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Joanne Sydney Lessner
Opera News, June 2012

The opening, “Hear My Story Now,” grabs the listener immediately with a forceful instrumental wrench and a clear, impassioned plea to be heard, sung with piercing robustness by tenor Ross Hauck. Throughout the work, the trebles provide a crucial reminder of just how young and alone these children were. Laitman uses the young voices judiciously, contrasting them with the mature ones, which hint at the future the young poets never had.

Laitman’s text setting is straightforward and artful, allowing phrases that evoke memories of a happier life to land with neither irony nor an obvious attempt at emotional manipulation. Her flexible instrumentation, for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, is by turns insistent, warm and oddly hopeful, with filigrees of solo violin in traditionally Hebraic intervals. Mezzo Angela Niederloh sings with passion and rich tone…It is yet another fine example of Laitman’s gracious vocal writing and particular sensitivity to the complicated emotions that any reflection on the Holocaust is bound to conjure. © 2012 Opera News Read complete review

Oleg Ledeniov
MusicWeb International, February 2012

Laitman created a profound work, very touching, not only because of the story behind it, but also because of the quality and depth of music. The story itself could propel interest, but Laitman did not take shortcuts. She put her heart and inventive and perceptive talents into this haunting threnody.

The children’s choir sings excellently. The children tell their story simply and austerely. The voice of Angela Niederloh is strong…Ross Hauck’s tenor is youthful and firm. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Colin Clarke
Fanfare, November 2011

I have waxed lyrical about the music of Lori Laitman previously…I see no reason to adjust my positive impressions of Laitman on the strength of this most recent release of choral music.

Laitman’s music itself is imbued with a humanitarian warmth that seems to complement her leitmotivic structure by underpinning the words with a musical consistency.

Angela Niederloh is a superb mezzo…She seems the perfect choice to lead this disc. The recording quality is top-rank. All texts are included. A most touching experience, and one that further confirms Laitman’s status as one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers.

David W Moore
American Record Guide, September 2011

…another fine expression of feeling, it completes this program effectively…Niederloh is a good singer and this is an important release.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online., June 2011

Something analogous is going on with the new Naxos CD of two works by Lori Laitman (born 1955). The main work here, an oratorio called Vedem, was written last year on commission from Music of Remembrance, a group dedicated to remembering Holocaust musicians through their art. The title refers to a secret magazine created by teenage boy prisoners in the Terezin concentration camp—a magazine whose pages somehow survived the war, although most of the boys did not. Laitman’s work, which sets poetry written by the boys who produced the magazine, is designed to be uplifting, asserting the essential humanity of the youths despite the horrendous conditions in which they found themselves. There is certainly beauty in the setting and in the poetry itself, but strictly on a musical basis, the work is rather ordinary, evoking emotions in expected ways. The same is true of Fathers, written in 2002 and revised last year, which uses poems by Anne Ranasinghe (born Anneliese Katz) and David Vogel to, once again, assert humane values in a time of unrelieved inhumanity. The members of Music of Remembrance perform both works with sensitivity and concern for their underlying emotional basis, and this CD will surely appeal to listeners anxious to remember the Holocaust and those who perished in it.

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