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Weinberg: Symphonies, Vol. 1 [CD]

Mieczyslaw Weinberg , Gabriel Chmura , National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £13.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice
  • Conductor: Gabriel Chmura
  • Composer: Mieczyslaw Weinberg
  • Audio CD (14 Nov 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0000VLSRS
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,164 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 76: I. Allegro moderatoPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra13:11Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 76: II. Adagio sostenutoPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra12:37Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 76: III. AllegroPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra 7:24£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 76: IV. AndantinoPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra12:26Album Only
Listen  5. Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 41: I. Allegro risolutoPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra 4:53£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 41: II. LentoPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra 7:48£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 41: III. AllegrettoPolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra 3:23£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Sinfonietta No. 1, Op. 41: IV. VivacePolish National Radio Symphony Orchestra 6:06£0.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Symphonie n° 5 - Sinfonietta n° 1 / Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio Nationale Polonaise, Katowice, dir. Gabriel Chmura

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recording of a fine symphony 20 Nov 2003
By Jeffrey Davis VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Chandos are sensible to issue Weinberg's (or Vainberg's) 5th Symphony at the start of their new series featuring the music of this fine Polish composer. It is easily the finest of his symphonies (or to be honest of the 10 or so that I have heard). It is a searching, visionary work containing echoes of the Symphony 4 by Vainberg's friend Shostakovich, (it is contemporaneous with the first performance of Shostakovich's epic score). There are many haunting and memorable themes and the end is terribly poignant (Vainberg, a Jew, had suffered terribly in the Nazi persecution of World War Two and nearly all his family had been wiped out).
I don't think that Kondrashin's magnificent performance on Russian Disc is still around (the symphony is dedicated to Kondrashin) and this new version is obviously a much more recent recording, allowing us to hear more of the orchestral detail.
The performance is excellent and this disc is highly recommended as an introduction to the music of a fine composer.Apart from Popov's magnificent First Symphony (Olympia) this is the only soviet era symphony that I know worthy to stand alongside Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony.
I hope that Chandos will go on to record the moving choral Sixth Symphony.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Vainberg to Weinberg 13 Feb 2006
By Cheryomushki - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Just as the "Vainberg" series on Olympia is fast disappearing from the North American and European markets, Chandos has introduced 2 volumes of "Weinberg" symphonies and other orchestral works. Comprising the composer's fifth symphony and his first sinfonietta, this first volume nicely complements the symphonies (2,4,6,7,10,12,14,17,18,19)previously issued by Olympia, along with three of Vainberg's four chamber symphonies (1,2,4). For its part, the Sinfonietta no. 1 (1948), inspired by Jewish folk music, also serves as a counterpart to the Rhapsody on Moldavian themes (1949) which accompanied the Symphony no.4 and the Violin Concerto on Olympia OCD 622. Furthermore, whereas the Chandos disc offers a 2003 recording by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under Gabriel Chmura, much of the Olympia collection consists of older recordings, of uneven quality, from the early 1960's to the 1990's.

As always, Mieczyslaw Weinberg is better understood and appreciated as a perceptive observer of the Russian artistic experience and of his society's collective psyche, between the Second World War and 1996, than as a "conservative modernist" who strove to serve the present-day emotional self-indulgence of classical music lovers completely divorced from the harsh realities of his life. His Symphony no.5, itself a testament to Dimitri Shostakovich and his long suppressed Symphony no.4, was dedicated to conductor Kiril Kondrashin, a champion of Weinberg's work. It thus remains a heartfelt expression of Weinberg's admiration for Shostakovich and of gratitude for Kondrashin.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging music in excellent performances 18 Mar 2010
By G.D. - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I do not want to be too optimistic, but if Chandos would give us a complete cycle of Vainberg (Chandos seems to prefer "Weinberg") symphonies it would definitely be a feather in their cap. Vainberg (1919-1996) was born in Poland, but moved to Russia in 1941 and became a close friend of Shostakovich - their styles are obviously close, but it was apparently not a one-way direction of influence; besides, Vainberg's style can rarely really be mistaken for Shostakovich's. He is also relatively well represented on disc, but a complete symphony cycle in modern performances and sound would still be very welcome (I have not heard alternative performances of either of the works here so I cannot compare).

