Bernhard Lang

A Song for Rachela

[From the Ringelblum – archives:]
1 September 1939 The torn-up streets, the riflemen's trenches, the windows
   protected with [bags of] sand, and the mobilization posters have have all formed into one, just one, horrible word:
…....Special ediiitioooon!!! Border crooooossssed!!! It's waaaaaaar!!!

"A Song for Rachela" is a composition for 19 instruments, live electronics and voice, to be played by Klangforum Wien featuring Sarah Sun, voice.

It is based on a libretto made from the Ringelblum archives focussing on the state of the Warzawa Ghetto and its inhabitants till 1942; the texts are to be used rhizomatically, the context more to be guessed by and by during the 50 minutes; the singing will be reduced to speaking, whispering, and miming, staying muted for a long time. The piece oscillates between open mobile-structures („Games“) and song-structures, some of them derived from Polish ethnic music.

The techniques used relate the piece both to the GAME-series and the preceding music theatre compostions "Playing Trump" (Hamburg Opera 2020), "Cheap Opera #1" (éclat festival 2019) and "Cheap Opera#3", the latter to be performed in Donaueschingen 2022.

The piece was developed in collaboration with Klangforum Vienna, an ensemble I have been working with since 1993.

Bernhard Lang, Vienna, 2 Oct 2022

Bernhard Lang im Gespräch mit dem Filip Lech (Adam Mickiewicz Institut) über das am 11. April 2023 in Wien uraufgeführte Ensemblewerk mit Texten aus dem Ringelblum-Archiv, das die Situation im Warschauer Ghetto zwischen 1940–1943 dokumentiert . (engl. Originalfassung)

Fotos der Warschauer Aufführung (ab Foto 41.)