Sunday, October 11, 2015

Song for Sunday: Five Pieces for a String Quartet.

Erwin Schuloff was poised to become one of the premier composers of the 20th century. He was prolific. His music was varied. He was acclaimed.

But, his life was cut short in August 1942. when he died in a Nazi concentration camp. His full potential was never realised.

Many lives were cut short by those concentration camps. Also in the Khmer Rouge, the Armenian genocide, the slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda.

And the shooting of nine students at a community college in Oregon.

Here, we lost a future pediatric nurse, a prayer warrior, an assistant professor of English and many others. We lost a lot of promise, a lot of potential.

As we did in all cases of violence against people.

I heard Schulofff's story at a concert by the Aeolus Quartet which featured Schuloff's Five Pieces for a String Quartet. It was inspiring to hear them, to view them and to speak with them afterwards. They are a group that formed in music school and is dedicated to reaching out to the community with music. They spend a lot of time in schools.

The composition is formed of five dances, including a  Viennese Waltz, a serenade, a Czech folk dance, and a tango. The last movement is a tarantella, a "dance against death." I have made it this week's "Song for Sunday."

This is a link to a perfomance of the fifth movement of the composition, played by the Kontras Quartet. 

Let's "dance" against death, working to end violence in all it's forms. Amen?

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