Notes and Editorial Reviews
Alice Sommer Herz is thought of with affection by hundreds of thousands of people in the world as both a sage and a saint.
Her wisdom is evident in almost everything that she says. Her saintliness is seen in her almost unique tolerance and her compassion. She has the true gift of forgiveness. At 106, she is the second oldest person in London, lives entirely alone in a small flat and practices the piano for two and a half hours every day.
She was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp for two years with her six-year-old son and remembers her inability to feed her child and to answer his questions, as an indescribable nightmare. She remembers also playing more than 100 concerts in the camp and likens the
experience, both for the performers and for the listeners, to being close to the divine. She is in no doubt that music saved her sanity as well as her life and the lives of hundreds of others.
She elaborates on this theme in this new film.
She has suffered experiences which no human being should have to endure, including the deaths of both her mother and her husband at the hands of the Nazis and yet she speaks about her experiences with a simplicity and a quiet grace that win the hearts of all who discover her.
She says that she has never hated and never will, in spite of all that has happened and in spite of growing up in Prague in the midst of three warring cultures, Czech, German and Jewish.
She does not even hate the Nazis who put her in the concentration camp because she sees very deep and she knows that hatred eats the soul of the hater, not the hated.
At 104 she published a book about her life and experiences. That is to say, two writers in Hamburg compiled a book from hundreds of conversations with her over nearly 3 years.
That book,A Garden of Eden in Hell, rapidly became a best-seller and has already, within two years, been published in seven languages.
ALICE SOMMER HERZ – Everything is a Present
A film by Christopher Nupen
Franz Schubert: Impromptu in A flat major, D. 935
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight": First Movement
Alice Sommer Herz, piano
Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: Dolby Digital 2.0
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
Running time: 54 mins
No. of DVDs: 1
Works on This Recording
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 935/Op. 142: no 2 in A flat major by Franz Schubert
Alice Sommer Herz (Piano)
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight": 1st movement, Adagio sostenuto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Alice Sommer Herz (Piano)
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria
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