Laks - Works for Cello | Cybele CYBELESACD362203

Laks - Works for Cello


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Label: Cybele

Cat No: CYBELESACD362203

Barcode: 0809548020620

Format: Hybrid SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 4th November 2022



Adele Bitter (cello)
Mischa Meyer (cello)
Holger Groschopp (piano)


Laks, Simon

Cello Sonata
Les Filles du forgeron
Passacaille (Vocalise)
Pieces de concert (3)


Adele Bitter (cello)
Mischa Meyer (cello)
Holger Groschopp (piano)


The present album compiles for the first time all of Simon Laks's works for cello and piano as well as for two cellos. For several years now, Laks's compositions have been gaining more and more traction in concert halls in Europe and abroad. It is his biography that grips us all, no matter the generation, and it is his music that speaks to us timelessly.

This subset of his output draws a line through almost the entirety of Laks's life.

Simon Laks was born in Warsaw in 1901, studied mathematics in Vilnius and music in his hometown and in Paris, where he lived permanently from 1926 and Frenchified his first name from Szymon to Simon.

Contemporary musical life in Paris was abundant. Initially sustaining himself by making music in cafés and on the seas, Laks gradually carved out creative space for himself in Parisian musical life. Contacts with numerous well-known musicians are documented. His engagement with the Association des jeunes musiciens polonais (Association of Young Polish Musicians) was likely the most important stepping-stone for his presence on the music scene. He maintained an extensive network; it seems nonetheless that his personality was endowed with a characteristic humility that never really allowed him to step into the front row, into the limelight.

1941 proved to be the decisive year in his life. In May, due to his Jewish origins, he was interned in the Beaune-la-Rolande concentration camp (between Paris and Orléans), from where he was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in July 1942. He finally spent the last months of the war from October 1944 until the American liberation in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He was only able to survive the time in Auschwitz because his musical skills enabled him to conduct the camp orchestra.

The attention that the composer receives as part of the culture of remembering the Holocaust nonetheless harbours a trap: feeling satisfied with performances of his works on the usual memorial days or during relevant symposia – a renewed ghettoisation – becomes all too easy while thereby forgetting that music of this quality ought to find its place in normal concert seasons.

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