Weinberg - Chamber Symphonies, Piano Quintet | ECM New Series 4814604

Weinberg - Chamber Symphonies, Piano Quintet


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Label: ECM New Series

Cat No: 4814604

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 13th January 2017



This double album includes all four of the chamber symphonies written in the last decade of Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg’s life, plus a beautiful new arrangement – by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica percussionist Andrey Pushkarev – of the early Piano Quintet of 1944, heard here in a premiere recording.

It is a recording which underlines the importance and originality of Weinberg’s music. For Gidon Kremer, “Weinberg has become a source of unlimited inspiration. No other composer has entered my own and Kremerata Baltica’s repertoire and programme concepts with such intensity.” Weinberg’s chamber symphonies are Kremer says, “the most personal reflections of a great composer on his own life and his generation, like a diary of the most dramatic period of the 20th century”. This new recording – the second Kremerata Baltica album dedicated to Weinberg – is, Kremer feels, “the most valuable landmark in the orchestra’s discography since its birth”.

Recorded in Vienna and in Riga in June 2015, it marks the conducting debut on ECM of the CBSO’s new music director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. The set is released in time for a major tour celebrating both Kremerata Baltica’s 20th anniversary and leader Gidon Kremer’s 70th birthday. The CD booklet includes liner notes by Weinberg biographer David Fanning, as well as a personal recollection of the composer by Alexander Raskatov.


This album features the four chamber symphonies written near the end of Weinberg’s life: tonal, restless, sharing his friend Shostakovich’s eclectic taste for folk, Russian and Jewish idiom. The early Piano Quintet (1944), arranged for piano, string orchestra and percussion by Gidon Kremer and Andrei Pushkarev, stands out for its bold colours, lyrical intensity and refreshing detail. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, pianist Yulianna Avdeeva and Kremerata Baltica put the strongest case for this unfamiliar music.  Fiona Maddocks
The Observer 26 February 2017

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