Suzi More and Angela Manso Perform Two Songs of Clara Plaut

by Suzi More & Angela Manso

Released 2017
Lil Red Hen Records
Released 2017
Lil Red Hen Records
When Max Kowalski, left Germany for England (1939) his student, Clara Plaut, wrote and dedicated these two songs to him.
"Weltende"  (Else Lasker-Schüler) & Lebewohl (Eduard Mörike). She later emigrated to NYC, United States.
CLARA PLAUT was born 12 July 1890, received Social Security number 125-26-9814 (indicating New York) and, Death Master File says, died May 1969.

Very little is known about this lady who studied music composition with the Holocaust composer, Max Kowalski (1882-1956) Clara Plaut.

It is only known that she wrote these two songs for Max, who was shortly imprisoned in Buchenwald Concentration Camp and dedicated them to him when he left Germany for England in 1939.

The recording of the two Clara Plaut works (Max Kowalski's student) is finished, now, to do more research into this woman's life.

We have been researching for almost a year and found very little information on her except that she did leave Germany (possibly 1947) and settled in NYC. No news on if she ever wrote another song. Only found out that, although she had been married and had a daughter named Hannah, she was known as "Aunt Clara" and I don't think she ever remarried.

The Songs:

Track 1-Weltende means "World's End" and the poet was Else Lasker Schuler.
Else Lasker-Schüler was a Jewish German poet and playwright famous for her bohemian lifestyle in Berlin. She was one of the few women affiliated with the Expressionist movement. Born: February 11, 1869, Elberfeld, Germany, Died: January 22, 1945, Jerusalem, Israel

Track 2-Lebewohl, means Farewell, something like Handel's Ombra mai fu which was saying good bye to the dear forest and trees where the singer had found respite and peace This poem was written by Eduard Mörike
Eduard Friedrich Mörike (8 September 1804 – 4 June 1875) was a German Romantic poet and writer of novellas and novels.

Max Kowalski(1882-1956) was born in Kowal, Poland. His family moved the next year to Frankfort, Germany, where he grew up, studied and earned Doctorates in both Music and Law (his specialty was Copyrights). His teacher of compostition was Bernhard Sekles and voice, Alexander Heineman. In Germany from 1913 till 1931, Max Kowalski was a prolific composer of beautiful lieder in the Romantic style. Although he was Jewish, Max Kowalski wrote music of all styles and genres, from Japanese, Chinese, Danish, Arabic, French and that of many great German authors,he even wrote a Marienlieder in his Opus 12. He was friend to many other composers, artists and performers and every song cycle he wrote was quickly published until Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich took over the country. In the late 30's Kowalski was very involved with the "Kulterbund" in Frankfort, Germany and his music continued to have popularity in their orchestral concerts. He is mentioned and highlighted by his presence at the last Kulturbund concert(1938) in Martin Goldsmith's book entitled "The Inextinguishable Symphony". By the end of 1938, Kowalski was arrested and spent time in Buchenwald but within a month he was released and he fled to England where he spent the rest of his life teaching voice, singing in a Synagogue and making a humble living. Although no music of his was ever published again, he kept writing new works, 18 new song cycles in manuscripts which singers performed in concerts and on radio. Opus 1 is his first composition dated 1913 and first published by Leukart in Germany. It had been out-of-print many years until Dr. Walter Foster of Recital Publications in Huntsville, Texas took up the commitment to bring as many of Max Kowalski's song cycles to the public as possible. So far, all of his 17 previously published cycles have been reprinted. In addition, several of the manuscripts are being printed as 1st editions by Dr. Foster.

A New Jersey native, Miss More has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She has been soloist and has appeared in numerous operatic roles performing with the Festival Chorus of New Jersey, the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Singers, the Plainfield Symphony, Ars Musica Antiqua, the Garden State Chorale, the State Repertory Opera, Jersey Lyric Opera, Choral Baccarelli (Sao Paulo, Brazil), the Academy of Vocal Arts Opera Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), Montclair Chamber Orchestra, and numerous others. In 1989, she was the award-winning collaborator along with composer Loretta Jankowski, of a song cycle entitled Phoenix, published internationally by Boosey & Hawkes, in December 1993. The work, featuring Ms. More, was presented at both the Los Angeles, California (1989), and Little Rock, Arkansas, national Association of Teacher's of singing (NATS) conventions. She is a recipient of several Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Incentive Grants, for performance and research. She is a member of the NATS, NJ, NYC and National chapters. Also, a composer of jazz, folk and children's songs. Her voice teachers and coaches include Franco Rossi-Roudett, Terrence Shook, Helen Fenstermacher, Chloe Owens, Daniel Ferro, Marlena Malas, Dorothea Discala, Frank Valentino, Deborah Taylor, and Dolores Cassinelli. She has appeared in master classes with Elly Amelling, Jerome Hines, Judith Raskin, and Daltin Baldwin. Ms. More holds a B.A. degree from Rutgers University, M.A. degree from Jersey City State College, and pursued studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts, in Philadelphia, and New York University. She worked as voice teacher, chorus director and Orff specialist at the Newark School of the Arts for over 30 years. As well as taught over 20 years in the New Jersey Public Schools as music specialist.

