Last edited: December 15 2010

(For the reasons behind the change from Vainberg to Weinberg throughout the article and in the title, see a 2005-ish issue of Fanfare magazine or the relevant article in Wikipedia- material will also be put here in due course.)

First updates in awhile:
Recently released recordings: Performance and recording of Weinberg's opera The Passenger! - about the performances see here. A recording on Blu-ray on the NEOS label is being released early in 2011.

Naxos has issued (reissued?) recordings (possibly those once available on Olympia) of the solo cello music together with (new?) recordings of the cello sonatas, on 2 CDs. Toccata Classics' first CD of the complete songs was released in 2008 and their first CD of the complete violin sonatas - with violin sonatas 1 and 4, the first solo violin sonata, and the sonatina - is in preparation...

The second recordings of symphonies 1 and 7 has been released on Chandos in April 2010, conducted by Thord Svedlund.

The double bass solo sonata opus 108 is featured on a recital on the Canadian Analekta label recorded in 2008 (Analekta AN 2 9931).

The viola solo sonatas almost fill a 2-CD set on the Neos label released in early 2010.

cpo has released the 4th and 5th sonatas for violin and piano in late August 2009 according to their website; also, the third in their series of recordings of the complete string quartets performed by the Quatuor Danel, this one containing quartets 6 op. 35, 8 in C minor op. 66, and 15 op. 124, has been released!
Also now released or about to be released (the above having been released in some places) - the premiere recording of Weinberg's string trio op. 48 (on Praga); the premiere recording of the First Symphony op. 10 (on Northern Flowers).

Cellist Johannes Moser and pianist Paul Rivinius recorded the 2nd cello sonata (op. 63 in G minor) for Hänssler Classic (released in September of 2006. Catalog 93176.) The Shostakovich cello sonata and Boris Tchaikowsky E minor cello sonata of 1957 (a work which had also been on the Russian Disc CD with the Weinberg sonatas) are also on this.

Cellist Emil Rovner, the husband of violinist Kamilla Schatz, mentioned previously, will be recording the op. 116 "song after Zhukovsky", the second cello sonata in its revised edition (both premieres), and the opus 100 set of preludes. These will be released on the label DIVOX, from Switzerland.

Symphonies 14 and 16 (the latter a premiere, the former probably unavailable unless Regis has reissued the Olympia CD) have been issued by Chandos Records - National Polish Radio Symphony, Katowice, cond. Gabriel Chmura. (Chandos 10334.) Chandos has also released a recording with several concertos including premieres.

This information from Kamilla Schatz: She will record the three solo violin sonatas (in B minor opus 82, B♭ opus 95, and A minor opus 126) for the British label Guild in March 2007. From May 26, 2007 –June 2, 2007 her husband Emil Rovner (www.emilrovner.com) and she will organise a festival with a special focus on Weinberg's music in St.Moritz, Switzerland. The festival is called "Resonanzen" to be held at the culture-hotel "Laudinella" (www.laudinella.ch).

The American Symphony will perform the trumpet concerto and the sixth symphony in June 2007. Conductor Leon Botstein. (Shostakovich symphony 13 seems to me an apt coupling in the program, considering!) (More specifically, this link, and go to "Uncommon comrades".)

At the Eastman School of Music during the Shostakovich Conference in September 2006, there will be substantial attention given to Weinberg's life and work.

Earlier (January) there was a concert in Paris containing the fourth piano sonata, the violin sonatine, the eighth string quartet and other works, and a roundtable with a musicologist and a representative of the composer's family.

Mar. 2006: Note- watch for the music for violin and piano - the five sonatas and the sonatina - on the house label of Toccata Press, I'm informed...
Feb. 2006:
There has now been an announcement that the Danel quartet intends to record a complete cycle of the quartets for cpo.
Also: the clarinet sonata (op. 28, 1945) has now been given a CD premiere by Julian Milkis and Nina Kogan) (Suoni e Colori SC 253242, a recording from 1992.) (Other works to find - there's a recording of the op. 127 late trio on a BIS CD, of Three Palmtrees for soprano and string quartet op. 120 on Claves.
This is a page devoted to the music of Moisei Weinberg (1919-1996). (87th birthday this year: prob. around Dec. 8- thanks to friends who helped me find out this information. And the 10th anniversary of his death, as well..)

On Feb. 13th 2006, at 4pm Eastern Standard, the station Bayern 4 in Germany will be broadcasting a Sitkovetsky/Geringas/Nemtsov performance of the piano trio.

The Danel Quartet will give a seminar on Weinberg's quartet works in Manchester, including several premieres, in February, and will play others throughout the season (2005-6) - a long list. The piano quintet, quartets 2, 6 (January 2008), 8, 13, 16, ... etc., in the UK., some of them UK premieres.(They have performed quartet 16, I believe, in October 2005 in Manchester, and intend to play the entire cycle in various places.)

In December 2005- Dec. 9 I believe- they will perform a work by Weinberg in Rotterdam, in the UK (and a work by Nikolai Myaskovsky as well- this from the Musiq3 website, http://www.musiq3.be.)

Another page of works (fairly comprehensive, contains quite a few works- e.g. quartet 2- lacking here, as does Mr. van Rijen's page.)
This page is continually in progress.

Chandos's new releases for November 2004 include what's announced as the first release in a cycle of Weinberg's symphonies conducted by Gabriel Chmura conducted by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Sym. 5 is coupled with the first sinfonietta. (Chandos CHAN 10128. Hopefully this cycle will include all the symphonies. This is the first CD recording of the sinfonietta, and the first all-digital recording of the symphony. The second recording in the series, CHAN 10237, couples the 4th symphony, the Moldavian Rhapsody, and the 2nd sinfonietta.)

