Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975) — Edith Stein (Poema sinfonico) (2005) for organ
1) Le campane del Carmelo (The Bells of Carmel)
“Edith Stein” (2005) is a symphonic poem inspired by the life of Edith Stein (1891–1942), also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Stein was a German Jewish philosopher who became a Roman Catholic convert and a Discalced Carmelite nun. In 1938, Stein was sent with her sister to a Carmelite monastery in the Netherlands for her safety. In 1942, after the Nazi occupation of that country, Stein and her sister were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp and killed in the gas chamber. Stein was canonized in 1998 by Pope John Paul II.
The first movement, “Le campane del Carmelo” (The Bells of Carmel), is a carillon in which sections evoking the ringing of bells are interspersed with refrains that quote a minor key version of the German chorale “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen.”
The second movement, “Auschwitz,” is marked “passacaglia pro organo pleno.” It is a sober and heavy passacaglia, reflecting on the deportation and murders. Throughout, the ending of the first phrase of “Es ist ein Ros” appears, harmonized using the harsh parallel harmonies that accompanied it in the first movement. At the end (perhaps reflecting Stein’s veneration and beatification), a quiet coda returns to a gentle major key treatment of the “Es ist ein Ros” theme.
Carlotta Ferrari (b. 1975) is an Italian composer, organist, singer, and musical therapist. Educated at the Conservatory in Milan, she has composed in many genres. Notable works include the cantata "Giorno d'ira" (2008), written in memory of the victims of terrorism and performed in Como under the auspices of the president of Italy. Her "Operatic Suite on Melodies of Verdi" has been performed around the world by the Bruno-Valcepina piano duet. Ferrari's music appears on several CD recordings.