Music in War Time by PostClassical Ensemble

  • Music
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Thu, December 07, 2017
  • 7:30 pm
Music in War Time by PostClassical Ensemble

PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez, presents Music in War Time: A Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration at the Washington National Cathedral.

PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Spanish Music Director Angel Gil-Ordoñez, juxtaposes galvanizing responses to World War II by Dmitri Shostakovich, Arnold Schoenberg, and Hanns Eisler, to celebrate Pearl Harbor Day. This program, including film clips of the Pearl Harbor, the Siege of Leningrad, and FDR’s declaration of war on Japan, begins with a wartime Eisler/Brecht workers’ song sung as a processional.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 (1944) is a cry of pain provoked by the barbaric Nazi Siege of Leningrad, in which half a million died. Arnold Schoenberg’s seething and exalted Ode to Napoleon (1942), composed in Los Angeles in response to Pearl Harbor by a grateful Jewish refugee, uses Lord Byron’s Ode to Napoleon to excoriate Hitler and exalt FDR. Hanns Eisler’s Hollywood Songbook (1938-1943), composed in Los Angeles responds to Hitler, the war and the composer’s California exile.


  • Hanns Eisler: The Hollywood Songbook and Workers’ Songs
  • Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2
  • Arnold Schoenberg: The Ode to Napoleon


  • William Sharp, baritone
  • Alexander Shtarkman, piano
  • Members of PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
  • The Cathedral Choir, conducted by Michael McCarthy
  • Commentary by James Loeffler


Venue map

Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016


More information

Post Classical Ensemble


Presented by Washington National Cathedral and Post Classical Ensemble. Produced by Joseph Horowitz for PostClassical Ensemble. Photo by Behrouz Jamali



Don't miss events like this one! Subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter to stay informed. Our subscribers also get exclusive access to select online content such as free screenings or concerts.

Sign up for our newsletter