on 14 December 2012
New recordings of Weinberg's music are now, thankfully, a regular event. This new recording presents two works of exceptional quality. Don't be put off by the 'Party Line' tags of these works, Weinberg was never truly an `Establishment' composer in the Soviet Union and, as usual with this composer, there are moments of emotional ambiguity. Wonderful themes, masterly development and highly atmospheric orchestral writing characterise this composer's output. If you haven't already discovered this important composer and you like Shostakovich and Prokofiev have no hesitation. Excellent performances and good sound at a great price. I hope it is the intention of Naxos to record all the symphonies: so much new and unfamiliar music that is of immense value.
on 24 September 2016
Weinberg's 19th is the final symphony of his War Trilogy, one of the most important groups of works in his entire output. Dubbed Weinberg's "Leningrad" by one or two commentators, this symphony is more small scale and more intimate than the (in)famous work of Shostakovich though it does too have a brutal central march section culminating with a jubilant trumpet call. More important, though, is the lyrical, almost nostalgic feel of this work which really does have a spiritual connection with Shostakovich who is here much less bleak than usual in his output.
To get to the point, this symphony is the most radiantly beautiful of all Weinberg's symphonies and overall, one of the most tranquil. There is an older recording which can be heard on YouTube with Fedoseyev which is more warmly romantic, especially at the beginning of the second movement but the much more transparent recording and attention to detail by Lande make this a fully acceptable reading in the absence of any current CD competition. The work is wonderful -- Weinberg is a more varied and more consistently inspired symphonist than Shostakovich and, although all the late works from 17 onwards are moving human documents, I think this is perhaps my favourite.