Defiant Requiem

Defiant Requiem

DVD - 2013
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The story of Czechoslovak composer, pianist and conductor Raphael Schächter who was arrested and sent to the concentration camp of Terezin, and brought music to his fellow prisoners by teaching them to perform Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem.
Publisher: [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, 2013
Edition: Widescreen
Branch Call Number: DVD 940.5472 D361s
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (85 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Shultz, Doug
Neuwirth, Bebe


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VaughanPLLily Dec 03, 2016

Following the narratives of survivors, Defiant Requiem tells the unbelievable story of Rafael Schachter, a Czech conductor who sparks hope and spirit among his fellow prisoners, in the darkest time at the Terezin concentration camp. This documentary is nicely done: the mournful music really enhanced the survivor's account of their history with the holocaust and with their source of hope--Schachter. It was Schachter's endless pursuit of music that made labor and torture more bearable; it was through music, that the prisons were able to express something they did not dare to say to the Nazis. It is a remarkable film to watch; it is painfully beautify.

Dec 05, 2013

This docu-drama tells the remarkable and gripping story of Rafael Schächter, who was born on 25 May 1905 and died on the death march during
the evacuation of Auschwitz in 1945.
He was a Czechoslovak composer, pianist and conductor of Jewish origin, organizer of cultural life in Terezín concentration camp.
Near the end of 1941, Schächter became obsessed with the idea of performing one of Verdi's requiems as a mass, for the Nazis would be damned
in the final judgement.
From a single score, he had his singers memorize the Latin lyrics, learn the translation, and individually taught them the tune.
In September, the Nazis resumed deporting prisoners to Auschwitz extermination camp.
However, though his choir was decreasing rapidly with time, Schächter refused to perform the requiem before it was perfect.
Finally, in January 1942, Schächter's masterpiece premièred.
Over the following months, even as his choir shrank, the requiem was performed 15 times.
Finally, when only 60 members of the choir remained, Schächter retired the piece.
The final performance, however, came afterwards, when Schächter was invited to perform the piece before visiting members of
the International Red Cross and the SS officers.
Unable to resist performing this piece in the face of the Nazis, Schächter gathered his choir for the last time.
It is a heart-wrenching yet extremely moving story.
If you love Verdi, this is a must-see.

aaa5756 Sep 15, 2013

PBS has done it again very well done documentary series. This movie was interesting, informative, and worse seeing!! I recommend this movie for all to see. Well worth the price of admission to any theater.


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aaa5756 Sep 15, 2013

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo

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