Noted as “woundingly beautiful” by The Daily Telegraph, James Whitbourn’s Anneliesis touring the world receiving critical acclaim following its Grammy nomination. Arianna Zukerman, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, is the featured soloist on this Grammy-nominated album. Ms. Zukerman is praised for her “supremely controlled tone that never strays from pure beauty,” and has since performed this piece nationally and internationally. The first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank takes the teenager’s remarkable and penetrating observations, written whilst hiding in an Amsterdam attic, as the basis of its extraordinary and moving libretto. Whitbourn’s music reflects sounds of the Westerkerk bells and tunes heard on the radio in the Annexe, along with representations of Anne Frank’s Jewish and German heritage, details that add to a score “whose respectful understatement is its greatest strength” (The Times).
“…the ethereal quality of the soprano, Arianna Zukerman, is an ideal choice for the solo role that brings the work to its peaceful conclusion…”
Soprano Soloist and Choir with piano trio and clarinet, or full orchestra.
Annelies is a wonderful way to open the door to discussions of Holocaust education for school children and the community. During past performances, there have been panels and talks in conjunction with local Holocaust Museums, Holocaust survivors, and World War II veterans with much success.
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…tone that never strays from pure beauty…
“…soprano Arianna Zukerman sings with a supremely controlled tone that never strays from pure beauty, but sublimely imparts the contrast of isolation vs. devotion and buoyant hopefulness.” -The Whole Note
“This is timeless music, setting extracts from the diaries of Anne Frank. …for me it joins Britten’s War Requiem and Tippett’s A Child of our Time as a major work bewailing the inhumanity of twentieth-century man to man, though it’s very different in tone from either of them. The music is uplifting, yet never in such a way as to draw attention to itself from the words of Anne Frank – with one brief exception, describing the fate of the family, everything here comes from her. Performances are exemplary.” -Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International
…profound musical and personal experience…
“British composer and conductor James Whitbourn breaks new ground on a familiar subject. Whitbourn is the first to compose a major choral setting of the Diary of Anne Frank. It is a seminal work called Annelies, which is the full name of the brave young, Anne. The work is a relatively recent composition and this is a new recording on the Naxos label. The work is scored for choir, soprano and chamber orchestra all which work together to produce a profound musical and personal experience. In the liner notes, Whitbourn explains, ‘all the instruments are associated with the Jewish tradition and culture and while there is no actual quote of traditional Jewish melody,within Annelies, I have often drawn on the melodic contours and expressions in my phrases.” –WQXR