MUSIC: HISTORY, SURVEYS & THEORY

PUBLISHER
Steidl

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 8.5 x 10.5 in. / 328 pgs / 264 color / 22 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

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D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2022 p. 25   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783958299597 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $61.50

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Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann

By Mark Ludwig.

Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann

Concert reviews, posters and ephemera from a Nazi concentration camp—a tribute to the defiant spirit of the creative will

"There are moments of excruciating beauty, there are heartrending stories, all reminding us that if we lose our humanity, we are nothing.”
— Yo-Yo Ma

In Terezín, a Nazi camp where 33,000 people died, imprisoned musicians and artists created a remarkable cultural community that persevered against all odds. Our Will to Live brings us into this astonishing world. It presents the first full translation of concert critiques written by accomplished musician, scholar—and Terezín prisoner—Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944). Ullmann describes Terezín performances by ensembles, youth choirs and solo artists including luminaries of European cabaret and opera, plus works by a generation of promising composers silenced too soon: Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Hans Krása and others.

Paired with Ullmann’s critiques are more than 250 rarely seen concert posters, programs, portraits and scenes rendered by imprisoned artists; these are from a trove of hidden artworks recovered after liberation. Our Will to Live also offers an original collection of vintage and modern recordings performed by Terezín survivors and contemporary masters. Essays and annotations by scholar Mark Ludwig set the historical context, introduce the artists and deepen what we know of this extraordinary chapter in World War II history. Terezín survivors helped guide this project, the result of more than 30 years of research and writing. Shortly after Ullmann authored his final concert critique, Terezín’s cultural community was decimated: nearly all the artists were murdered in Auschwitz.

Mark Ludwig is a Fulbright scholar of Terezín, a member of the Pamatník Terezín Advisory Board and director of the Terezin Music Foundation. He produces recordings, concerts and Holocaust and genocide education programs worldwide. Ludwig is a violist emeritus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, adjunct professor of Holocaust music at Boston College and editor of the poetry anthology Liberation (2015).


Featured image is reproduced from 'Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann'.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Yo-Yo Ma

Our Will to Live takes readers into the world of Terezín’s silenced artists and makes their voices come alive. A testimony to the inextinguishable strength of the human spirit. There are moments of excruciating beauty, there are heartrending stories, all reminding us that if we lose our humanity, we are nothing.

Sinai Temple, Los Angeles

Rabbi David Wolpe

This astonishing book is an act of creation from chaos. Here is art, music, humor, precision, speculation, indignation, love — the panoply of human expression dredged from darkness. A wonder.

2013 Presidential Inaugural Poet, author of How to Love a Country

Richard Blanco

Amidst dislocation and death, these artists strived to assert their culture, identity, and creativity. Our Will to Live both celebrates and mourns them. A remarkable homage.

The Boston Music Intelligencer

Elisa Birdseye

The book itself as an object is an encapsulation of all that is within. It is large and weighty, but simple and elegant. Every aspect of the book was created with care and respect. The choice of Gerhard Steidl, known as an artist of the book, was a perfect marriage of publisher and subject. By enclosing this history in a vessel so beautiful, the contents are further sanctified, that is, made safe and holy; it is a work of art in and of itself, and speaks to the joy of creation.

On the Seawall

Ron Slate

Our Will To Live is a record of response to a hopeless condition. Generously illustrated with poster and other art saved from oblivion, and informed by Ludwig’s introductory essay, the book offers an immersion into spirit itself.

AnOther

Thomas Gorton

Our Will To Live is a unique archive of humanity’s ability to manufacture light from darkness, an absorbing archive of who we are, and a document of the difference between survival and living.

Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/14/2022

Brookline Booksmith presents Mark Ludwig on 'Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann'

Brookline Booksmith presents Mark Ludwig on 'Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann'

Monday, March 14, at 7PM EST, Brookline Booksmith presents author Mark Ludwig for the in-person Boston launch of Our Will to Live: The Terezín Music Critiques of Viktor Ullmann, Ludwig's new collection of concert reviews, posters and ephemera from a Nazi concentration camp, published by Steidl. Register and pre-order a signed copy here!
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