With 22 symphonies, 17 string quartets, 9 concertos, and 7 operas, the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg left behind an extensive oeuvre. Musically, one can hear the composer's close friendship with Dmitri Shostakovich, although Weinberg's music is more lyrical and romantic in nature. Nevertheless, the composer was long forgotten and his music has only been rediscovered in the last ten years. Gidon Kremer has dedicated himself to the rediscovery and cultivation of Weinberg's music. In February 2020, he performed Weinberg's Violin Concerto op. 67 with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under the musical direction of Daniele Gatti as part of a series of concerts in honor of the composer's 100th birthday at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Weinberg completed the concerto in 1959, the culmination of one of his most creative and successful phases of the 1950s. The work captivates with its large symphonic structure and its four movements, which are rather atypical for a concerto. Also in 1959, Weinberg composed the Sonata for Two Violins op. 69, which Kremer recorded with the Latvian violinist Madara Petersone, concert master of the Kremerata Baltica.
The live performance of the Concerto crackles with excitement as Kremer traces the unusual quasi-dramatic structure, quite unlike anything Shostakovich ever wrote. It is a passionate work, immensely appealing in Kremer’s hands. The concerto has been recorded from time to time before on small labels, but this feels like a performance that will carve out a permanent place for it in the repertory. Bringing down the curtain is a Sonata for two violins, Op. 69, of the same period, in which Kremer is ably joined by Kremerata Baltica violinist Madara Petersone, offers him opportunities to display his purring top register and is compelling and tight. This work has rarely been recorded. Accentus cleanly renders the Gewandhaus sound in the concerto, and the sonata was recorded at Lithuania’s ideal Paliesiaus dvaras. An exciting release that continues to advance Weinberg’s reputation.
– AllMusicGuide.com (James Manheim)