Kamp! Songs and Satire from Theresienstadt | Analekta AN28789

Kamp! Songs and Satire from Theresienstadt


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Label: Analekta

Cat No: AN28789

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 20th May 2016



Amelia DeMayo
Curt Buckler
Sergei Dreznin (piano)


Amelia DeMayo
Curt Buckler
Sergei Dreznin (piano)


Theresienstadt, or Terezín, was built as an impressive fortress by the Austrian Empress Maria Teresa to solidify the Hapsburgs’ hold on Bohemia. It later proved a bulwark in their defense against Napoleon. In 1941, the Nazis decided to turn the fortress into a transit camp for Jews from the German-occupied Czech lands.

Prisoners were housed in cramped basements, attics, barns and courtyards. The lack of food or decent sanitation led to outbreaks of typhus and dysentery. Always, there was the terror of transport to the death camps. In the midst of these intolerable conditions, the celebrity prisoners did what they did best: entertain. In attics and basements, at first in strict secrecy, some of Europe’s most famous cabaret stars, with the help of their fellow internees, wrote and performed satires about captors and inmates alike.

Before long, the Nazis incorporated this extraordinary artistic effort into their propaganda machine. They distributed musical instruments they had confiscated not long before. An orchestra and a jazz band, the Ghetto Swingers, were formed.

In October 1992, the story Chansons und Satiren aus Theresienstadt, was made into a tragic but also ironic production for three performers – man, woman and pianist. Sergei Dreznin, a Russian Jewish pianist and composer living in Vienna, was the musical director of that show, and also the composer of many of the melodies and satirical cabaret numbers. Gerhard Bronner, the ‘patriarch’ of Vienna cabaret, contributed several other remarkable songs. All the lyrics, poems and most of the music of the songs from this production were written, adapted and performed by the inmates of Theresienstadt In 1942-44. The versions on this recording are English translations of those texts and poems.

Track listing:
1. Come Right In! (Lyrics: Leo Straus / Music: Gerhard Bronner)
2. Maria Theresia the Empress (Schlesinger / Sergei Dreznin)
3. Theresienstadt Nursery Rhyme (Ilse Weber to a popular German nursery rhyme)
4. Letter To My Child (Ilse Weber / Sergei Dreznin)
5. Theresienstadt March (Karel Schwenk)
6. Theresienstadt Questions (Leo Straus / Sergei Dreznin)
7. A Rumor Goes Through Town (Walter Lindenbaum / Gerhard. Bronner)
8. Reco (Theodor Otto Beer to the popular 1930s couplet by Ralph Benatzki)
9. Ghetto Guard (Theodor Otto Beer / Kurt Klauber)
10. A Suitcase Speaks (Ilse Weber / Sergei Dreznin)
11. The Theater Ticket (Hans Hofer / Gerhard Bronner)
12. Mr. Sauer, Mr. Green (Lyrics by unknown to the popular pre-war cabaret act by Armin Berg)
13. The Chefs Are Coming (Leo Straus to music from the pre-war operetta The Courageous Soldier by his father Oscar Straus)
14. And the Music Plays Along (Walter Lindenbaum after a hit from the 1930s operetta Saison in Salzburg by Fred Raymond)
15. Just As Though (Leo Strauss, adapted to Alexander Steinbrecher 1938 Vienna song Two From Ottakring by Sergei Dreznin)
16. St. Louis Blues (W.C. Handy, arranged by Sergei Dreznin)
17. The Little Café (Walter Lindenbaum to a popular 1930’s Vienna song Kleines Café by Hermann Leopoldi)
18. Down in Prater (Leo Straus / Otto Skutecky)
19. The Sheep From Lidice (Ilse Weber / Gerhard Bronner)
20. The Butterfly (Pavel Friedmann / Gerhard Bronner)
21. A Package Makes the Rounds (Leo Straus / Sergei Dreznin)
22. They Seek One Another (Kopper / Sergei Dreznin)
23. Carousel (Kurt Gerron – Manfred Greifenhagen)
24. Potato-peeler (Ilse Weber / Sergei Dreznin)
25. Our Dear Old Cabaret! (Frida Rosenthal / Sergei Dreznin)

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