Adventures and forgotten composers – a musical journey to Slovakia

Miroslav Tóth (Slovak composer) wrote me in August: “Hey, Bogi! Would you like to sing in a contemporary project, which is about a summery of the works of forgotten composers between 1933-1945, who were chased by the national socialists, because of their religion or their beliefs or their sexuality…etc. Their works are beautiful and nobody plays them, and this topic is pretty important especially nowadays in Eastern-Europe.

I said: “Okay. Lets do it!” Miro: “It’s a bit classical though…” Me: “I can sing it.” The challenge was accepted…;-), but I haven’t known, that this repertoire is the hardest repertoire I’ve ever sung in my life.

The story in details:

“One of the few returnees from the concentration camps was also a Slovak composer Karol Elbert (1911 – 1997), who passed four camps of death. We know him rather than the creator of popular song . The concert featured the work of a few small memorial ceremony over the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto – Sadness for Ester (on poems by Ivan Mojík).

The dramaturgy of the concert gave space to Slovakia’s little feature, but quality pieces by composers persecuted or killed: Erwin Schulhoff piano part, three songs for soprano and piano by Paul Aron or violoncello sonata Mieczyslaw Weinberg. To coincide with the concert were composed by new music by Daniel Chudovský and Miroslav Toth.”

This is how it has started. The ensemble included five singers (Anna Laszlo, Su Rehrl, Deborah Jendruchova, Michaela Cervenáková and me), the musical director and pianist: Xénia Jarová, and the cellist: Andrej Gál. The owner of the idea and the artistic director was Miroslav Tóth and the composer’s laboratory. The supporter of the idea and the musicologyst, who told the audience the stories behind these compositions was Lady Agáty Schindler.


We played two concerts: one in Zilina @ Stanica… Website:


…and one concert in Bratislava @ Studio12                       Website:


The program:

Paul Áron: Three Songs (1947)

Erwin Schulhoff: Partita für Klavier (1925)

Miroslav Tóth: Don’t touch me (2016, premiere)

Mieczysław Weinberg: Sonáta pre sólo violončelo op.72 (1961)

Roman Berger: Päť veľmi krátkych skladieb pre klavír (1959) a Malá suita pre klavír (1960)

Daniel Chudovský: “…jejich základem jest miska neviny a miska viny a jazýček jako kolísavý řád mezi jimi…” (2016, premiere)

Karol Elbert: Malá panychída nad zrúcaninami varšavského geta – Smútok za Ester – na báseň Ivana Mojíka pre spev, ženský zbor a klavír (1986)

I’m grateful that I could be a part of this project, and I was actually very sad on the concerts, because the beauty of these musical pieces took me so deep, that I really felt that hopeless pain, what those people could experience, who were deported or tortured. It shouldn’t happen again!

Thanx for reading my post.





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