Ronald Corp: Letters From Lony
Label: TOCCATA CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Brownell, Andrew; Pring, Sarah; Chilingirian String Quartet, The
Leonie (‘Lony’) Fraenkel was a German-Jewish exile from Nazi Berlin who set up the Café de Paris on Beethovenstraat in Amsterdam in 1939. In late 1939 she sent a card to greet Peter, her first grandson, newly born in safety in England, and over the next three years she sent a series of letters to Peter and his mother, Lony’s daughter. In 1943 she was deported first to the Westerbork transit camp, and then to Theresienstadt and, finally, in October 1944 to Auschwitz, where she was gassed two days after her arrival. Many years later, that grandson, Peter, now a grandfather himself, discovered Lony’s letters, translated them and brought them to the attention of the composer Ronald Corp. Ronald Corp has set Lony’s letters in a series of lyrical arioso recitatives for mezzo-soprano, string quartet, and piano, lasting just over an hour. The cycle was first heard at the Proms in St. Jude’s in Hampstead Garden Suburb, North London, in 2017, and now Toccata Classics is releasing its first recording.