Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mieczysław Weinberg - Orchestral and Chamber Music - Kremerata Baltica - Gidon Kremer - ECM 2014

I have missed a ton of important birthdays, and Weinberg/Vainberg/Vaynberg is one of them. Such an incredible composer, It's hard for me to believe that I didn't know much about him until the end of the 1990's. I find myself mentioning Weinberg in the same breath as Prokofiev and Shostakovich. And I think he deserves it. This 20th century force of nature was born on December 8, 1919, and died on Febuary 26, 1996. I have a ton of Weinberg on disc and will be posting quite a lot provided most of what I have hasn't already been shared other places. This is one of the last discs I bought this year as I'm currently in a financial hell, indeed I shouldn't have bought it but a new Weinberg disc (and with such artists involved) is too tantalizing! I'm afraid I'm just too tired once again to share thoughts
on the music, hopefully next week I'll be out of the clouds so to speak. Enjoy this fantastic ECM set!!








Weinberg_Orchestral_&_Chamber_Music(Disc1)Tzadik.zip

http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/75440093/file.html


Weinberg_Orchestral_&_Chamber_Music(Disc2)Tzadik.zip

http://www68.zippyshare.com/v/10860623/file.html


9 comments:

Johannes R. Becher said...

This is indeed a great record and one of the top releases in 2014. No wonder it has been recently nominated for a Grammy.

It was thanks to this record that I discovered Weinberg and its musical language intrigued me. The sound is lean and bleak and I'm not sure to what extent it can be put off to the characteristical Kremerata sound (the Enescu Piano Quintet they recorded for Nonesuch sounds very much the same for me). Perhaps Weinberg meant it that way. Nonetheless, I think the Polish Tunes released by Toccata have a much warmer sound that the "lightest" pieces in this compilation (the trio, the sonatina and the concertino).

I found it very striking that such beautiful, accessible works as those mentioned above were composed by the very same person that gave us the hellish violin sonata #3 or the both terrific and terrible 10th symphony. The liner notes (which are quite interesting, although the reference to Zweig seems very far-fetched) made me realize my sense for modernity is not acute enough and that I rather enjoy his most "stalinist", "non-formalist", I dare say "proletkult" compositions.

I've been trying hard to get into the violin sonata and the 10th, with a moderate success. The sonata is a stinker, but once one gets used to its bleak sound it gradually starts making sense. I'm a bit jealous of those fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on the pov) enough to have spent 15 years in a convervatoire, who will have access to its secrets from the very first moment. The tenth however remains incomprehensible for me. I think it's mainly the fact that it's a string symphony, with no wind or brass to temper the harsh dissonances, that makes it so hard for me. And the last movement comes as a joke.

It's so nice to know you will be sharing and commenting more on Weinberg.

ARv said...

Thank you, but why not lossless?

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much. I look forward to your future Vainberg posts, as I am getting into his stuff a lot myself lately.

Anonymous said...

Great first volume, but the second is absent from ZP. Can you repost it, please?

Tzadik said...

Johannes hello and thank you for such a thoughtful comment. Do you know Prokofiev's Sonata for Solo Violin, op. 115? That's one of my favorite solo violin works (needless to say..along with works by Bartok, Bach, Ysaye...etc) and it is 'sunny' compared to the Weinberg. I love the Weinberg, for me it's entirely agreeable; but music is not concrete or 'definite', it is only the score itself that is definite, once it leaps off of the page it a wholly different and ambiguous experience for listeners...such magic then is all music!! I do not have the Toccata disc but wish I did. Can't afford to buy discs these days.The 10th for Strings I adore, it's motoric energy simply gets me going, for me ears it's an all engulfing experience, and oft dense as all hell, just how I like my strings ;) I feel the same about Shosti's Chamber Symphonies-however half of them are transcriptions of a few of his monumental String Quartets, thus not the 'easiest' listening. -If you do not know them, I think you would enjoy Weinberg's Chamber Symphonies, they are late works and rather tuneful and just a tad Prokofievian I'd say. I agree about Stefan Zweig, it seems far-fetched, and it was just "thrown in" to the notes-superfluously. Oh I think it is us, the musical "hikers" who are more fortunate-to unlock the secrets in a score might take a lot of time, depending on the piece, but that can be part of the magic, indeed that's how I think one gets an authentic "feel" for it, with one's own take on it. I think it's like exploring a mysterious, lush jungle on an island on one's own, instead of taking the workaday-guided tour... -Tz

Tzadik said...

Hi ARv. I don't bother with lossless because, frankly I find it time consuming compared to m4a (which, sonically is finer than mp3..) and I often like to write about the music in my posts; that takes me time and I quite enjoy that. Apple lossless (Alac) is also contained in a m4a file but I find the difference to be marginal. Maybe in the future..

Tzadik said...

Hi 'anon', you are most welcome!

Tzadik said...

Anon 2, I just downloaded the second zip and it's fine, everything is there and plays. Please try again, I'm not sure why you should be having a problem...

Johannes R. Becher said...

Hi Tzadik,

I have a lot of yet unexplored Prokofiev violin stuff. I'll try to pay attention to that violin sonata. In this moment it's only his violin concerto and his double sonata that come to my mind, and both of them are nice. Chandos is releasing both Weinberg chamber symphonies in january. I've been listening to fragments in the Presto Classical preview and I cannot say they are particularly warmhearted. If you want to take a listen to the Toccata Weinberg cd, Beaumarchais (Radio me la sudas) shared it a week ago).

As for those owning technical musical knowledge I don't mean their ability to follow the music on a score (which they undoubtfully can), but to tell much better what they are hearing. They can immediately recognize patterns ,variations, intervals, technique... I played the Weinberg sonata to my violinist girlfriend and to my "look how cold and bleak this sounds" remark she immediately replied "no, this is beautiful", "wow what double strings!" and things like that.