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Cat. No. CHAN 10128 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10128 - Weinberg: Symphony No. 5/ Sinfonietta No. 1
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Available From: 14 November 2003
Shostakovich described Weinberg as ‘one of the most outstanding composers of the present day’. That someone who endured the horrors of Nazi genocide, World War II and the Gulag managed to compose at all is extraordinary, let alone produce an oeuvre of such size and quality (nineteen symphonies, four chamber symphonies, two sinfoniettas, seventeen string quartets and numerous other pieces of chamber music as well as seven operas). Weinberg was the only one of his family to escape Nazi atrocities during the war. His father-in-law was assassinated by the Soviet authorities. Weinberg himself was detained and came close to death in 1953 when he was falsely accused of plotting to set up a Jewish republic in the Crimea.

Weinberg’s music shares stylistic traits with that of Shostakovich which is unsurprising, considering the closeness of their relationship. They met in 1943 when, as a refugee in the Soviet Union, Weinberg sent him a score of his First Symphony. The older composer was so impressed that he arranged for Weinberg to be officially invited to Moscow. Weinberg felt as if he had been ‘born anew’ through their encounter. It was not a question of his taking lessons, rather, he had found someone in whom he could confide. The two composers would play each of their newly completed works to one another – Weinberg was the primary source of the Jewish musical influences in Shostkovich’s music.

Besides Shostakovich, other palpable influences on Weinberg’s music were Prokofiev, Stravinsky and especially Mahler. More of a romantic than his mentor, his music is notable for the lyrical beauty of its melodies and its extraordinarily fine thematic development.
Reviews

'Gabriel Chmura has a demostrable feel for the fine-honed intensity which chracterizes Weinbergs thinking. On the basis of its first instalment, the, this traversal of his symphonies is set to be a rewarding one.
International Record Review

'Weinberg wrote 22 Symphonies, and if this disc is an indication of what is to come, then Chandos' complete cycle will be a landmark.'
The Independent

''Gabriel Chmura has a demostrable feel for the fine-honed intensity which chracterizes Weinberg's thinking. On the basis of its first instalment, the, this traversal of his symphonies is set to be a rewarding one.'
International Record Review

Weinberg wrote 22 Symphonies, and if this disc is an indication of what is to come, then Chandos complete cycle will be a landmark.
The Independent

These are superb and passionately idiomatic performances in very good sound.
BBC Music Magazine

…superb and passionately idiomatic performances in very good sound.
BBC Music Magazine

…if this disc is an indication of whats to come, then Chandos complete cycle will be a landmark.
The Independent

'These are superb and passionately idiomatic performances in very good sound.'
BBC Music Magazine

 

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