(Yes, information below this line dates from 2004 or earlier, mostly. Will update soon...)

According to MDT, a new recording of the violin concerto can be expected any day now from Naxos - Ilya Grubert soloist, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dmitri Yablonsky; coupled with the Miaskovskii concerto.

Anton Uzunov has recently begun a new page devoted to Weinberg's music. For some of this information I am also indebted to the Weinberg section of Manfred Arens' New Russian Music site.
(Thanks to Mr. Uzunov for pointing out the publisher Peer Music Hamburg which is now publishing two symphonies (2 and 5,) the cello concerto, the five violin sonatas, the piano trio and piano quintet, thirteen string quartets (1-12 & 16), and the three sets of Childrens' Notebooks for solo piano (see this page.)

On May 16 2003, Gabriel Chmura conducted the 5th symphony in Liege (see www.ftpl.be/agenda/mai.html) - he has also performed the work with the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Katowice (this was broadcast on BBC3's overnight program early Oct. 4.) On the 17th, he conducted the Liege Philh. in the Trumpet Concerto.

On Jan. 26 2003, Weinberg's 2nd cello solo sonata was played in Seattle by the cellist in the Seattle Chamber Players (see Jan. 2003 concert.)

On Jan. 20 2003, the first cello sonata (op. 21 in C) was performed in a concert at Chamber Music Northwest (http://www.cmnw.org/encore2003.html) by Vladimir Feltsman (piano) and Gary Hoffman (cello) (at Reed College, I believe.) (This program was repeated at Lincoln Center Jan. 24 and Jan. 28.)
On Dec. 6 2002, pianist Oxana Yablonskaya performed a concert with at least one work by Weinberg at the Ethical Culture Society in Manhattan (New York City.) (Still don't know what was played- any info appreciated.)

There is a new and useful list of Weinberg works here which together with the list at Onno van Rijen's site (which is almost complete but seems to disagree with mine in a few instances- I suspect his is correct but frankly I'm not sure!!) at the least supplements this site, which now becomes useful more for news and descriptions... the German site does seem to be somewhat inaccurate as well, however (sym. 16 is surely op. 131, not op. 130?) as well as less nearly complete.

Be sure to visit Olympia and encourage them to continue their wonderful cycle ;) ... I look forward to the next installment, myself. Their Weinberg edition has produced more than 16 CDs (I believe) of considerable quality, mixing new performances and old. Fans of the composer (myself included) can only wish them best of luck in all endeavors! (as of 2005 or so- this site seems to be deceased.)

Latest news:



(Latest news now moved to the top, mostly... - Feb 2006)

The first chamber symphony, op. 145, is being featured in a concert given by the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin and broadcast over Bayer Radio B4 (they don't stream, to my knowledge- sorry- but here is the schedule link) on Christmas, conducted by Mischa Rachlevsky (it's not actually clear whether this is a station-organized concert from existing recordings or a new live broadcast concert- I'm assuming the latter...)

Suddenly it's raining recordings of the trumpet concerto *g*. A recent recording featured Bibi Black as soloist in it on Chandos; now on Teldec Sergei Nakariakov plays the solo with the Jena PO conducted by Boreyko.

Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes played June 21 2002 at Salle de l'Orchestre Philharmonique, Liege. (I believe Chmura was the conductor.) (Also, chamber work played in Doue-la-Fontaine on July 28- piano trio perhaps? Piano quartet assembled.)

The National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada performed the 7th symphony on May 29, 2002. Gabriel Chmura conducted. This was the work's Canadian premiere.

The Novoye trio intends to perform the piano trio this coming season. (As of 2002.)

News from the Olympia site: A new sampler CD with tracks from various quartets, symphonies, piano sonatas, and other works is out (Olympia OCD 720.) More than 75 minutes of music and possibly a good introduction for a newcomer to Weinberg's music. I think well of such efforts myself and hope that they succeed. If you haven't heard of Weinberg's music you may want to consider either getting this CD, getting a single "representative" CD (I suppose I'd recommend that with symphonies 6 and 10 or the new one with quartets 7 through 9 as very good choices!,) - hard to say really!

The Lindsays played quartet 8 at U. Manchester on Feb. 7 & 15, 2002.

The first solo cello sonata will be played by Guido Schiefen at the West Cork Music Festival in Ireland on June 26 of this year (2001), and the 7th quartet will be played at the same festival on July 1st by the Dominant Quartet (which has recently recorded the work for Olympia.) (The piano quintet op. 18 closed the Festival last year, and was broadcast later on the BBC.)

Weinberg's Quartets 7, 8, 9 and 13 were among the quartets that could be played by entrants who qualified for the 2nd round of the 6th Annual Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition this past September 19-25 2001. (The second round consisted, in all, of one of the op. 18 quartets by Beethoven and a quartet selected among the quartets of P. Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Prokofiev, Schnitke, or certain selected quartets by Miaskovskii (the f# minor, the 9th in d minor, or the last), S. Taneiev, Shebalin, Galynin, or Boris Tchaikovsky. See this site.)
Quartet 8 was played by the Lindsays at U Manchester on Feb 15 2002 - see http://www.art.man.ac.uk/MUSIC/concert/schedule.htm.
There is also a new (2002) recording of the cello concerto out on Talent (Talent 85, with Shostakovich op. 107 and Levitin's concerto: Drubinsky (spelling?) cello, Mnatzakanov & the Russian Film Orchestra.)
Somewhat older news!
Quartets 7, 8 and 9 is out!! This is, to my knowledge, the first complete recording of quartet 7 on CD (a movement of the Borodin quartet LP has appeared on an encores CD on Teldec,) the first recording of the 8th quartet on CD, and the first recording of quartet 9 in any medium. (All of these quartets have, I believe, received modern performances- 8 from the Danel quartet, 9 from Stephen Honigberg's group at the Library of Congress; 7 was played by the Danel quartet in London- see below!) The performers on the new recording are the Dominant Quartet of Moscow.

