In the Czech Republic, not far from where PARMA produces many recording sessions, the inmates of the Nazi concentration camp Terezin came together in a rebellion using creativity, with only art and music as their defense. As the day-to-day fight for survival weighed them down to near death, they embraced the power of music as a connective force between them, holding each other up in a buoyant web of collective survival.
By using art and music, the inmate choir took a defiant stand against the captors and their atrocious nature.
The film DEFIANT REQUIEM brings this heart-breaking and beautiful story to life by focusing on one emblematic occurrence in the artistic uprising – the performance of Verdi’s Requiem by 150 inmates, conducted by conductor Rafael Schachter, also an inmate. Eventually, the imprisoned choir would perform the powerful Requiem, (a daunting task in and of itself), face to face in front of the Nazis. What the officers didn’t know, however, was that Schachter, and others, had re-created portions of the piece to condemn the Nazi party.
DEFIANT REQUIEM recreates this powerful moment in history with conductor Murry Sidlin bringing his life-long goal of bring the Verdi’s beloved piece back to Terezin in a live performance. The result is touching and powerful, and not to be missed. The film features PARMA recording partner The Kuhn Choir in many of the film’s powerful reenactment scenes.