In September 1941 Ignatz Waghalter was living in New York City, in an apartment on Central Park West and 100th Street. Four years had passed since he and his wife, Toni, had fled Europe. Waghalter’s life was productive, but the world in which he had developed his art no longer existed.
One afternoon, in September 1941, Waghalter composed a short piano piece that seems to reflect his innermost emotions as he recalled the past. I was fortunate to discover among my grandfather’s papers the handwritten manuscript of this “song without words.” The word “Remembrance” is on the cover page.
In 2015, I showed the manuscript to the wonderful Georgian pianist, Giorgi Latsabidze. Several years earlier, Giorgi had recorded my grandfather’s Sonata for Violin and Piano with Irmina Trynkos. Giorgi examined the manuscript, placed it on the piano, and in a moment of inspiration played “Remembrance” with great sensitivity. Fortunately, I captured the moment with an impromptu cell phone recording. Here it is:
David W. Green