25 Sep 2002 Jewish Chronicle

Jewish Chronicle, 4 October 2002

KEY MOMENT – Malcolm Miller on the Composers of Terezin

St John’s Smith Square, 25 September 2002 : Jacqueline Cole

The genius of two Terezin composers, Pavel Haas and Viktor Ullmann, was celebrated last week at a stirring recital by British pianist Jacqueline Cole.

The centrepiece was the UK premier of Haas’s Suite Opus. 13 (1935), a five-movement work which was premiered in 1936 by Bernard Kaff, a Czech virtuoso and one of the Terezin musicians. Cole projected the three fast movements with energy, especially the jazzy ‘Danza’, while the two slow movements were imbued with poetic intensity.

The climax of the concert was Cole’s powerful account of the exciting five-movement Sonata No. 7 by Viktor Ullmann, the final work of this best known of the Terezin composers. Completed just weeks before his deportation to Auschwitz, the sonata concludes with a moving affirmation of Ullmann’s Jewish heritage, a powerful set of variations on the pioneer Hebrew folksong ‘Rachel’. Throughout, Cole, a former student of Yvonne Loriod and Yalta Menuhin, who recently founded the Viktor Ullmann Foundation, successfully brought alive the orchestral colours of the work.