Help us bring the music of Gal and Krasa back to life.
There’s only one month left!
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve already heard us talk about our important fundraising campaign, but we need your help, and we need it before August 21st. It’s that simple.
Last December, we recorded our debut CD as a trio in Glastonbury with producer Simon Fox. On the disc are four incredible works by Jewish composers whose lives and careers were decisively shaped by the events of 1933-1945.
Hans Gál (1890-1987) was born in Vienna and become one of the most popular pre-war composers in Germany and Austria until Hitler came to power in 1933. Gál’s music was banned by the Nazis, and he had to flee for his life to Britain. He was interred during the war by the British, and suffered terribly before being liberated. Although he became an important academic in Edinburgh and continued to composer prolifically into the 1980’s, his music fell into near-complete neglect. Neither his Serenade (written in 1931) nor his Trio in F sharp minor (written in 1973), which are receiving their world-premiere recordings on this disc, had been performed in the United States before 2010.
If the fate of Gál and his music was a sad one, that of his contemporary Hans Krása (1899-1944) was even more tragic. Born in Prague, he was considered one of the brightest lights of a generation of Czech composers inspired by Mahler, Schoenberg and Janacek. During the war he was interred at the Terezin Ghetto outside of Prague, where he was part of one last great creative flowering for a generation of Jewish composers including Vitkor Ullmann, Pavel Haas and Gideon Klein who were all deported Auschwitz and murderd in 1944. His two string trios, Tanec (“Dance”) and Passacaglia and Fugue were written just before his death.
For most of the last 60 years, the music of this generation was lost or forgotten. As a trio, we felt that it was essential that these masterpieces be available to music lovers and musicians everywhere. We’re very excited that the Avie record label have agreed to release the CD- they are consistently one of the most critically acclaimed labels in the industry, and have been particularly instrumental in bringing the music of Hans Gál to a global audience.
This disc is in the can and ready to be released- the release is scheduled for September. We now need to raise about $8000 to cover the production, distribution and copyright costs. We’ve started an Indiegogo campaign, which is progressing well- we need to raise at least $5-8,00 via this campaign for the release to be possible at all, but we’re over 25% there already.
You’re the ones we now turn to make this dream a reality. This music has waited too long to be heard, and it’s not going to be heard without your help. Donating is easy- just visit our campaign home page. You can donate via credit card or PayPal and donations are tax deductible. We also have a great selection of thank you gifts.
If you visit our website and our campaign headquarters, you can learn more about the pieces, see the cover and even hear a sneak preview of the first edit of the CD. Once you hear this music, we think you’ll understand why we’re so passionate about it. We know times are tough, and not everyone is in a position to donate- but maybe you can forward this message to others you know who are passionate about music and history. Every gesture matters, every penny helps.
Thank you very much!
Caroline, David and Ken
Frequently Asked Questions-
1- What is this money for? We need to pay for the costs of designing and printing the booklet and CD itself, the distribution costs and “mechanical copyright costs,” which are charges made on all works in copyright.
2- What about the costs of recording and post-production? We felt so strongly about this project that the members of the trio paid for the recording production, engineering, editing and venue out of our own pockets. We’re proud to be investors in this great music! Now we need your help to get the recording released.
3- Why isn’t the record company paying for it? With very few exceptions, record labels no longer invest their own money in classical recordings except for high-profile “crossover” CDs. (Even in the pop and rock industry, labels loan money to artists, but rarely pay for costs. Advances must be recouped from sales or artists end up owning their labels). Most recordings are supported by artists, performing arts organizations, foundations and private sponsorship, whether at the Chicago and London symphonies, who sell their recordings on their own label, or Ensemble Epomeo.
4- What does Avie do and what happens to proceeds from record sales? Avie handle design, production and distribution. They make sure the record gets reviewed and that it is available all over the world. Avie works on a business model of artist ownership- a model they invented which has been hugely successful. Ensemble Epomeo will own this recording, and proceeds from sales of this disc go into our Avie Account to pay for future recordings.
5- Do donors get a share of the sales? Sadly, no, but you do get a range of thank you gifts and your donation is tax deductible. Profits from the CD will go towards paying for future CD projects. Hopefully your investment makes possible a legacy of many recordings.
6- When can I hear the CD? All donors over $15 get a copy of the disc, which will be released in September. Thank you gifts will be shipped in October.
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