A tribute to Vilma Grunwald based on the letter to her husband, written moments before her death in Auschwitz.
INTO ETERNITY is an evening-filling immersive concert with Bella Adamova (mezzo soprano), Maya Fridman (cello, voice), Belinfante Quartet, Michael Hesselink (clarinet), Jacobus Thiele (percussion) & Marion von Tilzer (composition, & piano). The music has been released as an album in April 2023 (TRPTK) and was immediately received with enthusiastic reviews. (see below)
‘Into Eternity’ is a story of absolute sadness yet it speaks to us of the human capacity for love, it speaks of courage, trust and confidence, as told by a woman facing her death in the Holocaust. In the letter to her husband, Vilma shines a light on the core of accepting circumstance without losing the belief in life’s beauty, hope in its goodness and trusting wholeheartedly that love carries us through and beyond the end.
This project is part of ‘Meetings with Remarkable Women – music inspired by women’s lives‘, a series of interdisciplinary art projects by composer/pianist Marion von Tilzer.
English translation of Vilma’s letter (original Czech):
“You, my only one, dearest, in isolation we are waiting for darkness. We considered the possibility of hiding but decided not to do it since we felt it would be hopeless. The famous trucks are already here, and we are waiting for it to begin. I am completely calm. You – my only and dearest one, do not blame yourself for what happened, it was our destiny. We did what we could. Stay healthy and remember my words that time will heal – if not completely then at least partially. Take care of the little golden boy and don’t spoil him too much with your love. Both of you – stay healthy, my dear ones. I will be thinking of you and Misa. Have a fabulous life, we must board the trucks.
Into eternity, Yours, Vilma.”(dated July 11, 1944)
Frank Grunwald (1932), Vilma’s surviving son about the project ‘INTO ETERNITY: ‘…It is so exciting to hear about the completion of the musical composition inspired by my mother’s letter. For many years, my worry was that my wonderful mother would be forgotten but now – with the beautiful music written on her behalf and her letter on exhibit at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, those worries are no longer there.’
Previous ProjectThe Sound of Paper (in development)