‘This composer was forgotten and first-rate’

‘This composer was forgotten and first-rate’


norman lebrecht

March 05, 2014

The violinist Linus Roth, a protégé of Anne-Sophie Mutter, has joined the growing band of Mieczyslaw Weinberg admirers. He has a new recording out of the Weinberg violin concerto. He tells Reuters that it reminds him more at time of Schubert than of Shostakovich.

Kolja Blacher and Elisaveta Blumina have announced a forthcoming release of the chamber music.


blumina weinberg

And Gidon Kremer’s new compilation is my Album of the Week on sinfinimusic.

Weinberg is finally on the rise. I have been banging the drum for his music since 1991.



  • Michael says:


  • My string trio, Ensemble Epomeo, have just recording Weinberg’s String Trio for Avie alongside trios by Schnittke, Penderecki and Kurtag. The disc is out on Avie in October (forgive the plug)

    We just added the work to our repertoire in 2013, and it makes an enormous impression on the audience every time we play it. He was really a wonderful and very complete composer, whose uniqueness shines through the more you get to know his music.

  • Weinberg was a great composer. What a miraculous thing that his work has been rediscovered and finds its way into the repertoire. When 20C music history will be rewritten, many ‘great names’ will become mere footnotes and unknown names will appear as the carriers of real musical developments.

  • Tully Potter says:

    I’ve always loved Weinberg’s Violin Concerto and was responsible for drawing Kogan’s great studio recording to the notice of EMI, who issued it with Kondrashin’s account of the Fourth Symphony on the first Weinberg LP to be released in Britain. In this days we called him Moisei Vainberg and ‘name recognition’ has stood in the way of his music’s gaining a foothold in the west. I must point out that he was not Russian (referring to your previous post, Norman) but Polish. Hence his reverting to the Polish form of his name. I think most of the string quartets and several of the symphonies are worth anyone’s attention.

  • Dave T says:

    Weinberg’s opera The Passenger will be performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in February and March, 2015.

    • Patrick Summers says:

      Norman, I’ve just conducted the US Premiere of The Passenger at Houston Grand Opera, and I count myself as one who finds him an unjustly forgotten composer. His life was a perfect storm of obscurity, at least in the “west”. The Passenger is a work of dramatic restraint and intelligence, and is often very moving, always very hard-hitting and uneasy. I wish I knew more of his chamber music so I’m eager to hear the recording above. Best, PS

  • ruben greenberg says:

    As a clarinettist, I would say there are only a handful of clarinet sonatas up to Weinberg’s great piece: a work of breath, depth and great substance. The man, I might add, led a very tragic life. It is too late to do anything for the man, but not too late to do something for the music. Much credit must be given to Slipped Disc.

  • Linus Roth says:

    I believe it is us musicians who have the responsibility to convince concert presenters to let us program this treasurable music! After having recorded the Violin concerto ( and all his works for violin and piano on 3 CDs last year) I am now persuing all kind of possibilities to finally get to perform it. To my knowledge it has never been played in Germany nor in the UK. It´s about time..I won´t give up!

  • Josep says:

    I discovered Weinberg through his cello concerto, which is an astonishing piece. I hope he becomes much better known, because he truly deserves it.

    • Linus Roth says:

      I agree, the cello concerto is an amazing work! The wonderful Rostropovitch recording is even on youtube:


      I have been telling all my cellist friends to play and record it again…! It ´s hard to understand why musicians stopped playing his music, – Oistrakh, Kogan and Rostropovitch actually used to perform it!