A Weinberg quartet was played by the Danel quartet in Warsaw on May 21, 2001 (see here.)

Naxos has expressed the intention to release a Weinberg CD sometime in 2002. Worth looking out for, I think, whatever its contents. (Update: this disk worth looking out for, but not, according to a communication from Mr. Heymann, to be expected for some while yet.)


See Onno van Rijen's Weinberg opus list! (And the summary of it on Wikipedia: List of compositions by Mieczyslaw Weinberg.)

The Vanbrugh Quartet has recently (July 2000) given a live performance (see this page) of Weinberg's piano quintet. Kudos to them! And Chandos has released a new CD of trumpet concerti containing the Weinberg B-flat.

The Quatuor Daniel once again played something by Weinberg (I don't know what), in Montpelier (sp?), on July 17 2000. (Note July 14 2001: the work was quartet 8. They played quartet 6 on June 4 2000 in La Pree. This, anyhow, if I'm understanding another webpage correctly! Source in both cases: cached webpages at google. To be exact, they were scheduled to play something of his. Not that I know them to have a record of not playing things they're scheduled to play, just want to state the exact extent of my knowledge and no more!) Also see here - a similar program in London from January 30 2000, where quartet 7 (in C, op. 59) was played (this is a link to a review after the fact. The piece is reviewed in lukewarm fashion; having myself reheard this piece recently thanks to John Wiser's weekly WOV program, I disagree... but the variety of taste in the world is a good thing, and the work did get a hearing, which it needs. May it be hoped that they or someone will give the work its first CD recording? (Later note (11-21-2000): See above- wish fulfilled!) One movement is on a Teldec CD, remastered I think from the LP, but while that is good that hardly suffices...) (2003: According to the notes to a Talent CD, they intend to do an integral of the quartets, label unspecified.)

From Mar 7-Apr 7 2000, the Qt. Arezzo took music of Weinberg on tour through France according to a Shostakovich page at www.devinci.fr.

(According to the webpage of the Kostomuksha Festival, the 14th Festival, on August 31 (2001??), contained a cello sonata by Moisei Weinberg played by M. Drobinskiy.)

Update (11/20/98): I have now heard sonatas 5 & 6 from the new recording; 5 is as good as I thought, 6 better than I thought. MacLachlan's pianism has if anything improved. This disk (OCD 596; sonatas 4-6) seems on first listen to be a must-get for any Weinberg fan, or just anyone curious- 3 masterpieces in a row, with some Shostakovich influence but not the work of the Shostakovich clone that Weinberg is so often accused of being. More news: the CD of the other cello sonatas, mentioned below, is now out, I'm told.
Update (3/31/99): The CD of the other cello sonatas .is. out and is quite good...(see below- I will make comments on those cello sonatas in time.)

Upcoming releases on Olympia include the remaining solo cello sonatas (#1 already out, sharing a CD with the 24 preludes) and the chamber symphonies 1 and 4. (Now these are out.-3/31/99.)

Other Weinberg Pages?

Note:

Information wanted on syms. 20-26 and quartets 2, 3, 5, and 13-16 among other works. Many, many thanks to Per Skans for the information about syms. 3, 9, 11, and 13. (5-20-99: I am now in the process of seeking an opportunity to have a look at sym. 3.)

Table of Contents:

1. Symphonies
2. Concerti
3. Sonatas & Sonatinas
4. Trio, Quartets & Quintet
5. Operas and Songs
6. Miscellaneous works


Symphonies:

Symphony no. 1, op. 10 in g minor. This is a 4-movement piece, g/D/B-flat/g.

Long description of this work here. Short description to follow soon.

Symphony no. 2, op. 30 in G major. For strings alone. First movement in G major with (apparently) exposition repeat. Second movement in C? Third movement in g minor ending major with episode in 5 sharps... (Now on Olympia OCD 652.) Written 1945-6.

Symphony no. 3, op. 45 in B minor. (1949, 2nd version 1959, though probably only slightly revised. First performed in Moscow's Large Hall Conservatory in Mar. 23 1960 by the USSR TV and Radio Orchestra conducted by Aleksandr Gauk. In 4 movements.) Ends in B minor (despite a fake picardy third a few bars before the end.) First movement opens quietly with violins, timpani and contrabassi, allegro, 2/2 half=120. 62-page first movement ends quietly in B minor. Oboe solo opens allegro giocoso A major 2nd movement (43 pages.) String section opens c minor quarter=50 adagio third movement, con sord. which ends with strings & timpani C major morendo close (14 pages.) B minor finale opens with a forte trumpets & trombones call soon joined by other instruments- allegro vivace quarter=208; 89 pages. More as I "skim" more. Unrecorded to date so far as I know.

