Gig Review:
Terezín: Cabaret, Lloica Czackis, mezzo-soprano, with Andrew Quartermain, piano

Part of Terezin Day at the Leamington Spa Festival
Holy Trinity Church, Beauchamp Ave., Leamington Spa, Thursday 6th May 2004, 10pm
Photo of Lloica Czackis, with Andrew Quartermain
Lloica Czackis, with Andrew Quartermain
All photos this page by Richard A. Sharma and Copyright © Richard A. Sharma 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, copying, or storage by any means whatsoever including but not limited to electronic/digital means without written prior permission prohibited. Linking to individual photographs on this page prohibited.

Warwick Arts
As Part of the Terezin Day at the Leamington Spa Festival

Terezín: Cabaret

Lloica Czackis, mezzo-soprano
Andrew Quartermain, piano

Holy Trinity Church, Beauchamp Ave., Leamington Spa,
Thursday 6th May 2004, 10pm


Viktor Ullmann - Abendphantasie (Evening Fantasy)
                             (c. 1944) Words: Friedrich Hölderlin

Hans Krása - Fünf Lieder Op. 4 (1923)

                        I. Ihr Mädchen seid wie die Gärten (You girls are like
                          gardens)  (Words: Rainer Maria Rilke)

                        II. And die Brüder (To the brother)
                            (Latvian folk poem)

                        III. Mach, daß etwas uns geschieht! (Make something
                             happen to us!) (Words: R.M. Rilke)

                        IV. Die Liebe (Love) (Words: Catullus)

                        V. Vice Versa (Words: Christian Morgenstern)

Pavel Haas - Three Songs

                        Zapadá slniečko (Twilight hour)
                        (No. 5 of Six Songs in Folk Tone Op. 1, 1919)

                        Zrušení slibu (Broken promise)
                        (No. 4 of Seven Songs in Folk Tone Op. 18, 1939-40)
                        (Words: František Ladislav)

                        Krotká holubička (Doves are courting)
                        (No. 3 of Op. 18)

Dol Dauber - Krb bez ohně (Tango, 1937) (Words: Daisy Jelenová)

Adolf Strauss - Ich weiss bestimmt, ich werd dich wiedersehn!
                          (I know for sure we'll meet again!) (Tango, 1944)
                          (Text: Dr. Ludwig Hift / Arr.: Moshe Zorman)

Otto Skutečky - Drunt im Prater ist ein Platzerl
                           (Down in the Prater is a little place) (Terezín
                           Viennese song, 1944) (Words: Leo Strauss,
                           Arr.: Moshe Zorman)

Martin Roman - Ich muß sitzen (I must sit) (1944)
                            (Words: Martin Greiffenhagen)

                           Wir reiten auf Hölzernen Pferden
                           (We ride on wooden horses) (From Karussel, 1944)
                           (Words: Leo Strauss)

Fredy Raymond - Und die Musik spielt dazu
                               (And the music just plays on) (Parodistic slow-fox
                               from Season in Salzburg - Salzburger Nockerln,
                               1938) (Words: Max Wallner and Kurt Felz)

                               Und die Musik spielt dazu
                               (And the music just plays on) (Parody of the
                               Rosita-Serrano hit of the same title, c. 1942-4)
                               (Words: Walter Lindenbaum)

Emmerich Kálman - Terezín-Lied (Terezín song) (After the melody
                                   Come with me to Varašdin, from the operetta
                                   Gräfin Mariza, 1924) (Unknown author)

Victor Ullmann - A meydl in di yorn (I'm not such a young girl
                            anymore) (Folk, Arr.: Viktor Ullmann)

Date of Review: 2004/05/18

With grateful thanks to Richard Phillips of Warwick Arts for all the arrangements and permissions.

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Photo of Lloica Czackis
The outstanding Lloica Czackis

Photo of Andrew Quartermain, piano
Andrew Quartermain at the piano

Terezin Cabaret

Photo of Lloica Czackis, with Andrew Quartermain
Lloica Czackis, mezzo-soprano, and Andrew Quartermain, piano

Photo of Lloica Czackis
Mean, moody, magnificent - Lloica Czackis

A long-awaited opportunity arose to hear and review extraordinary mezzo-soprano Lloica Czackis' Terezin Cabaret programme with the Terezin Day of the Leamington Spa Festival. Her Terezin Cabaret programme is billed as a recital of art, cabaret and tango songs by Terezín composers written before and in the ghetto, featuring works in German, Czech and Yiddish, including 'contrafact' songs by Raymond and Kálman.

Despite the late evening start of 10 pm, a very respectable - and, it was to transpire, vociferously enthusiastic and receptive - crowd assembled in the Holy Trinity Church, Leamington. The daylight had turned to twilight, making the artificial lighting in the church seem even more harsh, and of course, the light levels fast became lower and lower for photographic purposes, making already less than optimal conditions next to impossible.

Photo of Lloica Czackis, Andrew Quartermain
Lloica Czackis and Andrew Quartermain

But all was well worth putting up with, for soon we were delighted by the richly expressive voice of Lloica Czackis, accompanied on the piano by Andrew Quartermain. Ms. Czackis' velvety, now lyrical, then dramatical, mezzo-soprano voice, as effortless as a wisp on a gentle breeze, is an exquisite blend of intensity and sensitivity, able to easily take on any character she wishes. Add to this Lloica Czackis' bountiful charm and charisma, and a wonderful performance is guaranteed. Andrew Quartermain's sensitive accompaniments matched Ms. Czackis' every nuance and mood excellently.

I have to confess that I found following the English translations of most of the lyrics of the songs (distributed before the start of the recital) rather hard going, but alas, poetry and song lyrics do not always translate too well. It was however rather easier to follow their emotional meaning through Lloica Czackis' magnificent interpretations. The sentiments of the material of Terezín Cabaret are often darkly reflective, sometimes filled with longing, sometimes highly satirical if not acerbic even, at times very philosophical, at other times love and languor take centre stage. In other words, pretty much the usual, normal human preoccupations of this general genre of songs.

Photo of Lloica Czackis
Lloica Czackis - full throttle
Photo of Lloica Czackis, Andrew Quartermain

Few of these songs were known to me previously, and it was a delight to discover such gems through such an outstanding performer as Lloica Czackis. She brought each and every one of these songs to life, as if by pure magic. At times, the emotional intensity was almost too much to bear. However, the programme was superbly well arranged to intersperse the heavier material with the lighter, and thus to not drain the emotions entirely.

Photo of Lloica Czackis, Andrew Quartermain

Lloica Czackis' Terezín Cabaret recital was a triumph, as exquisite a performance of these kinds of songs as you would be likely to encounter. The evening was magical and took you back to a very dark era and the struggle to preserve some sort of humanity in the face of the greatest inhuman evils. Andrew Quartermain proved a perfect complement to Ms. Czackis throughout.

Such excellence, and the material concerned, really ought to be preserved in a recording, and it is my fervent hope that this may come to pass.

© 2004 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Photo of Andrew Quartermain & Lloica Czackis
Final applause - Andrew Quartermain, Lloica Czackis

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