Monday 11 November 2013

November update

This is a brief post, just to update with some details of my goings-on and some pieces of Weinberg-related news.

Festival Voix Etouffees, Strasbourg

I've just returned from the colloquium 'Festival Voix Etouffees', at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg. I was invited to speak on the topic of Holocaust commemoration in Weinberg's music. I received very encouraging feedback afterwards, and I very much enjoyed the rest of the colloquium. I'm pleased to announce that my paper will be published in the conference proceedings in the new year.

The colloquium featured many excellent papers, as well as several concerts, including music by Hans Gal and Alexandr Mosolov. In particular, I was lucky enough to attend an extremely rare live performance of Mosolov's First Piano Concerto - an utter assault on the ears, which left several members of the audience visibly shaken!

I extend my deepest thanks to the staff of the colloquium and the Council of Europe for making me feel most welcome, especially to Amaury du Closel, director of the Strasbourg Philharmonic, and to Carole Reich, co-ordinator of the Council's anti-discrimination campaign.

The Festival continues with concerts, including several performances of Weinberg's First Flute Concerto, Op. 75. See this interview with Amaury du Closel: Link

New Release

There has been a new release on the Toccata label, 'Weinberg Complete Violin Sonatas, Vol. 2', with Yuri Kalnits on Violin and Michael Csányi-Wills on piano. 

Available to buy from the Toccata website - Link. My review will follow shortly.

The Passenger in Houston, Texas

Weinberg's masterpiece The Passenger will be receiving its American premiere in January 2014, at the hands of the Houston Grand Opera. From their website:

Memory can comfort, torment-even terrify-but it is always with us. As Faulkner wrote, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past."
The horrors of the Second World War, still raw today, were fresh in 1959 when Auschwitz survivor Zofia Posmysz wrote a play titled The Passenger from Cabin 45 for Polish radio. The play became the basis of the opera by Mieczyslaw Weinberg in 1967.
   En route to a new post with her husband, a German diplomat, Lisa is unnerved by the sight of a woman-another passenger-who eerily resembles Martha, one of the inmates Lisa tormented when she was an SS overseer at Auschwitz. 
   The action of the drama takes us from the stylish gentility of a luxury liner's deck to the squalor of a death camp where cruelty, despair, and unspeakable courage are evident in equal measure. This American premiere will be one of the most important musical events of the year.
The production is a revival of David Pountney's acclaimed staging of the opera, first seen at the Bregenz Festival, 2010. Michelle Breedt will be reprising her excellent performance as Liese, the ex-camp guard. Tickets are still available from the Houston Grand Opera website here.

PeerMusic Weinberg scores -  previews available online

It has come to my attention that PeerMusic has been uploading several items from their catalogue for preview online, on the 'issuu' website. PeerMusic's profile, with a full list of all their previews, can be found here. Please see below for a list of Weinberg works available, with links. 

Symphony No. 2, Op. 30 Link
Violin Concertino, Op. 42 Link 
Cello Concerto, Op. 43 Link
Symphony No. 3, Op. 45 Link
Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, Op. 47, No. 1 Link
Symphony No. 4, Op. 61 Link 
Flute Concerto No. 1, Op. 75 Link
Symphony No. 5, Op. 76 Link  
Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 145 Link 
Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 147 Link  
Chamber Symphony No. 3, Op. 151 Link 
Symphony No. 21, Op. 152 Link 
Chamber Symphony No. 4, Op. 153 Link  

These scores represent a real treasure for Weinberg enthusiasts, giving a small overview of Weinberg's Orchestral works, from almost his entire career.  


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