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For 3 choirs: Choir 1 (Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto 1, Alto 2, Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Bass 1, Bass 2), Choir 2 (Soprano, Alto, Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Bass 1, Bass 2), and children’s choir  

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 was one of the twentieth century’s most tragic episodes of heroism: a desperate act of Jewish resistance against the murder of the ghetto’s population. Palej’s musical commemoration of this event draws on texts both ancient and modern. The former, which come from the Hebrew Bible, include a fragment from the Lamentations of Jeremiah that contains the words that give the piece its title. The modern passages come from Wladyslaw Szlengel’s poem Counterattack—a rallying cry amongst the resistance fighters that is sung here in its original Polish—and from Harvest of Deeds, by children’s author and pedagogue Janusz Korczak. In 1942, German soldiers came to transport the Jewish children in Korczak’s orphanage to the extermination camp in Treblinka. Offered sanctuary, Korczak refused to abandon his children, choosing instead to die with them. His words are sung in this piece by a children’s choir. 

This work was premiered on January 30, 2010 at 'The Power of Penderecki' concert presented by Soundstreams at the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto (Canada).

Performed by:
Polish Chamber Choir
Elmer Iseler Singers
Toronto Children's Chorus