Symphony no. 4, op. 61 in a minor. Four movements, a/b♭/d/A. First movement has, unusually, sonata-repeat. Available on Olympia OCD-622. Scherzo in 2nd place. First movement is incredibly propulsive for much of its length, suggesting the 12th symphony to come, yet with a calmer and relaxed 2nd group. The ending is a real blast. The second movement scherzo is a strange slow intermezzo. The slow movement's themes feel improvisatory, the emotions, varied and wild. The finale may be the least striking movement but is good music. This piece says things about its composer's skills not always said by other works known to me, and they're quite positive. Written 1957. (Revised 1961. New recording available on Chandos CHAN10237.)

Symphony no. 5, op. 76 in F minor. Four movements. The first movement is a powerful sonata-form with many themes, one of which rather resembles happy birthday. The ending of the movement is haunting. Second movement a lengthy adagio probably in G, ending on a G-A chord, with a b-flat minor middle section. The third movement is a C minor scherzo that goes into the F minor andantino finale attacca. Written 1962. (Available on a Russian Disc CD and a newer Chandos CD.)

Symphony no. 6, op. 79 in A minor. Five movements, with chorus. The first movement introduces a memorable trumpet-call. The movements set various texts about the death of children. The finale, in A major, opens with a violin melody but is mostly for chorus. 1962-3.

Symphony no. 7, op. 81 in C major. Five movements, for harpsichord and strings. A mostly very good piece, with some very imaginative textures, especially in the finale, and a recurring main theme that tends to reappear at the end of sections in vari are allegro moderato, allegro, andante, adagio sostenuto, and a final, lengthy allegro. (Weinberg's works with more than 4 movements often put highest weight on the outer movements, with sometimes quite fragmentary or miniature inner movements.) 1964.

Symphony no. 8, op. 83 in G major. A setting of texts by Julian Tuwim for orchestra and chorus.

Symphony no. 9, op. 93. A work in 13 movements entitled "Lines that Have Escaped Destruction," for narrator, mixed chorus, and symphony orchestra. Texts by Tuwim and V. Broniewski. Written between 1940-1967.

Symphony no. 10, op. 98 in A minor. For small string orchestra. In 5 movements and written in 1968. First movement, like 9th quartet's, a sonata-form (perhaps) with development-recapitulation repeat as well as exposition repeat, as well as an introduction (which is heard again in the finale) and coda. Main theme of sonata form not especially minor-mode, and the opening of the work doesn't sound especially minor-mode either even though opening chord is a minor; the a is nearly inaudible. First movement ends on chords of A-C♯-D♯; finale, on chord of A-B-C♯-D♯-E. There is much divisi writing, including a passage in the finale where each instrument enters in turn with a Barshai in the C-D♭ trill (rehearsal 57), half-covering the page of score. (This occurs about 20 minutes into the only existing recording.)
The opening of the finale is worth special attention. In it, themes from all the movements are heard, at their original tempi. This might be a problem for performers... anyhow, the movement becomes rather chaotic, in a mess of the sort Shostakovich never made and you may wonder if Weinberg should (oh I don't know, it sounds fun.) (Actually, the latter stages of the opening of Shostakovich's 2nd symphony may have been a precedent, and did Weinberg know Penderecki's music? No matter...) Things come to an sff climax (a better word occurs but escapes me right now), followed by a brief first-violin-solo cadenza, a return to something like the sonata-theme of the first movement, and a return to the work's introduction (not played exactly according to the 1972 Muzyka recording; this is one of a few slight differences between performance and score). Cadenzas are a large feature of the work's progress from the second of its five movements on. (Unsurprising, since the work is for 17 strings, sometimes though rarely treated as all solos.)

Symphony no. 11, op. 101. "Solemn Symphony", in 4 movements, for mixed chorus and orchestra, on texts by D. Bedny, P. Ediet, A Bogdanov and M. Gorky. Written in 1969 dedicated to Lenin's cemetery. No performance known.

Symphony no. 12, op. 114. "In Memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich." A four-movement work in D minor though ending on low C. Possibly the best Weinberg I know to date, along with symphony no. 6. Concise though long first movement with a surprise ending full of emotion. Scherzo follows with curious orchestration, then a deep slow movement that comes to a wrenching climax just before the finale. The finale opens "lightly" with a theme on xylophone, but doesn't stay in that mood for long. According to Sikorski's online listing, the work was written in 1975-6, and is for four flutes, three oboes, four clarinets, three bassoons, 6 horns, 4 trumpe ts, 4 trombones, timpani, marimba, harp, celesta, strings and (I think) cymbals (Becken?).

Symphony no. 13, op. 115. A work in one movement in memory of Weinberg's mother.

Symphony no. 14, op. 117. A remarkable one-movement piece, beginning with a steadily-unfolding line and ending with a several-times-repeated F♯ major chord (with added E-natural). According to Sikorski's catalog, the instrumentation is four flutes, three oboes, four clarinets, three bassoons, six horns, four trumpets, four trombones, timpani, "schl." (drums?), glockenspiel, bells, xylophone, celesta, piano and strings. (A recording was available on Olympia; a new one is now on Chandos Records CD, the third in Chmura's series, with symphony no. 16. The work was, according to http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/c/cha10334a.html , premiered in 1980.)

Symphony no. 15, op. 119. A many-movement work for soprano, baritone, women's chorus and orchestra. Sets texts of Mikhail Dudin. Subtitled "I believe in this Earth!". There are 8 movements. The first is an adagio. The second begins with a bassoon solo moderato, followed by an allegro, meno mosso, doppio piu lento, and a largo ending in F. The third movement is an allegretto-meno mosso. The andante 4th movement begins and ends in D minor. The 5th movement is a largo. The sixth movement is an andante-allegro-andante, where the allegro is mostly for baritone solo with orchestra until the chorus enters towards its end. The seventh movement is a 3 page lento where the last page consists mainly of many very-lightly-scored slow bars for perhaps 2 or 3 groups of instruments apiece. The finale is moderato-adagio, and ends most dissonantly.

