Weinberg’s Symphony No. 13, dedicated to the memory of his mother, is cast in a single movement that unfolds in a symmetrical arc. A large orchestra is used sparingly in chamber-like textures with motivic ideas that evolve over the course of the work. The result is music of gripping and unsettling power, both emotionally intense and architecturally complex. Some years earlier Weinberg wrote the light-hearted Serenade, Op. 47, No. 4 which offers a study in contrasts: by turn capricious, rumbustious and wistful. The Siberian State Symphony Orchestra has a reputation as one of the best orchestras in the former Soviet Union. In 2015 Vladimir Lande became the orchestra’s new Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. Since then, the orchestra hasRead more embarked on a recording programme with international labels, and televised concerts have become available for online streaming.
The dominant mood of the Symphony No. 13 is elegiac, and though the middle section displays aggression and sustained tension, the framing outer sections depend on long, brooding melodies and subdued dissonant counterpoint to communicate a haunted mood in the vein of Shostakovich’s late music. In contrast, the Serenade is almost shockingly cheerful, bursting with hummable melodies and rustic dances that at times evoke a sardonic mood. This album is an excellent introduction to Weinberg’s music.
Honest intensityJune 28, 2019By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"Weinberg's 13th Symphony isn't a pleasant work to listen to. But then, it's not meant to be. Weinberg dedicated this 1979 work to the memory of his mother. She, along with Weinberg's father and sister, perished in a Polish transit camp during WWII. Weinberg effectively translates his still-raw emotions into music. The symphony is harsh and unrelenting, pulling fragmented blocks of melody together as it gathers momentum. Not pleasant, but certainly powerful. Weinberg uses his orchestral resources effectively, using the full ensemble sparingly. The end result (to my ears), is a collection of small chamber ensembles that swirl about each other, constantly coming together and pulling apart. Coupled with this masterwork is the Serenade No. 4 -- which is quite pleasant to listen to. In 1952 the Zhdanov Doctrine was in effect. Soviet music must serve the people (as opposed to "art for art's sake"). The 1952 Serenade is bright, cheery, and full of hummable melodies. In many ways, it reminds me of Dag Wiren's Serenade. The tunes are catchy, set over simple harmonies. It's a perfect emotional balance to the 13th Symphony. Vladimir Lande and the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra perform admirably. The orchestra delivers the emotional power of the 13th Symphony. And they play the Serenade in a light-hearted manner. Every installment in their traversal of Weinberg's symphonies has been immensely satisfying. As is this release."Report Abuse