Gidon Kremer takes the lead in Weinberg centenary

December 2019 will mark the centenary of the re-emerging Polish-Soviet composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

There will be no state recognition of this musical moment in either of his nationalities but the violinist Gidon Kremer will set the ball rolling early next month with a programme titled, ‘In the beginning, there was noise’.

Here’s a brief press statement:

Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra and Gidon Kremer start the celebration of Mieczysław Weinberg’s hundreds anniversary with a brand-new program “At first there was…noise” (“Am Anfang war das Geräusch!“)

Over the next two weeks Kremerata Baltica and their artistic director maestro Kremer will visit Elmau, Munich, Laufen, Kronberg, Liepaja and Klaipeda to bring to the audience their newest creation – “At first there was noise” – a project about the long way from silence via noise to music.”

Based on the music of Mieczysław Weinberg, a Polish-Jewish-Russian composer, whose hundreds anniversary we are celebrating this year, this program is created by the violinist Gidon Kremer and clown from the famous Circus Ronkalli Robert Wicke. Maestro Kremer comments about the idea of this project: “Weinberg is very important for the development of music, a composer with the distinct voice. People need to discover him and that’s why I feel like starting the year 2019 with playing his music. Kremerata has already performed and recorded many of Weinberg’s substantial works. This time we are going to focus on his music written for theater, movies and circus.”

To find more details about the program and dates, please visit kremeratabaltica.com

UPDATE: There will be a Weinberg conference at the University of Manchester this month, featuring a performance of all 17 string quartets.

Details here.

 

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  • We just was subject to mediocre music of Leonard Bernstein celebrating his centennial. Spare us from another one, please.Celebrate more deserved composers.

  • Yet to be won over I’m afraid. If anyone has any recommendations that might do the trick and don’t sound like Shostakovich minus inspiration I’d be pleased to hear them.

  • Well it does give Kremer something to do .
    It is quite” fashionable” nowadays to “discover ” Weinberg as a leading composer too long neglected.That he has
    little originality seems not to bother his champions.
    Once you hear his music you realize there is little there
    that is not reminiscent of at least four other composers
    who have said it all better ,but it does give Mr. Kremer
    a project for 2019 .

    • Just out of curiosity, how much Weinberg have you actually listened to? Weinberg is not just a fad. His music (admittedly not all of it) has much to say. I recommend his string quartets, song cycles and operas. Potrait for instance is amazing.

      • Over the years I’ve heard a fair amount increasingly more in hope than expectation. Not for me alas; his music may well have much to say but others have said it so much better. I recall in the early 70s that a few were already claiming he was the great neglected genius etc.
        40+ years on I think the jury has finally decided.

  • Excellent news indeed. Were it not for the twin tragedies of religious and political persecution Weinberg would get his just due as a great. He deserves regular programming. The Naxos Weinberg recordings are all outstanding.

  • It is indeed very sad to read such negative comments here. Weinberg’s music is varried and not all he composed was great. You can say that about any great composer actually. But there is enough fantastic music to make him stand tall head and shoulders above many other ‘neglected’ composers. There is something deeply personal in his music. This is not great social statement of Shostakovich. Instead confessions of a tortured soul who counts it his duty to repay the debt for his surviving the tragedy that destroyed his land and family.
    I accompanied his Shakespeare song-cycle and his Tuwim one and have played his solo piano sonata. Three pieces and three completely contrasting characters. Yet they all share deep humanity and humility.
    Last month Mirga conducted a fantastic account of his 21st symphony. This was a symphony I couldn’t relate to for a long time until I saw the film whose music, composed by Weinberg, uses some fragments of the symphony. Suddenly everything became clear. Weinberg’s music, despite its more or less accessible style, could be very hard to understand. The key could be somewhere far away from the actual score… But it’s worth looking for.

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