Recent years have witnessed a dramatic rediscovery of the music of Mieczys?aw Weinberg (1919–1996), the Polish-born composer who twice escaped from Nazi invasions and finally settled in Moscow. His substantial output includes some of the most powerful Holocaust-commemorative music ever written, notably his Auschwitz-based opera, The Passenge..
Settled in Moscow from September 1943, Weinberg embarked on an extraordinary series of chamber-music masterpieces, gradually finding his voice in his increasingly ambitious third, fourth and fifth string quartets (in three, four and five movements, respectively). Weinberg Quartet No. 3 in D minor, Op. 14 Weinberg Quartet No. 4 in E flat, Op..
Weinberg was a young virtuoso pianist, self-taught as a composer, when he composed his first expressive and energetic first string quartet in 1937. Its serenade-like successor followed two years later, following his flight from Nazi-occupied Warsaw to Minsk. Weinberg Quartet No. 1 in C minor Op. 2/141 Weinberg Quartet No. 2 in G, Op. 3/14..
Following a gap between 1946 and 1957, Weinberg resumed his quartet cycle with a more restrained lyrical voice, heard at its most touchingly individual in the Eighth Quartet. The surrounding quartets are notable for their ambitious structures (No. 7) and restorative energy (No. 9). Weinberg Quartet No. 7 in C, Op. 59 Weinberg Quartet No...
The six-movement Sixth Quartet marks the summit of Weinberg’s first flowering as a chamber-music composer. Appearing in 1946, it was blacklisted two years later in the Anti-formalist campaign, and not performed until the Danels’ sensational premiere in the Cosmo Rodewald Hall in January 2007. Here it is prefaced by two short pieces compose..
Three quartets composed in quick succession between 1977 and 1979 inaugurate the third phase of Weinberg’s quartet output, in which continued experimentation takes him through the quizzical compression of the single-movement No. 13, through the inscrutability of the five-movement No. 14 to the extraordinarily powerful nine-movement No. 15..
Between 1965 and 1970 Weinberg approached a second apex of his string quartet output, working through the increasingly adventurous tenth and eleventh and culminating in the notably experimental twelfth, in which influences from Bartók and the Polish school provide new fuel for his mature musical language. Weinberg Quartet No. 10, Op. 85 We..
A quartet dedicated to the memory of Weinberg’s sister, who perished at the hands of the Nazis, followed by a farewell to the genre that leads towards the light. And to finish, the dramatic potency of the Piano Quintet, the work that helped make Weinberg’s name and which he recorded with the Borodin Quartet. Weinberg Quartet No. 16 in A..
A new work for cello and piano by Camden Reeves, written in memory of his jazz-loving grandfather and with echoes of the style of Bill Evans, precedes Prokofiev’s pungently idiosyncratic first quartet of 1931. Followed at 2.30pm by Quatuor Danel Seminar. Reeves Still above Ground – Elegy for Cello and Piano (first performance) Prokofiev..
A new work by Richard Whalley based on analogies between music and Icelandic geology and landscapes is sandwiched by two more Schubert masterpieces: the driving single-movement Quartettsatz and the sublime C major String Quintet, beloved of Desert Island Discs guests. Schubert Quartettsatz in C minor, D703 Whalley Mantle Plume (first per..
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