WEINBERG, MIECZYSLAW Russian Piano Music Vol. 10. Piano Sonatas Nos. 4, 5, 6. Murray McLachian. Divine Art

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Weinberg Mieczyslaw Piano Sonatas Murray Mclachian Divine Art

MIECZYSŁAW WEINBERG

Russian Piano Music Vol 10

Piano Sonata no. 4 Op. 56 (1955)

Piano Sonata No. 5 Op. 58 (1956)

Piano Sonata No. 6 Op. 73 (1960)

MURRAY MCLACHLAN

Mieczysław Weinberg – who actually preferred the non-German spelling ‘Vainberg’ – was born in Warsaw in 1919, the son of a composer and violinist at a Jewish theatre. When he was only ten he began his musical career there as a pianist and music director; two years later he started piano studies at the Warsaw Conservatory. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 he was forced to flee the country and he went to the USSR, initially to Minsk. There he attended composition classes at the conservatory for two years, but when the Germans attacked the USSR in 1941 he had to flee again: he spent the next few years at the opera house in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In the meantime his family had been murdered – burned alive – by the Germans. In 1943 Weinberg sent the score of his newly completed First Symphony to

Shostakovich, asking for an opinion of the work. Shostakovich arranged for him to receive an official invitation to Moscow – of especial value in the war years – and thus their close friendship was born. From the end of August 1943 until his death in 1996, Weinberg lived in Moscow, working as a freelance composer. From time to time he also made highly regarded appearances as a pianist – for instance, he performed alongside Galina Vishnevskaya, David Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich at the premiere of Shostakovich’s Alexander Blok Songs.

Weinberg was an extremely productive composer with an output ranging from a Requiem to circus music. He had a (perhaps not entirely fashionable) inclination towards large-scale, epic music; in this respect Mahler and Prokofiev were important role models. His musical style was extremely varied, however, and his richly-coloured palette ranges from folk elements to dodecaphonic techniques. Folk-music elements were not only of Polish and Russian origin, but also Jewish and Moldavian (some of his ancestors had come from Moldavia).

Divine Art DDA25107

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