Ensemble for These Times—Nanette McGuinness, soprano, Dale Tsang, piano, and cellist Anne Lerner-Wright, joined by Laura Reynolds (English horn) and Ilana Blumberg Thomas (violin)—will present the centerpiece of its Tenth Anniversary Home Season at 4 p.m. on April 15, 2018 at Noe Valley Ministry in SF. The concert program focuses on the world and works of Paul Celan, with world premieres of three new E4TT commissions, two to poetry by Celan—“Die Eichne Tuer” by David Garner and “Nachtlang” by Jared Redmond—and one to “A Song for the End of the World” by Celan’s contemporary, Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milozsa, by Stephen Eddins, as well as “4 ½” by Libby Larsen and “Mémoire de l’ombre” (from E4TT’s 56x54 Call for Scores series) by Aleksandra Kaca. Garner and Eddins will speak at the concert.
The concert focuses on one of the most important post-WWII poets, who greatly influenced 20th Century European literature. Born to a German-speaking Romanian Jewish family, Celan was profoundly affected by the rise of Nazism. His parents perished in a concentration camp and he barely survived a forced labor camp, only to commit suicide in 1970. His poems—written in German, his mother tongue—speak to his experience of loss, imprisonment, and survival under fascism and the themes in his work—the rise of fascism, "strong men" leaders, and nations marching to the drumbeat of nationalism—deeply resonate today with the global right-wing resurgence. These themes are the force behind “Once/Memory/Night.”