Lament/Witches’ Sabbath, Mathew Rosenblum’s new CD on New Focus Recordings, features David Krakauer, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, FLUX Quartet, Mantra Percussion, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Lindsay Kesselman and Lisa Pegher performing four intense and emotionally riveting works that explore the themes of migration, loss, memory, and psychological and cultural transformation. Using a variety of tuning systems, Eastern European lament field recordings, ambient sounds, and pre-recorded voices these works create a compellingly fresh landscape.
The title track, Lament/Witches’ Sabbath, written for the extraordinary clarinet soloist David Krakauer and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor, is Mathew Rosenblum’s most personal piece to date. When he was a child, his grandmother told him the story of how she fled Proskurov, Ukraine in 1919 with six children and pregnant with his mother during the well-documented massacre in that town. Lament/Witches’ Sabbath involves the rewriting of his family history by incorporating Ukrainian and Jewish lament field recordings, his grandmother’s recorded voice, and elements from the last movement of Berlioz’s Symphony Fantastique, "Witches’ Sabbath.” The work is about migration, loss, memory, and cultural transformation and contributes to current debates surrounding these issues. It speaks to diverse audiences both in the U.S. and internationally. Fear and superstition are elements that drive people apart, laments bring people together. The various Ukrainian and Jewish laments presented in the piece are in sympathy with each other.