Symphony no. 16, op. 131. Apparently a one-movement symphony in A♭ minor, though beginning over an E♭ pedal and ending with quiet E♭-G chords over E♭ and A pedal. There might be two movements, since two pages of the score which should have been there were completely blank. Stylistically, typical for Weinberg of the period; one apparently noteworthy section has strings in unison for a substantial and agitated length of time. There is also some antiphonal writing. Performed (premiered?) by the Moscow Chamber Orchestra cond. by P. Kogan in 1981. (A recording - most likely the premiere - on Chandos with symphony no. 14, conducted by Gabriel Chmura. Note according to http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/c/cha10334a.html this was premiered in 1982.)

Symphony no. 17, op. 137. The first of the trilogy of symphonies "On the Threshold of War". Subtitled "Memory." In four movements played without a break: Adagio sostenuto, Allegro molto, Allegro moderato, and without tempo indication. The first movement lacks contrast but is very typically "Weinberg" in its gestures. Matters improve with the second movement. The scherzo-like third movement is determined in character. The finale, a slow span much varied in mood and instrumentation, seems to quote the first movement towards the end before ending in a remarkable but weird final cadence.

Symphony no. 18, op. 138 "War: There is No Word More Cruel". For chorus and orchestra, but starting with a sheerly beautiful section opening in low strings. A further hearing of this piece has convinced me that it is a wonderful work.

Symphony no. 19, op. 142 "The Bright May". Third of the "On the Threshold of War" trilogy. A one-movement piece that's almost riotous in its colors.

Concerti:

Flute concerto, op. 75 in d minor. Three movements. Movement 1: allegro molto, quarter=160. d minor 2/4. repeated exposition with distinct 2nd theme. Ends F-E-D unison. Movement 2: largo, eighth=96. a-flat minor 12/8. 2 bars orchestra before flute enters. Ends expectantly; finale follows attacca. Movement 3: allegro commodo, half note dotted=69. 3/4. opens on a sort of g minor, with 11? bars before flute enters. Ends in a hail of 16ths alternating with less manic sections and, in the last bars, octaves for the flute and a picardy 3rd somewhat as though a dominant of g minor.

Flute concerto no. 2, op. 148. (With thanks to Peter Lundin for this information. 2002 May 19.) Three movements- Allegro/Largo/Allegretto, 19 minutes, premiered by Boras Orkesterforening, Thord Svedlund cond., Anders Jonhall (flute), Oct. 23 2001.

Trumpet concerto, op. 94 in B-flat major. Three movements. My earlier description of this work was most mistaken. The movements are entitled "Etude", "Episodes" and "Fanfares"; the first is in B-flat (second group begins in e minor and continues on in F) and is a sonata form with- unusually for a concerto- an exposition repeat (taken in Dokshitser's recording); the second movement is very deep; it is connected to the rather late-Shostakovichian finale without a break, and this quotes both the opening movement and (loosely) Mendelssohn's Wedding March before coming to a quiet close (except for one last loud chord of B-flat). There is originality here yet also more resemblance to Shostakovich than in many of Weinberg's other works, and perhaps even a near-quote of Shostakovich in the first movement. From Sikorski's catalog: 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, drums, "schl.", bells, vibraphone, xylophone, harp, celesta and strings. Scores of this work can be had from various sources.

Violin concerto, op. 67 in g minor. Now available on Olympia OCD-622. According to Sikorski's catalog, 26 min. or so long. (May have reached CD before on Arlecchino ARL-87?) Four movements: allegro molto, allegretto, adagio and allegro risoluto. Allegro molto's main theme makes heavy use of tritones and introduces a theme that may have been taken up by Shostakovich, or vice versa (the latter's first cello concerto & 15th symphony use themes that are similar, IIRC). The ending of the movement is a blast (viz. sym. 4). The allegretto's opening is very slow, but soon reaches normal intermezzo speed, dissolving eventually into a cadenza and the singing slow movement. Finale begins boldly but in a tonally fluid manner, and quotes the first movement near the end; as a farewell surprise, the last G major chord is for violin solo alone, quietly into the distance. Premiered 1959 (Kogan/Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra/Kondrashin.)

Violoncello concerto, op. 43 in c minor. 4 movements (Adagio/Moderato/Allegro-cadenza-Allegro), from 1956 (though a revision of an earlier work). Melodious opening is followed by a dance towards the end of which brass and solo cello exchange motives one program-note annotator (from the Talent recording) thought klezmer-like in style; and two allegros, the first substantial and outgoing, the second more inward.

Clarinet concerto, op. 104. From 1977, for clarinet and strings. Given its North American premiere by clarinettist Julian Milkis, the Symphony New Brunswick of Canada and conductor Nurhan Arman in November 1993 (thanks to the conductor for this information.)

Sonatas & Sonatinas:

Sonatina for violin and piano, op. 46.

Clarinet sonata, op. 28 in D. In 3 movements. First movement, in D major, opens with a clarinet solo. Allegretto, in G major, follows. Finale opens adagio with meter-less harp-y sounds in C♯ minor, then C♯ major, then C minor, before a faster D minor movement follows ending in D major. (Performed in Washington DC in the Holocaust Museum series of concerts (that has also included, over the years, performances of the piano trio, first solo cello sonata, and 9th quartet) in 2000.)

