Thursday 20 March 2014

March update

A quick selection of upcoming releases, events and Weinberg-related resources around the web.

Album releases
I am awaiting the following discs, reviews will be posted over the coming weeks:

Linus Roth (Violin) with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, con. Mihkel Kütson

Linus Roth plays violin concertos by Britten and Weinberg. link here.

Weinberg chamber music for Strings, featuring the Piano Trio, Violin Sonatina and the rarely heard Double Bass Sonata. CPO label.

Available on the website here.

Coming May 2014 - the next installment in the Naxos Weinberg Symphonies series, featuring Vladimir Lande and the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir (Lande and the Orchestra having already featured on three Naxos Weinberg releases previously).

Performing the 18th Symphony, Op. 138 'War, there is no word more cruel', and the Trumpet Concerto, Op. 94, featuring Andrew Balio.

(My thanks go to Claude Torres for drawing my attention to this release). 

Weinberg links around the web

'Crusading for Weinberg': Linus Roth talks to Edward Seckerson (Youtube)

'Russia's third great composer' - Norman Lebrecht has Weinberg as disc of the week

Zaubersee Festival, Lucern 28th May-1st June 2014, with a focus on Weinberg's music

My own work

My work is ticking along nicely, with my attention now on writing my thesis itself, focusing on the context and analysis of Weinberg's Seventeen String Quartets.

I am also very happy to announce that I have an article coming out in the Musical Times hopefully by the end of this year, entitled 'Weinberg, Shostakovich, and the Influence of Anxiety'. See abstract below:

The close friendship between Weinberg and Shostakovich is well documented, particularly concerning their string quartets. The pair discussed their works during compositional gestation, and a friendly ‘competition’ for writing quartets started between them in the 1950s. Each was ‘winning’ at different points in time, but Weinberg was the ultimate victor with seventeen by the time of his death in 1996. The strong influence of Shostakovich in Weinberg’s music has been grounds for criticism and even dismissal, but what is less known is the truly reciprocal nature of their creative relationship. Weinberg was thirteen years his junior, but his first quartet predates Shostakovich’s by a year. Weinberg’s early work was prolific, having written six quartets by the time of Shostakovich’s third in 1946. Examining Shostakovich’s scores following these works reveals a great exchange of ideas between the two friends, with an undeniable influence from Weinberg in several pieces. With examples from the music of both composers, this article maps out a network of mutual influence. Such an unusual case study fits uneasily within several theorists' conceptions of artistic influence, none more than Harold Bloom and his book The Anxiety of Influence. Building on Weinberg and Shostakovich's example, I argue that Bloom's theory is not only ill-suited to their friendship, but indicative of a wider out-dated trend across theoretical thinking in the arts.


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