Martin Ellerby – Epitaph VII: Memento

Posted on October 7th, 2012 by

Martin Ellerby (b. 1957)-Epitaph VII: Memento (Terezin) for Clarinet in A and String Quartet (2008)

Live Performance. Waterloo Festival-June 2012

Linda Merrick-Clarinet

Kreutzer Quartet

Linda Merrick with Morgan Goff, Mihailo Trandafilovski and Aaron Shorr, Glasgo October 2012

Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, Neil Heyde

1. The Closed Town 2. Work3. The Silent Hunger4. Fear5. The Butterfly6. Tears 7. The Deportation Train 8. Forgotten 9. To Olga

Recording courtesy of Colin Still (Optic Nerve)


‘The seventh in a series of pieces reflecting atrocities associated with events related to World War II, Memento takes as its subject the Nazi concentration camp located at Terezin in the former Czechoslovakia. Nine brief movements form a dramatic scena of varied moods. Individual movement titles are taken from a selection of pictures and poems created by the young inmates of the camp. All these, and more, can be found in the widely available published collection entitled …I never saw another butterfly… Some 15,000 children passed through Terezin between 1942 and 1944, of whom fewer than 100 survived. The clarinet plays the part of an innocent butterfly able freely to roam around the camp and to witness different events and experiences. The work is in the form of an arch, beginning with an eerie depiction of the town featuring string harmonics. The central movement, The Butterfly, is openly romantic, and the whole piece leads to the final, optimistic movement which uses fragments from Dvo?ák’s Songs my Mother taught me.’


Notes © Colin Beeson 2010



Martin Ellerby studied with Joseph Horovitz at the Royal College of Music in London and then privately with Wilfred Josephs. He has written in most genres and his output includes five symphonies and twelve concertos. He combines his compositional career with work in education including the post of Visiting Professor of Music to the RAF Music Services. He was awarded a doctorate by the University of Salford in 2006.