Piano sonata no. 1, op. 5 in C?. In 4 movements- adagio, allegretto, andantino, and allegro molto- lasting about 15 minutes. Possibly the earliest work of Weinberg's yet recorded. (Actually, probably the earliest work of his known to me at all.) Opens with F♯s alternating with great dissonant crashes, followed by an unaccompanied melody. The rest of the movement seems to suggest some influence from Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Bartok. The movement ends in C major, sort of. The allegretto is- again more or less- in C major, with a main theme that obsesses on F♯s. The andantino is as brief as the allegretto and might at first be mistaken for a trio to the latter. The allegro molto requires virtuosity, and its melodic style is closer to Prokofiev than Shostakovich. It ends in a. (1940)

Piano sonata no. 2, op. 8 in a minor. In 4 movements- allegro, allegretto, adagio, and vivace, lasting about 17 minutes. The opening movement of this 1942 work begins almost as though a perpetuum-mobile, though all slows down for a second subject. One section of the development memorably interposes a regular-rhythm bass with a slow melody, and is followed soon after by the recapitulation. The movement ends with three loud octave As. An E minor allegretto makes much of an B-C-B figure, and contains strange faster outbursts that last a fraction of a second. An A major adagio, while conflicted, is melodic and reminds me of Prokofiev's piano-reduction of his Romeo and Juliet score. This is by a sight the longest movement of the work. The concluding movement opens in a minor (the adagio ended in E), again showing a fairly strong Prokofiev influence, in my opinion, but not throughout. It ends, in a minor, sooner than one might expect.

Piano sonata no. 3, op. 31 in a minor. In 3 movements- allegro tranquillo, adagio, moderato con moto and lasting 23 minutes. The opening of this sonata is tonally extremely flexible, neither really in one key or another, but a minor seems to be settled on soon enough. The allegro tranquillo is, at 9 and a half minutes, the longest movement of the first three sonatas (several tie for the shortest), with a second theme in B major whose melodic shape foretells the last movement of Shostakovich's Babi Yar symphony (13), a work still a long time to come (this sonata having been written in 1946). The movement reaches several climaxes, one concerned with a rocking back-and-forth semitone, and another, which concludes the movement, trill-laden and bringing the movement to a close in a-flat minor.

Piano sonata no. 4, op. 56 in b minor. Recorded by Gilels. This work seems to me a masterpiece after one listen... The first movement, in b minor, seems to have some of the same general atmosphere as the first movement of Shostakovich's 2nd piano sonata (in the same key) though without the more jokey episodes. The second movement is an angry scherzo. A deep slow movement follows. The finale starts out light, though definitely minor-mode; an ending in B major seems to be heard but a series of chords leads to a desolate minor-mode finish.
Further thoughts (May 2000) on a relisten to Gilels' recording.
i) allegro moderato. sonata form with repeat; contrapuntally complicated development. Coda is harmonically wrenching (EMOTIONALLY) before B major close. 2nd subject has startstop qualities in common with similar in Shos qt 3,6 first mvts each (qv).
second movement. scherzando. Allegretto. seemed generic until this listen but rather good...
third movement. Adagio;Largo;
Finale. Again contrasts in rhythm more than in mood, ending slow and very pensively as with opening movement and feints towards B major before a single but quite pointed held dissonance, followed by two b minor chords , one loud, one soft, finis.
What a piece...
More recordings please, though the two there are are quite fine. More performances, please, too. Perhaps one of the composer's masterpieces...

Piano sonata no. 5, op. 58 in a minor. A work in three movements, in a minor, e-flat minor, and a minor. The first movement is a passacaglia, opening with just the ground in dotted halves and dotted wholes at a tempo of dotted half=108. This is followed by a sempre tenuto a minor tune over the same bass line. The last few appearances of the ground are in shorter notes (half-notes, then quarter notes) giving a stretto feel.
The second movement, in e-flat minor ending major (quarter=66, andante) has a somewhat unusual form.
The third movement (allegretto quarter=152, ending slowly and plagally) alternates 4/4, 3/4 and 6/4 sections. My judgement is that this sonata may well be a masterpiece, which I would like to hear. (Postscript 12/19/98: Have heard, sounded wonderful, more soon.)

Piano sonata no. 6, op. 73 in d minor. 2 movements: adagio in d minor, and an allegro molto in D with a coda in d (ending on a D major chord).

Violin sonata no. 1, op. 12.

Violin sonata no. 3, op. 37 in a minor. 3 movements. Movement 1: allegro moderato in a. Movement 2: andantino, possibly in f minor, ending on high A-flats. Piano solo opening, violin only enters in bar 24. Movement 3: allegretto cantabile in A major. Contains a cadenza (andante) and a lento coda.

Violin sonata no. 4, op. 39 in F major. 1 movement in several sections connected. F major adagio has about 33 bars of piano prolog before the violin enters. At the end of the adagio (a while later) the a minor allegro ma non troppo follows attacca, with semiquavers for the violin. This is a lengthy movement. It ends in a prestissimo followed by an adagio tenuto molto rubato (quasi cadenza), which in a c# minor transition leads to an F major adagio primo coda.

Violin sonata no.5, op. 53. About this I know only where a copy can be found, nothing more.

Violoncello sonata no. 1, op. 21 in C major. An interesting slow first movement with recitative-like passages for the cello is followed by a multipartite finale beginning in g minor, seemingly coming to a full stop there, yet continuing to a C major close.

Violoncello sonata no. 2, op. 63 in g minor. This work is in three movements, a fairly brief moderato with some feeling of Shostakovich to it, a c#-minor? andante to which I will return soon, and a brief finale of obstinate rhythm ending surprisingly in major.

