Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moishei Vainberg - Yuri Levitin - Cello Concertos - Russian Disc 'Viae Intactae' Series

This is a fantastic performance of Vainberg's (Weinberg) Cello Concerto, as well as his "Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra". I think it's my favorite actually. Then we have a Concerto by Yuri Levitin (1912-1996), a curiosity especially as he's rather unknown and there are very few recordings of his music. Levitin's Concerto is not of the same quality as the Vainberg, however it's worthwhile music and still a good listen..especially the 3rd final movement, where it really comes to life. Writing in Pravda in 1965, Yuri Levitin drew attention to a neglected "middle group" of composers stranded between the generation of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, and Shebalin, and the young avant-garde (Denisov, Gubaidulina, Schnittke, Tishchenko, Eshpai, et al). Among those he listed, omitting himself, were Boris Tchaikovsky (b.1925) and Mieczyslaw (Moishei) Vainberg.

Vainberg's Cello Concerto is his most popular work in Russia, and enjoys many recordings and popularity in the West as well, deservedly so. It is melodious, dramatic, and instantly communicative, it possesses a richly soulful tragic-nostalgic main theme which recurs at key moments and guides the work to a moving diminuendo conclusion. The "Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra" too is a lovely work, the cello singing sweetly, dancing exuberantly, the orchestral writing rich and sumptuous. The second movement offers an exciting and playful conclusion. Vainberg/Weinberg is one of the finest composers of the 20th century and it's wonderful that his music has gained a lot of recognition and dozens of fine recordings over the last several years. I'm sure most people visiting are familiar with his music, however if not, if you are a fan of Shostakovich, you are sure to like/love Vainberg as well. Vainberg/Weinberg offers quite a bit more lyricism than the great DSCH much of the time, and his music should be thoroughly explored by anyone with an interest in 20th century Eastern European music. Enjoy.




Vainberg_Levitin_Cello_Concertos_Tz.zip


http://www3.zippyshare.com/v/99799422/file.html

5 comments:

Scribble Bliss said...

Wow. Thanks for this rare set of concertos. Levitin's a Shostakovich-ian composer who's very overdue for reassessment. I'm hoping that, as we've seen with Weinberg, we sometime see a CD series exploring Levitin's seventeen (!) string quartets.

Anonymous said...

THANKS FOR lEVITIN,FASCINANT COMPOSER,TZADIK!! TAPIRMAN

Tzadik said...

Hello Scribble Bliss, happy you like the disc. Levitin is overdue for reassessment, yes. There's almost nothing in the catalog. I have to admit I didn't know he wrote 17 string quartets! I'm hoping now that they get a survey too. -Tz

Tzadik said...

Hola Tapirman, happy you enjoyed discovering Levitin! Regards, Tz

Toon van Dijk said...

Many thanks and regards from The Netherlands.
Veel dank en groeten uit Nederland.