Vedem was commissioned by Music of Remembrance, premiered in May 2010 and the CD was released by Naxos in May 2011. This Holocaust-themed oratorio tells the remarkable story of a group of teenaged boys incarcerated in Terezin and their clandestine magazine entitled Vedem (Czech for “In the Lead”). The CD also includes the premiere recording of Fathers.

The music is performed by The Northwest Boychoir, under the direction of Joseph Crnko, mezzo-soprano Angela Niederloh, tenor Ross Hauck, clarinetist Laura DeLuca, violinist Mikhail Shmidt, cellist Walter Gray and pianist Mina Miller.

“Laitman’s music itself is imbued with a humanitarian warmth that seems to complement her leitmotivic structure by underpinning the words with a musical consistency … The impression of innocence is painfully visceral. One almost does not notice Laitman’s skill as a word setter, or her structural mastery that enables the work to speak as deeply as it does… A most touching experience, and one that further confirms Laitman’s status as one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers.” (Fanfare Magazine)

“Laitman’s text setting is straightforward and artful, allowing phrases that evoke memories of a happier life to land with neither irony nor an obvious attempt at emotional manipulation. Her flexible instrumentation, for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, is by turns insistent, warm and oddly hopeful, with filigrees of solo violin in traditionally Hebraic intervals…. It is yet another fine example of Laitman’s gracious vocal writing and particular sensitivity to the complicated emotions that any reflection on the Holocaust is bound to conjure.” (Opera News)

“…an intensely beautiful sound space…” “…a powerful retelling…” (Artsong Update)

“[Music of Remembrance] commissioned Lori Laitman, one of the most gifted vocal music composers before the public today, to compose an oratorio which would memorialize the magazine and the boys who created it. David Mason, a past collaborator with Laitman, constructed a libretto combining the story of the boys with six of the poems which were written for their magazine. The result is profoundly moving masterpiece of heartbreak and hope, and the finest work yet to emerge from Laitman’s prolific pen…Brief mention must be made of the other Laitman work on this disk, Fathers, which she composed back in 2002 and revised in 2010. This song cycle is no afterthought; it is an exquisitely crafted masterwork in its own right.” (Gregory Berg, The Journal of Singing)