The music of Mieczysław Weinberg has been one the great classical music rediscoveries of the last decade. The first staged performance of his opera 'The Passenger' in Bregenz in 2010 was a global sensation.Read more…
Born of Jewish-Polish descent in Warsaw on 8 December 1919, Weinberg started studying in the local conservatory at the age of just 12. The German invasion of Poland in 1939 forced him to flee East to Minsk, initially, and then Tashkent (today capital of Uzbekistan). In Minsk he composed his first piano sonata and already his String Quartet No.2 – Weinberg produced a wealth of chamber music, not to mention 22 symphonies. His time in Tashkent saw further works, including ballet and opera; Weinberg discovered his musico-dramatic talents early, producing a wealth of film music. In 1943 Dmitri Shostakovich helped organise the visa for Weinberg to travel on to Moscow, where he lived until his death in February 1996. Weinberg was jailed for several months in 1953, having been implicated in an apparent murder plot and charged "Jewish bourgeois nationalism" – only Stalin's death, allied to what's thought to be Shostakovich's intervention, saved him from a longer sentence. Weinberg's friendship with Shostakovich was a deep source of inspiration, but he also soon found his own musical language, and anyone listening to Weinberg's music today is likely to be surprised at first by its direct emotionalism, its approachability and its folkloristic colours.
[Due to geo-blocking restrictions, some tracks might be unavailable in certain territories.]