CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD FULL RESOLUTION VERSION
GRAMMY NEWS: Yiddish Glory : From the Gulag to the Grammys
FROM THE GULAG TO THE GRAMMYS: YIDDISH GLORY RESURRECTS LONG LOST SONGS THAT DOCUMENT NAZI ATROCITIES IN THE USSR
In A Miraculous Twist of Fate, The Lost Songs of World War II Is the First Yiddish Language Album To Be Nominated in the Best World Music Category, While Landing on More Than 30 ‘Best of’ Lists for 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES, CA (THURSDAY JANUARY 10, 2019) – When University of Toronto professor Anna Shternshis first read the lyrics to “My Mother’s Grave,” a song written by a young child in the Pechora camp in 1945 after the death of his mother, she realized it was part of a groundbreaking collection of eyewitness musical testimonies. The writer of this and most other songs from the archive perished during the Holocaust. The scholars who gathered these compositions during the war were arrested and sent to Stalin’s prisons, and the files containing these documents were stripped of identification and dumped into secret storage.
Seven decades later, after a miraculous discovery in the National Library of Ukraine, The Lost Songs of World War II were brought back to life by Yiddish Glory. In the subsequent weeks and months, the album has been feted in more than thirty year-end best-of lists while being called “extraordinary” (Songlines) and “life-changing” (Toronto’s ClassicalFM), and astonishingly, The Lost Songs of World War II (Six Degrees Records) was honored as the first Yiddish language album to be nominated in the World Music category at the Grammy Awards.
“When I learned about the nomination, I immediately thought about ethnomusicologist Moisei Beregovsky and his colleagues who risked their lives to preserve this music for us, and who, instead of recognition, ended up being sent to Soviet Gulags, popularly known as “hell on earth”, simply because they were working in Jewish Studies during Stalin’s anti-Jewish crackdown,” remarked professor Anna Shternshis, the historian who led the project to resurrect the Lost Songs of World War II.
The songs of Yiddish Glory tell stories of ordinary people who fought against injustice and fascism even when it seemed that winning such a battle was impossible. This music revealed that women and children trapped in the ghettos of Ukraine and soldiers stuck in the trenches of a brutal war could sing through such horrors. Little did they know that their music would resonate in the wake of resurgent nationalism, refugees being denied asylum, and childhood separations occurring today.
Yiddish Glory features an ensemble of elite, award-winning soloists from Canada and Russia including singers Psoy Korolenko and Sophie Milman, and violinist Sergei Erdenko. They stunned the world with soul-shattering performances of these lost songs written on deteriorating paper with fading ink. Thanks to Yiddish Glory, the stories of people who lived through the darkest chapter of modern history are heard around the world. They completed the journey from ghettos and gulags and compete for a Grammy in the category of best world music album. The winner will be announced on Sunday February 10, 2019 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Some quote and thoughts from the press about Yiddish Glory:
“Revelatory” – Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
“Haunting… Remarkable” – Carol Off, CBC’s As It Happens
“Beautiful” – BBC World Service
“Devastating Resonances” – Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker
“Profoundly moving” – Dan Epstein, The Forward
“A Minor Miracle” – Andy Herrman, NPR Music
Yiddish Glory’s The Lost Songs of World War II has been named as one of the albums of 2018 by more than thirty publications, including: