- Symphony No. 16, Op. 131
- Symphony No. 14, Op 117
auto-inserted 09-17-2014 15:56:46
18.04 Out Of Stock
While Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich are the two most prominent figures in music of the Soviet era, a growing consensus of opinion would put Polish-born Mieczyslaw Weinberg with them, even at the forefront of all modernist composers. Weinberg (known also as Moisey Vainberg, and sometimes given erroneous transliterations of his name, even though he preferred the Polish spelling) composed 25 symphonies of highly original character and readily apparent technical mastery. These impressive works are gradually being received with favor in the West, largely through the efforts of Gabriel Chmura and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Their exciting recordings on Chandos are a great place to start investigating Weinberg's music, especially since the series is projected to cover all the symphonies and other significant orchestral works. The six-movement "Symphony No. 16, Op. 131" (1981), which receives its world-premiere recording here, and the more traditionally structured four-movement "Symphony No. 14, Op. 117," are sturdy, rugged symphonies, filled with pathos, irony, lyricism, and pugnacity, and they will instantly appeal to admirers of Shostakovich's cycle; they may also attract listeners who like the symphonies of Mahler, Prokofiev, Nielsen, or Sibelius because there are numerous points of similarity in these works that invite comparisons. The performances are accomplished and compelling, and the orchestra sounds remarkably rich in tone, even in exposed string or woodwind passages with only one or two melodic lines. But there are also powerful climaxes, where the brass and timpani project with great force and resonance. Chandos provides exceptional sound with phenomenally clear details, which makes listening to these pieces for the first time a pleasure. Highly recommended.