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String Quartets Nos. 4 & 16

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Performer: Quatuor Danel
  • Composer: Weinberg Mieczyslaw
  • Audio CD (Nov. 20 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B000W9EM3U
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #161,952 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
Mieczyslaw (Moishei) Weinberg (Vainberg) est né en 1919 à Varsovie. Fils d'un violoniste et compositeur travaillant pour un théâtre juif de la capitale polonaise, il étudia le piano au conservatoire avec Josef Turczynski. L' occupation allemande le força à fuir la Pologne en 1939, et il se réfugia en URSS. Il devait apprendre plus tard que ses parents et sa soeur Esther, restés qur place, avaient été victimes des nazis. Il vécut tout d'abord quelque temps à Minsk, où il étudia la composition avec Vassili Zolotarov (1872-1964), un élève de Balakirev et de Rimski-Korsakov. En 1941, il s'installa à Tachkent, et envoya le manuscrit de sa première symphonie à Dmitry Chostakovitch, qui réagit avec enthousiasme et l'invita à Moscou, où Weinberg résidera de 1943 jusqu'à sa mort, survenue en 1996.

Son style musical est très varié, et sous sa palette, nous pouvons aussi bien trouver des éléments de musique populaire (polonaise ou russe, mais aussi tirés du folklore juif ou moldave) que l'utilisation de techniques dodécaphoniques ou « minimalistes ».
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa3b47180) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0xa3b17eac) out of 5 stars Superb performances of two unfamiliar masterpieces June 10 2016
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Mieczyslaw Weinberg has become a household name, but the vast majority of his large output is still probably to most people (indeed, few specific works seem to have established themselves in the repertoire). Most listeners will probably be familiar with some of his symphonies or concertos, but none of his 17 string quartets are heard all that often, and kudos to Quatuor Danel and cpo for doing the whole cycle; at least volume 1, comprising his fourth and sixteenth quartets, suggests that a recorded cycle really deserves to exist – these are absolutely remarkable works, and I will certainly check out further installments. Stylistically, Weinberg’s music is always and obviously compared to Shostakovich’s, but although the influence is obvious you would never mistake Weinberg’s music for his teacher’s – and the best of Weinberg’s music is worthy of comparison in terms of quality as well. The two works here are splendid examples.

The fourth quartet was completed in 1945. The first movement is based on a series of ideas that the composer ingeniously weaves together, transforms into each other and recontextualize so the ideas take on new meanings and express new moods. The scherzo kicks and howls and sparkles all the way to a stark, pale trio. The slow movement is an almost Mahlerian funeral march while the finale comes across as an epic struggle between innocent optimism and grim realism – it’s powerful stuff, trust me.

The sixteenth quartet from 1981 is perhaps somewhat more stylistically advanced, but the language is basically the same. It was dedicated to the memory of the composer’s sister, who perished in the death camps of WWII, and the tone is, indeed, powerfully personal; Jewish folk music is an obvious influence as well. The opening movement is a patchwork of themes and moods, and it’s to the composer’s credit that it coheres as convincingly as it does. The scherzo is terse and brusque and mostly athematic with a quiet, gray and very effective trio. The slow movement is sorrowful and deep and the finale contains melancholy and drama and seems to move toward a resolution that almost, but not quite, arrives. It is a thoroughly memorable and moving work, worthy of comparison with more or less any other twentieth century quartet.

The performances are splendid; sharp, crisp, urgent, dramatic and colorful and the recorded sound excellent. In short, a magnificent and seminal first release in what most surely be one of the more important series of recordings the last decade or so.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b3c300) out of 5 stars Worthy Soviet Quartets May 11 2013
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A Polish composer who fled to the Soviet Union at the outbreak of World War II, Weinberg (known as Moisei Vainberg in the USSR) became good friends with Shostakovich but was largely ignored by the Russian musical establishment. When his father-in-law was implicated in the Doctor's Plot, Weinberg -- who was Jewish -- was arrested and perhaps saved largely by Shostakovich's intervention. In any case, the composer's reputation has blossomed in the years since his death in 1996, and this disc is part of a complete cycle of Weinberg's string quartets. The the pair on this release are clearly works of the 20th Century. Of the two, I find the No. 4 far more interesting. It's packed with angst which is expressed in several ways, from the insect-like second movement to the mysterious third one. The No. 16, on the other hand, struck me as more uniform -- and therefore perhaps just a tad monotonous -- in its approach. Quiet and conveying a sense of worried anticipation, it has its moments of agitation but still pales before the No. 4, to my untrained ear. In any case, if you like modern quartets, you might check out these two. Me, I'm heading off to another pair in the series....