Notes and Editorial Reviews
A particular implication is posed when a composer returns to a melody after taking the listener on an extended journey away from it, which can result in bringing the musical universe of that piece together. The Romantics, following in Beethoven’s footsteps, understood the power of cycling back. Whether the melody serves as a recollection, a new understanding of an earlier time, or perhaps reliving a moment, it taps into the human psyche of associating like events to each other and drawing meaning from them. In the mid-20th century, even as many artists went in overtly avant-garde directions, there were those who, choosing to work within seeming norms of structure, managed to integrate them with their sound-worlds in singularly captivating
and moving ways. Mieczyslaw Weinberg was such a composer. Weinberg’s works are strong, beautifully crafted and grippingly original. They equally embrace influences that range from Jewish cantorial music and Yiddish Theatre to his abiding and deep mutual friendship with Dmitri Shostakovich at the vanguard of Russian Modernism.
The Attacca Quartet is up to the considerable emotional (not to mention technical) challenges of his Piano Quintet, Op. 18 (1944). The integration of the piano and the string quartet is masterly throughout. Although the presence of Shostakovich looms large, there is always something distinctive to Weinberg himself in the music here. Excellent and idiomatic sound from Steinway Hall in New York is another attraction.
– All Music Guide Read less
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