Pianist Angela Manso has served as musical/director/pianist for over forty operas and musical theater productions, including twenty for New York City's Bel Canto Opera Company. She served as assistant conductor for the Carnegie Hall performance of Mrs. H.H.A. Beach's Grand Mass in E-Flat Major, a work that was subsequently recorded in the Newport Classics label. Ms. Manso was the official accompanist for the first World Harmonica Championship on the Isle of Jersey, U.K., during which she performed in recital with harmonica virtuoso, Cham-Ber Huang, and accompanied internationally renowned artist Larry Adler and Mr. Huang performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto arranged for two harmonicas. As a composer, her Prayer for Mankind was performed by the Central City Chorus with Director Mr. Charles Pilling and organist Harry Huff. Women Singing, a women's choir directed by Ms. Phyllis Clark, performed Ms. Manso's O Son of Spirit! (originally written for eight-part mixed choir and arranged for four-part women's voices by Ms. Clark for the concert). The Celestial Tree was performed by Monica Jalili, soprano, and Angela Manso, pianist, at the Festival of the Arts presented by Global Music in New York City in 2002. Ms. Manso's chamber piece, Dawn, written for women's voices, harp, Native American flute, and Tibetan bells and ting-shas, was presented at the New York Baha'i convention in 2001.

The transcribing and printing of scores for both songs was done by Glenn Tiedemann, who has done many tracks for the recent Kowalski recording project, finished in June on the 60th year anniversary of Max Kowalski's death.

Tracks were recorded at the Newark School of the Arts, Newark, NJ by Max Caselnova and the vocals were later added by Miss More in the Sweet Sixteen Recording Studio, Cornville, Arizona and mastered there and final mastering took place at Fox Studios in Rutherford, NJ by Max Caselnova.

Lyrics and Translations follow:

Weltende of Else Lasker Schuler

Es ist ein Weinen in der Welt,
Als ob der liebe Gott gestorben wär,
Und der bleierne Schatten, der niederfällt,
Lastet grabes schwer.
Komm, wir wollen uns näher verbergen...
Das Leben liegt in aller Herzen Wie in Särgen. 
Du! wir wollen uns tief küssen --
Es pocht eine Sehnsucht an die Welt.
An der wir sterben müssen.

English Translation
There is a cry in the world,
As if the dear God had died,
And the leaden shadow that falls,
Loads great silence.
Come, we want to hide more ...
Life is in all hearts As in coffins.
You! We want to kiss deeply -
There is a longing for the world.
At which we must die.

Lebewohl poem of Eduard Mörike

Wer hat dich, du schöner Wald,
Aufgebaut so hoch da droben?
Wohl den Meister will ich loben,
Solang noch mein' [Stimm'] erschallt:
Lebe wohl, Lebe wohl, du schöner Wald!
Tief die Welt verworren schallt,
Oben einsam Rehe grasen.
Und wir ziehen [froh] und blasen,
Daß es tausendfach verhallt:
Lebe wohl, Lebe wohl, du schöner Wald!

Banner, der so kühle wallt!
Unter deinen grünen Wogen
Hast du treu uns auferzogen
Frommer Sagen Aufenthalt!
Lebe wohl, Lebe wohl, du schöner Wald!
Was wir still gelobt im Wald,
Wollen's draußen ehrlich halten,
Ewig bleiben treu die Alten:
[Bis das letzte Lied verhallt:
Lebe wohl, Schirm' dich Gott, du deutscher Wald !

English Translation
Who has made you, you beautiful forest,
Built so high up there?
I want to praise the Master
As long as I still have voice.
Farewell, Farewell, you beautiful forest!
Deeply bewildering the world sends out sounds,
Lonely deer grazing above,
And we go forth and blow the horn
So that it resounds a thousand-fold:
Farewell, Farewell, you beautiful forest!

Who has made you, you beautiful forest,
Built so high up there?
I want to praise the Master
As long as I still have voice.
Farewell, Farewell, you beautiful forest!
Deeply bewildering the world sends out sounds,
Lonely deer grazing above,
And we go forth and blow the horn
So that it resounds a thousand-fold:
Farewell, Farewell, you beautiful forest!


"Lebe wohl!" - Du fühltest nicht,

Was es heißt, dies Wort der Schmerzen:

Mit getrostem Angesicht

Sagtest du′s und leichtem Herzen.

Lebe wohl! - Ach, tausendmal

Hab′ ich mir es vorgesprochen.

Und in nimmersatter Qual

Mir damit das Herz gebrochen.

"Farewell!" - You do not feel,

What it means is this word of pain:

With a confident countenance

Said it, and light heart.

Farewell! - Oh, a thousand times

I've said it before.

And in nimmeratter agony

I broke my heart.

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