SO FEW HAPPY ENDINGS TO HOLOCAUST STORIES, BUT HERE IS ONE!

This is an exciting review of world premiere “A Melancholy Beauty,” an oratorio by Georgi Andreev. The premiere, hailed as “compelling” in the Washington Post, was held Tuesday at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The piece was performed by the National Philharmonic and members of Bulgarian and United States choral groups. Soloist Neli Andreeva is pictured left. (More about the true story upon which the oratorio is based appears at BostonHerald.com.)

Preceding the oratorio was a choral program that featured “Whosoever Saves a Single Life.” Though I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the music, the title is taken from the Talmud (‘collection of Jewish law and tradition’) and was also used to open our presentation of Churchill’s Secret Agent at the Jewish Book Network just 4 weeks ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RygZ4mpmcH4. “To save one life is as if you have saved the world.”

The story tells of Bulgaria’s steadfast refusal to allow deportation of any of its 49,000 Jews. When one then considers the mass deportation of Jews from other European countries, Bulgaria stands out like a pure, brilliant diamond in the face of Nazi threat. A belated thank you, Bulgarian citizens, from this Jew.

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