Recently I played the Sostenuto from my Sonata for Violin and Piano with my dear friend Semmy Stahlhammer, for whom I wrote the piece when we were at graduate school together. The concert at the University of Akron was a reunion for us, because we hadn't seen each other for many years, and Semmy complemented my piece with insightful readings of solo Bach and witty interpretations of some popular songs. As a gift, he gave me a book he had written about his father: it's an absolute page-turner, an amazing story and beautifully written, telling the tale of a Polish Jew who, through good intuition and great courage, managed to survive World War II. I realized how well the book fits to the music we played: the violin is a lonely voice singing with hope about a sad time, and the spycam-type camera angle reminds me of the title of this marvelous book: Codename Barber
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