The Aryan Papers

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Track Listing

  1. Introduction-The Streets of Warsaw, 1939 (5:03)
  2. Krakow, Poland, winter, 1941 (5:25)
  3. The Liquidation of the Ghettos-Ghetto Massacre, 1943 (5:30)
  4. On the run…New names? (5:00)
  5. Tania’s theme-Maciek’s theme-The Aryan Papers (3:00)
  6. A Jewish Wedding-Dance-A night at Auschwitz (7:35)
  7. Songs and Voices of Dead Children (4:42)
  8. Epilogue: The Sabbath (7:16)

Liner Notes

As the world slips into the throes of war, young Maciek is about to see his warm and protected childhood vanish forever. Cosseted by his loving family, he knows of no other life. But Maciek is a Polish Jew living near Warsaw in 1939. The course of his future is about to change, and his past is soon to be stretched into unrecognizable shapes.

As Warsaw falls, Maciek escapes with his aunt Tania. Beautiful and brave, Tania becomes the one person on whom Maciek can depend. On the run, in hiding, changing their names, forging documents to secure their temporary lives, Tania and Maciek endure the war together as the insistent drum of the Nazi march moves ever close to them and to their secret wartime lies.

Music Notes by the composer, December, 1999:

Shortly after I completed the fifth movement of my latest work, “The Life of Manuel de Falla”, in April, 1998. I knew at this moment I was headed into a more spiritual path with my music. The newly created fifth movement “Nights in the Landscapes of Spain” poured out of me in one evening, clear and almost effortless, as if was dictated through me. Through this experience also reminded me of Igor Stravinsky in 1910 when he was completing “L’Oiseau de feu (The Firebird) a vision of a new work was coming, “The Rite of Spring”.

Before I start a composition, I need to have a story. Therefore, I am not a composer of absolute music. So, I research stories, sometimes a long time until I find something that really inspires me as a composer. After researching for over a year and an abandoned a project; I finally found what I was looking for. In August, 1999 I read a newspaper article about the unfinished movies projects from the late movie director, Stanley Kubrick. One project was “The Aryan Papers”, a holocaust drama, based on Louis Begley’s semiautobiographical novel “Wartime Lies”. The film version was planned to be finished in 1994 but abandoned due to “Schindler’s List” overwhelming popularity in 1993 and the following year. Once I started this work, I was not certain where I was headed but it gradually grew with me and a very rapid pace. The music was completed on November 18, 1999.

This work also represents my second project about oppressed people during a war. My first was “Thunder Rolling in The Mountains”, 1993 about North American Indians fighting for freedom against the encroachment of the white man in the late nineteenth century. This time it is about Jewish people and the Nazi Regime during World War II. In The Aryan Papers, dehumanization and human suffering dominates the story and the music. Indeed, the music speaks of bitter anguish, sadness, violence, and destruction. However, eventually all tensions and suffering resolve with organ, bells, full orchestra and choir in a grand hymn to the glory of God.

Introduction-The streets of Warsaw, 1939

The opening first movement sets up a mood of dark visions, visions of streets ridden of debris and low strings with a faint snare drum tells us that the horror of war is coming. The first theme is introduced with an instrument that sounds like a guitar but has a haunting and mysterious timbre. The theme is quite sorrowful but it represents the story’s main problem: The uncertainty of war and human life. Later, the theme modulates to a Syrian characteristic with full orchestra but the movement eventually ends the same as it began.

Krakow, Poland, winter, 1941

The opening of the second movement seems at first a continuation of the first but soon leads into different territory. The opening violins create a wintry and worried atmosphere. The war and the way of life for Jews all over Europe are changing drastically. The ghettos are liberty to many, but the future is very unpredictable and also a frightening one. The music of the second movement simply represents the beginnings of one of the darkest chapters in human history.

The Liquidation of the Ghettos-Ghetto Massacre, 1943

Winter, 1943. The war has been going since 1939 but now the great tragedy of war has begun in the ghettos or “Jewish Towns”. The music begins with a tragic low in the strings and lower brass. This motif along with a persistent snare drum depicts the terror and the brutality of the encroaching Nazis. The repeated motif continues relentlessly until it suddenly stops after a bombastic one minuet and a half. Everything of value is stripped away. Some people survive, but do not.

On the run…New names?

Tania and Maciek are on the run again. Traveling through the ravaged countryside of Poland. They see very little hope; only the forged documents give them the strength to move forward.

Tania’s theme-Maciek’s theme-The Aryan Papers

One evening after a long day of travel, Tania and Maciek talk about the times they have had together and their plans how to obtain the vital Aryan Papers which they need in order to survive the holocaust.

A Jewish Wedding-Dance-A night at Auschwitz

A single note of the clarinet introduces the Wedding. A young woman and man experience a brief moment of happiness during this time of great tragedy when they exchange vows on their wedding day. The music paints a psychological experience of the minds of the bride and groom as well as the people attending the weeding. This one moment of pure happiness turns into a joyful Jewish Wedding Dance but soon shifts to a nightmarish vision of the horror of Auschwitz.

Songs and Voices of Dead Children

This haunting movement evokes much of the aftermath of the holocaust. Young Maciek and Tania wander through the countryside and small towns of Poland. The songs and voices of children are heard in their minds. The voices speak and cry out with confusion and deep despair. Over one million of the six million Jews murdered were children.

Epilogue: The Sabbath

All of the immensity of evil, destruction and the utmost suffrage of humanity end here in the Sabbath. The music sets up a mood of an evocation to God and the Heavens. In the beginning, the music still speaks of anguish and suffering but eventually sings songs of praise in a triumphant conclusion. While composing this movement, I had a vision of a great Synagogue where Jewish and Gentiles attended together in a service after the war in honor of the countless victims of the Holocaust.

Production Credits

United Media Productions, Ltd.
A Leipzig Production
The Aryan Papers

Inspired by the holocaust novel, "Wartime Lies" by Louis Begley.

Recorded at UMP Studios, November, 1999, Denver, USA

Assistant Recording Engineers:
Chad Canadey & Scott Rudin

Creative Design Consultant:
Nancy Donald, Donald & Associates

Associate Producers:
Peter R. Rosenthal & Michael Kintz

Digital Recording Equipment by
CEAVCO Audio Visual, Golden Colorado

A & R Coordinator:
Chad Canadey

Printing and Layout Design:
Sir Speedy, Denver

Mastered at
Rocky Mountain Recorders, Denver, Heidi Herbst

Front Cover Illustration by
Rene Farkass

Special Thanks to
Nora Levin and The Institute for Jewish Research and The State Institute for War Documentation, The Netherlands

©1999 United Media Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.