The fifth symphony dates from 1962 and is clearly inspired by Shostakovich's fourth; it is a bleak, harrowed and harrowing work leading up to a very hollow triumph. It is a very fine work, and the adagio sostenuto is great, with its tenderly innocent theme being threatened and haunted by ominous shadows at every turn; it is followed by a darkly capricious allegro and a finale that starts out lyrically but soon develop into strident and very effective, bitter faux-heroism. Overall, the symphony never lets the shadows part, and remains darkly serious and intense throughout.

The first Sinfonietta, also in four movements, dates from 1948 and is in general a fiery, boisterous affair, drawing on folk music sources and is in general more immediately accessible than the symphony but also less momentous and overall striking. The performances are very compelling; powerful, colorful and ferocious, and the sound quality is excellent. Overall, then, this is a very commendable release to anyone who enjoys Shostakovich - if Vainberg doesn't fully have Shostakovich's compositional range, he isn't far behind, and while I would probably recommend that newcomers start with the issue containing the 14th and 16th symphonies, I see that few other reviewers agree with me on that.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good portion of good symphony music 10 Sep 2012
By Christoffer Kofler - Published on
Format:Audio CD
We should listen much more to Mieczyslaw Weinberg's symphonies than we do. They bring an unrecognized greatness and introspective depth unknown in the Soviet music.

Weinberg managed to escape to the USSR in the last moment of the Nazi's attack on Poland in September 1939, and this way avoided inevitable death in Poland in the Holocaust. That is how Poland lost Mieczyslaw Weinberg as a composer. After settling in the USSR Weinberg became an active participant in Soviet musical life as a member of the Composers' Union so famous for its political oppression and its servitude to the communist regime.
I consider Weinberg to be second largest Soviet symphonist right after Dmitri Shostakovich, with whom Weinberg had distant but correct relations. The two composers were frequently in touch and for this reason there is a tendency to compare directly the music of these two artists. Weinberg's symphonies as well as his chamber works amaze with its modern musical language, complicated and steadily changing rhythm and richness of the musical themes. His harmonization and rich orchestration make his music sounding more modern that it really is and certainly more modern than that of Shostakovich.
Weinberg - despite his clear inclination to humor, sometimes bawdy one - retains a certain distance and his emotional self-control is clearly palpable. Similar way Weinberg treats pathos and drama - these features are not imposing on the listener as they are doing in the symphonies of Shostakovich. Listening to Weinberg one can sense the music of a man that is less conflicted internally, less focused on his own experiences, a man apparently more mature than Shostakovich. Very characteristic are the endings of Weinberg's symphony movements. Muting diminuendos at the ends of Shostakovich's movements are often associated with parting, dying farewell, leaving, or even death, while the Weinberg's diminuendos mean rather a reconciliation, acceptance and peace.
While in his late works Shostakovich is sometimes sarcastic, cool and even dry, Weinberg's music with the age gains lyrical beauty.
Weinberg themes in the symphonies even though they are often dynamic, mobile, they carry along introverted emotional charge, and contain less external conflicts. This leads to a paradox that his music sounds more mature than that of Shostakovich.
Even though Weinberg undoubtedly was one of the most significant symphonist of the XX century, he has not enjoyed particular popularity in Poland. Was it due to Weinberg being deeply rooted in the Soviet reality or due to his parentage is impossible to tell. This is one of the reasons why I was so positively surprised by the three records with Weinberg's Symphonies Vol. 1, 2 and 3 performed by National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gabriel Chmura.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introspective in One, Festive in the Other 6 May 2013
By J. R. Trtek - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The reviewer of 03/18/10 gave a very good summary of the two works on this disc, though the Symphony No. 5 is perhaps not as bleak as suggested in those comments. To be sure, it makes me think of gray concrete apartment buildings and the Berlin Wall and bare limbs in winter -- those are all my own associations, and I'm not suggesting they have anything to do with what the composer intended -- but there's still at least an understanding of what optimism is, if not optimism itself, in the work. The Sinfonietta No. 1 is far more lively, borrowing from folk themes, and the first movement to me conjures up visions of some vague Eurasian bazaar. Anyway, this was the first of what eventually (I think) became three volumes of symphonies by Weinberg performed by these forces. The series seems to have come to a halt, and Chandos has more recently been issuing orchestral works by the composer as rendered by the Gothenburg Symphony under Thord Svedlund. Whoever is playing it, however, Weinberg is a "Soviet composer" definitely worth listening to.
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