Viola solo sonata no. 1, op. 107. Once recorded on LP.

Violin solo sonata no. 1, op. 82 in b minor. This work is in 5 movements: an adagio-allegro-adagio in b minor, an andante ending in g minor, an allegretto in d minor, and a lento in I-have-no-clue that ends on a long F# attacca into the b minor presto finale.

Violin solo sonata no. 2, op. 95 in B-flat major. Once recorded on Melodiya. This work has 7 movements: I cannot translate the Russian titles given them so will simply say they are an allegro moderato in B♭, an andantino grazioso perhaps in d minor or F major but ending in C major, a presto agitato in D minor, an andantino non tanto beginning in G or C and ending in G (this movement may be named Prayer?), an allegretto leggiero ending in e minor, a lento affetuso beginning somewhere around C minor or E&x266D; major and ending ambiguously but attacking the finale, vivace marcato (beginning ambiguously, too) which then ends in B♭ major. Something more usefully descriptive than a list of keys to follow, promise.

Violin solo sonata no. 3, op. 126. Recorded by Viktor Pikaizen on Melodiya LP. A piece in one diverse, sometimes spectacular a minor movement.

Violoncello solo sonata no. 1, op. 72. Played and broadcast live on BBC radio 3 on Fri. Mar. 6 1998 by Raphael Wallfisch; recorded on an Olympia CD by J. Feigelson; played before that by S. Honigberg. Performed (premiered?) by Marin Smesnoi in 1960.

Violoncello solo sonata no. 2, op. 86. A work in 4 movements lasting about 19 minutes, from 1965. (More when I've heard it again.) On an Olympia CD. (Moderato sostenuto-Allegretto-Adagio-Presto.)

Violoncello solo sonata no. 3, op. 106. A work in 4 movements lasting about 19 minutes, from 1971. On the same Olympia CD. (Allegro-Allegretto-Lento-Presto.)

Violoncello solo sonata no. 4, op. 140. A work in 3 movements lasting 12 minutes in its revised version (1986) and about 16 in its original version (1985- different first movement; all four movements on the Olympia CD.) (Andante-Allegretto-Allegro Molto in both versions.)

Flute sonata. Once recorded on Melodiya.

Trio, Quartets & Quintet

Quartet no. 1, op. 2/141. Recorded by the Gothenburg Quartet. Three movements, fast-slow-fast with some decidedly weird goings-on.

Quartet no. 3, op. 14. Given its UK premiere today October 12 2007 by the Quatuor Danel.

Quartet no. 4, op. 20 in E♭. Recorded on cpo, volume 1 of the complete quartets by the Quatuor Danel.

Quartet no. 6, op. 35 in E minor. (This will be played by the Danel Quartet in June 2001 - see under Quartet 7. Note added December 12 2007- in January 2008 they are giving the work its UK premiere, in Manchester: page. )

Quartet no. 7, op. 59 in C. Recorded by the Borodin quartet. In four movements: adagio, in C, songful with strange interruptions; allegretto, in minor, cleverly orchestrated, available on a Teldec CD; a brief, annunciatory adagio leading attacca into a lengthy allegro moderato that shares its sense of culmination, of a finale longer than any of the other movements, with such Shostakovich works as the 6th string quartet's finale. The Daniel Quartet played this on June 29th of this year; this will be broadcast over Bayer radio later this month (August 1998). (Postscript. According to this page, they have also played the 7th quartet more recently- at the South Place Ethical Society in London, 30 January 2000. They intend to play Weinberg quartet 6 in 2001 - see their own page (actually, a subsection of it.))

Quartet no. 8, op. 66. Recorded by the Borodin quartet. First movement a slow and impassioned colloquy. The next movement follows without a break and is more dance-like, beginning over plucked bass, followed by a brief section with the melody in the lower instruments before returning to the texture of the opening. A new section is mostly faster melody over regular fast bowed notes. The movement continues on with changes and ends on plucked minor chords. Recently played by the Daniel Quartet in Brussels (Sept. 20 1997) and again (in 2000?) for Radio France.

Quartet no. 9, op. 80 in F♯ minor. Four movements. First movement may be a sonata-form with coda in fast tempo. Second movement a B♭ minor intermezzo beginning in major. Third movement a G major slow movement. Finale in F♯ minor ending major. First movement shares with sym. 10 the anachronism of a development-recapitulation repeat as well as the exposition repeat. Played January 26, 1997 at the Holocaust Museum. March 6 2008 - UK premiere.

Quartet no. 10, op. 85 in a. An obsessive slow first movement is followed by an allegro, an adagio? and an allegretto. Recorded by the Gothenburg Quartet.

Quartet no. 11, op. 89 in F. Possibly inspired by Shostakovich's earlier 3rd quartet? (More details to follow on its individual movements, one of them in b.)

Quartet no. 12, op. 103. Often non- or quasi-tonal. Some moments of this work simply, well, work better than others. The finale is a wonderful movement, full of conviction. The opening movement has its strained moments. The other movements are somewhat inbetween. My opinion of this hard-to-take work improved with a few listens. 1969-70.

Quartet no. 13, op. 118. Played by the Danel Qt. in January 2001 in Nantes (see this page).

Quartet no. 14, op. 122.

Quartet no. 15, op. 124.

Quartet no. 16, op. 130 (129?). Recorded on cpo (and also on Olympia. That label, though its website is back up, seems still down.)

Quartet no. 17, op. 146. Recorded by the Gothenburg Quartet. 3 movements, fast-slow-fast, almost joyous for Weinberg.

