American composer Jake Heggie's For a Look or a Touch exists as the only classical music work of remembrance based on the topic of remembering homosexual victims of the Holocaust. The composer, after being approached by Mina Miller, wrote this 2007 composition as part of the Music of Remembrance concert series. The music of this work varies in style from a blazing swing dance to a haunting vocalise on "oo." Gene Scheer created the text, delivered in the work by the characters Manfred Lewin and Gad Beck, as a compilation of many influential stories from the documentary film Paragraph 175. For a Look or a Touch chronicles the horrendous treatment of homosexuals before, during, and after World War II. Chapters include an introduction to homosexual persecution during Hitler's reign, a look at current works of remembrance and how For a Look or a Touch came to fruition, an explanation of the texts created by Gene Scheer, a discussion on Jake Heggie's musical setting of this text, and avenues for possible future research. Appendices include text of the German anti-sodomy laws as written in Paragraph 175, the mission statement for the organization Music of Remembrance, transcripts from personal interviews with both Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, correspondence with Heggie, and the source delineation of Gene Scheer's text.
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