Featuring Benjamin Lees Piano Trio No. 2,
"Silent Voices "
George Marsh, violin
Steven Honigberg, cello
Joseph Holt, Piano
Albany Records Troy518
Benjamin Lees writes of his 1998 Piano Trio No. 2 "Silent Voices", commissioned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, "This work represents a small gesture of remembrance to those whose voices were forever stilled by pogroms and genocides of the past. I have tried to blend the elements of drama, grief and lyricism into a very compact musical statement in the hope that this will be communicated to the audience."
Benjamin Lees' works have been commissioned and performed by, among others, the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, NBC Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, National Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, Texas Little Symphony, the Tokyo Quartet, American Symphony, Williams Trio, Delaware Symphony, Aurora Quartet, Pittsburgh Symphony, Sea Cliff Chamber Players, Louisville Orchestra, Lancaster (PA) Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo and Portland (OR) Symphony.
In 1985, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra commissioned its second Lees work in three years: the monumental Symphony No. 4 "Memorial Candles" for soprano and violin soloists with orchestra, written to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. The three-movement, hour-long work was given its premiere with soloists Zehava Gal and Pinchas Zuckerman to widespread critical acclaim. Within a year of the premiere the work was performed by the Atlanta, Winnipeg, and Houston symphony orchestras, as well as the London Philharmonia and the Israel PhiIharmonic Orchestra.
You can find much more information about Benjamin Lees at his website - http://www.home.dc.rr.com/bglees. You can also read the Winter 2002 edition of his newsletter Perspective at http://www.jamesarts.com/releases/feb02/BL_nws_020602.htm.
Darkness & Light, Volume 4, which also features music by Robert Starer Leo Weiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Robert Stern, is available at all fine CD stores, or online from Albany Records at http://www.albanyrecords.com/.