a wartime Eisler/Brecht workers’ song sung as a processional.

In direct response to FDR’s “day of infamy” speech, Arnold Schoenberg — a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany — composed a furious indictment of Hitler that also expressed his passionate admiration for President Roosevelt: the “Ode to Napoleon.”

In his program notes for “Music in Wartime,” Joe Horowitz writes of Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2:

In September 1941 Shostakovich’s home city of Leningrad was circled by Nazi soldiers. The siege – the most devastating in recorded history – lasted until January 1944. It cost some three million military and civilian lives. Like so many Soviet artists and intellectuals, Shostakovich was evacuated to safety. But the fate of Leningrad, and of Russia generally, was the inescapable topic of Shostakovich’s wartime music…READ MORE: FULL PROGRAM NOTES

Alexander Shtarkman
WIlliam Sharp