Rediscovering the music of Mieczyslaw Weinberg

Posted on: December 23, 2016

“If the music of Dmitri Shostakovich chronicles political repression in Stalinist Russia, that of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, his contemporary and close friend, is a testimony to the horror that swept through Europe in the 20th century,” writes Rebecca Schmid in Wednesday’s (12/21) New York Times. “Since the first full staging of his opera ‘The Passenger’ at the Bregenz Festival in Austria six years ago, the composer has begun to overcome his reputation as a second-rate Shostakovich. … many [Weinberg] compositions deserve to be posthumously enshrined in the 20th-century canon. Now, the International Mieczyslaw Weinberg Society, founded by the conductor Thomas Sanderling and the violinist Linus Roth in the summer of 2015, hopes to create a place for the composer in the standard repertoire. Weinberg, a Warsaw native, escaped to the Soviet Union on foot in 1939, but his parents and younger sister died in the Holocaust….  On Jan. 30, Mr. Sanderling will conduct the German premieres of Weinberg’s Symphony No. 7 and Flute Concerto No. 2 with the Staatskapelle Dresden.” Also planned in 2017 are performances of Symphony No. 21 (“Kaddish”), the world premiere of “the recently discovered one-movement ‘Largo’ for violin and piano,” and the first complete performance of Weinberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 2.

Posted December 23, 2016