Piano Quintet, op. 18 (in e?). 1944. (Available on a Olympia CD; has also been performed in a fairly recent concert.)

Piano Trio, op. 24. Interesting piece, whose opening major chords are a bit of a feint. These chords open an interesting and fairly minor-mode first movement; this is brief and is followed by an enjoyable, minor-mode scherzo; a lengthy "poem" of a third movement reaches a strong climax and has real depth; the finale is again mostly in minor despite a picardy-third ending. The ensemble that recorded this work for Albany will be playing it in March of 1998 at Delaware Valley College. Available on CDs from Olympia and from Albany (the latter Troy 157).

Trio for flute, viola and harp, op. 127 Recorded on BIS, 2003.

Operas and Songs

The Idiot. Scoring for three flutes, three oboes, four clarinets, three bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani, schl., Russian bells, glockenspiel, marimba, xylophone, harp, celesta, strings, and piano (offstage). Also available in a version for small orchestra. Based on Dostoyevsky's novel.

Madonna and the Soldier, op. 105 (opera in three acts, nine scenes).

Portrait, op. 128 (opera in three acts, eight scenes?).

Baiukaia rebenka, op. 110 (song cycle (high voice and piano)).

Vokalnyi tsikl : iz liriki Feta, op. 134 (song cycle).

Iz poezii Petefi, op. 70 (song cycle for medium voice).

The Passenger (opera in two acts, eight scenes and an epilogue).

Congratulations! (opera), op. 111. Text by Sholom Aleichem based on a play by the same name. Brief orchestral prelude precedes. Two alternative endings, both choruses, one ending with a bar or so orchestral finish in C (a final chord lasting more than a measure), the other in e minor and ending with a longer orchestral postlude ending on an F#-major chord hit staccato.

Miscellaneous works

Detskie tetradi, for piano. For children; published in 1947.

Fantasy for cello and orchestra, op. 52. Available on a Russian Disc recording. According to Sikorski's catalog, one flute, three horns, one trumpet, strings and solo cello. Played by Y. Feigelson and the Knoxville Symphony (cond. Andre R. Smith) in Feb. 1999. (Mr. Feigelson, who has recorded the cello solo sonatas and preludes for Olympia, may be planning to record the concerto and fantasy as well, according to his website last I checked it. I don't know if this is still the case.) Written 1951-3.

Preludes for solo violoncello, op. 100.

Moldavian Rhapsody, op. 47. Now available on Olympia OCD-622. Written 1949. (Recorded a few times, most recently on CHAN10237.)

Serenade in A major, op. 47 no. 4. In 4 movements, allegretto in A major, allegro molto in e minor, adagio-moderato in G major, and allegro giocoso (beginning with a flute solo) in A major. The allegretto opens over winds, harp and plucked strings with a violin melody, unusually lyrical and long-breathed for this composer, followed eventually by a D minor section beginning with oboe. The return to the main section involves the full orchestra. The allegro molto scherzo begins with 4 horns giving the motto of the movement followed by winds, then strings, giving the main theme, in a modal e minor. There are other sections including a lengthy one in d minor that begins with a lengthy passage for strings only.

The slow movement begins adagio with clarinet solo, soon joined moderato by plucked strings. A C minor middle section leads to a return of the theme first introduced at the opening of the moderato. The finale is a rondo, the main theme returns several times. After a first episode in (largely) C, a rondo-return is followed by an episode in C♯ major/minor turning to E and then to a repeat of the rondo-theme reinterpreted so that it is in F♯ minor (turning to b minor and then to D major, etc.), the rondo theme in D, then a passage for horns and strings mostly in C♯.

There is then a theme, majestically (though not labeled "maestoso") presented, rather like that which opens the first movement. (Gee, big surprise.) There is then a final return of the rondo theme, and a coda that begins energetically and ends quite majestically - perhaps even ponderously - in A major.

Sinfonietta #1 in D minor, op. 41. In four movements. The first in D minor, opening and ending with trills. The second slow in A minor. The third a scherzo in F♯ minor. The finale in D major though chromatically.

Sinfonietta #2, op. 74. Four movements. Performed by Barshai in London (Moscow Chamber Orchestra, July 3 1962.) (In A minor. Recorded on Chandos CHAN10237. Dates from 1960.)

Chamber symphony no. 1, op. 145. Played, according to http://www.claves.ch/e_konz.htm, by Mischa Rachlevsky and the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin in Switzerland (or to be played: date not given.) Now on CDs from Olympia and Claves.

Chamber symphony no. 2, op. 147 (1987). In 3 movements (Allegro molto, Pesante, and Andante sostenuto.) (Now on CD as Olympia OCD 652, with sym. 2.)

Chamber symphony no. 3, op. 151.

Chamber symphony no. 4, for clarinet and orchestra. (poss. played by the Vienna Symphony in early 1997.) (Poss. .not. chamber sym. 4 but instead a sinfonietta, or even the clarinet concerto. On Mar. 5&6 1997 a sinfonietta for clarinet & strings was played by Fedosejev conducting the Vienna Symphony with Gerald Pachinger as clarinettist. Another notice of the same concert lists the work as chamber symphony no. 4, however.) Now on CDs from Olympia and Claves. In one movement.

Ballet: The Golden Key, op. 55.

The Cranes are Flying. From 1957. For piano and orchestra. Arr. by Paul Haletzki in 1966 from a film.

Banners of Peace, op.143. A strange tone-poem, sometimes "patriotic" and boisterous, but with more than adequate mystery and beauty.

Music for 14 films. (Complete list at a later date.)

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