Magazine article New Internationalist

Songs in the Distance

Magazine article New Internationalist

Songs in the Distance

Article excerpt

Songs in the Distance

by Herman van Veen and Edith Leerkes (Chant du Monde 2742038 CD)

In 1942, Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, a young - Jewish - poet who should have been on the brink of life, died in a Nazi labour camp. She was 18 and she had been writing for three years. A sheaf of her poems was smuggled out of the camp and eventually published. It was this volume that was given to Dutch musicians Herman van Veen and Edith Leerkes and compelled the creation of Songs in the Distance.

There are many things to say about Meerbaum-Eisinger's poems. Despite the mortal danger of war, her evacuation to a ghetto and finally to a labour camp, she achieves lullabies, love songs, tone poems. She is not defined by death. To this remarkable material van Veen and virtuoso guitarist Leerkes have brought a chanson-likc quality. …

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