This Polish composer spent most of his life in the Soviet Union - in September 1939 he first escaped to Minsk and then left for Tashkent, where he began working at the opera house. Thanks to the support of Dmitri Shostakovich in 1943, he moved to Moscow. His works did not meet the standards imposed by the authorities, which is why the composer was mainly mothballing his creations, earning his living by writing music for theatres, radio and circus. Because of his Jewish roots, Mieczysław Weinberg was sent to jail for several weeks, from which he was relieved thanks to Stalin's death.
A close friendship with Shostakovich had a great influence on the symphonic music of Weinberg. What was particularly impressive for this Polish musician, even before the personal meeting with the Russian artist, was the performance of his Symphony No. 5. Weinberg himself wrote 22 symphonies (the last one was unfinished). At the end of the 1980s, after finishing 20 symphonies, he decided to introduce a certain variation in this genre, which manifested itself in limiting the cast. The first three of the four chamber symphonies written in 1987-1992 are an arrangement of early string quartets, while the fourth one is a completely original work.
In addition to symphonies, Weinberg also wrote solo concertos for various instruments i.e. 18 such works of this genre, including two flute concertos. The Concerto No.1 Op. 75 from 1961 surprises with the first notes with dance energy, which ceases only in the second movement which is extremely quiet and meditative. The dancing character returns in the third movement, in which the influences of klezmer music mix with Polish folklore.
In 1945 Partita for a flute with piano accompaniment was created, which is 1983 was re-arranged for a flute and orchestra comprising 12 miniatures with a remarkably gentle as if pastoral mood. The piece includes the wartime circumstances of the time when they were created and the personal tragedies, which the composer suffered.
Claudia Stein plays Weinberg
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48