Weinberg: Music for Orchestra / Bartenyeva, Vasilyev, Siberian Symphony

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Mieczyslaw Weinberg, born in Warsaw in 1919, became a close friend of Shostakovich in Moscow, after fleeing eastwards before the invading Nazis in 1939. His style has much in common with Shostakovich’s: fluent contrapuntal skill, a keen feeling for melody, often inflected with Jewish cantilena, and an acute sense of drama which combines a natural narrative manner with an extraordinary ability to create atmosphere. Since his death in 1996, his vast output – which includes 26 symphonies, seven operas and seventeen string quartets – has enjoyed increasing recognition as some of the most individual and compelling music to have been composed in the twentieth century. This recording pairs an early orchestral work, the suite Polish Tunes of 1950, with the last full orchestral symphony he was to complete, dedicated to the memory of those who died in the Warsaw Ghetto.


It’s truly incredible that works as excellent as these are being recorded for the first time. …[Polish Tunes, Op. 47, No. 2:] there is no shortage of appealing folk-inspired melodies in this fresh and uplifting music. …Symphony No. 21, Op. 152 is titled ‘Kaddish’ referring to the Jewish prayer service for the dead. …Bold and unsettling, almost sinister in character, the Allegro molto section has a swirling, driving momentum. The brass playing is especially striking in writing of a conspicuously martial quality with heavy and relentless percussion. …A fascinating feature that noticeably softens the emotional tension is the inclusion of a wordless soprano at 2:45-7:51 and 10:34-11:06 here performed by Siberian Veronika Bartenyeva. This was my first experience of hearing the Siberian Symphony Orchestra (Omsk Philharmonic) who under the reliable baton of principal conductor Dmitry Vasilyev excel in this wonderful and inexplicably neglected music. The Symphony makes compelling listening with Vasilyev’s unfailing instinct producing assured orchestral playing of striking directness. The engineers provide clear sound with a natural and realistic balance. This important release from Toccata Classics comprising first recordings of Weinberg’s orchestral music has exceptional appeal.”

-- MusicWeb International

Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 08, 2014

  • Catalog Number: TOCC0193

  • UPC: 5060113441935

  • Label: Toccata Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Mieczyslaw Weinberg

  • Conductor: Dmitri Vasiliev

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Siberian Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: Veronika Bartenyeva