The Memory of the Chassids

Following in the footsteps of the Bartók folk music collecting tradition, Miksa Eisikovits, composer from Cluj, Romania, set out to collect the songs of the Máramarossziget Jewish community between 1938 and 1939. A few years later the community suffered the fate of many hundred thousand others: they were deported to the death camp of Auschwitz. Only several decades later did Eisikovits feel strong enough to take up his collected material and compose the song cycle entitled The Memory of the Martyrs from the gathered liturgical songs, every-day prayers asking for mercy, and songs of praise. Long ago many beautiful synagogues dotted the countryside of Hungary. The Olaszliszka synagogue, unfortunately, was dismantled by the country folk and the stones were used to build their own houses, but luckily the Mádi synagogue was preserved. Inside the beautiful surroundings of this building, László Fekete, cantor, and Judit Lukács, pianist, brought to life the Chasid songs once again.