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In writing And you and I, I had two principal objectives. I was asked to provide a musical exeperience specifically for the moments immediately following Krasa's opera Brundibar; and I was asked to use a poem written by a little girl in Terezin (Theresienstadt) to her friend.

In response to the first objective, I took the first three notes of the theme of the finale of Brundibar, a celebratory march of triumph, slowed them down and watched what happened next. They gave me a dark, somewhat quizzical theme to work with an lots of latitude. And they fit the first words of the poem.

As for the poem, in its English translation it is very basic language without artiface, a child's bare-faced anthem. I faced it against several lines of the famous Song of Songs verses "Arise, my beloved." I wanted to use both English and Hebrew in the piece, so I took an old - I don't know how old, perhaps ancient-nigun, or tune to which has traditionally been sung the Hebrew text of these verses. I do not know if these sweet lines of springtime love have ever been used before to sound a desparate alarm-"Come away! Come away!" - but that is how they presented themselves to me when I read them thinking about the Holocaust and little girls writing poems to each other in concentration camps.

Little girls and boys should not know about Holocausts; the children's voices in the piece never acknowledge the terror and desperation in the adult chorus and soprano solo lines. And the violin, in a cadenza, seems to reassure the children that they have the right to remain innocent. At the end, however, the children show us that they have never been innocent; they know everything: the past and the future.

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