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on 30 December 2012
In recent years this wonderful composer is at last emerging from the shadows and this disc helps in spotlighting Weinberg's huge talent. Often written off in the past as a mere clone of his mentor Shostakovich Weinberg is now recognised as a true original and while it is a fact that the older composer had a huge influence on him it is now recognised that it was just as true the other way round. The "Jewish" content in Shostakovich's compositions is due in large part to Weinberg's influence and each composer's music was strengthened and refined through this unique friendship. With 26 Symphonies and 17 String Quartets to his name among many other works in almost every genre Weinberg was one of the twentieth century's most prolific composers. This 6th Symphony so impressed Shostakovich that he used in as a teaching aid in his own classes. There is a wealth of ideas in the symphony and while there is sadness and anguish within its pages it culminates in holding out hope to the youth of the world that the future will be bright and three of its five movements use a boys' choir which helps to emphasise the positive note. The Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes is a superb evocation of Weinberg's mother's country of origin full of folk tunes and which closes with a rumbustious dance. I have also recently discovered his solo piano music and some of his chamber music all of which is uniformly excellent. While all Weinberg's music is accessible the Rhapsody would be an excellent introduction to his music and Naxos is to be congratulated for its championing of it much of which is becoming available on disc from several record companies. This disc cannot be recommended too highly!
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on 28 June 2015
great symphony
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