Thursday 28 July 2016

Summer 2016 Update

Here's an update of Weinbergian news and events for the summer months of 2016 - with a new publication, and a Weinberg conference!

In the single biggest piece of news in my own work, my thesis was submitted in June, and I passed my PhD viva a few days ago (with minor corrections). Expect a link of some sort to read the full finished thesis in a few weeks.

Weinberg Studies
Several events have occurred in the relatively-quiet field of 'Weinberg Studies'. Firstly, the German-language journal 'Die Tonkunst' featured in their April issue a series of papers from a 2012 Hamburg conference on 'Weinberg in the Brezhnev era'.

This excellent volume features six articles (with one in English), discussing Weinberg's place in Soviet music, Socialist Realism in the stagnation era, and further focuses on Weinberg's cello sonatas and Polish-language works. The contents runs as follows:


Friedrich Geiger und Verena Mogl: Vorwort 122

Boris Belge: Der sowjetische Komponistenverband, der Sozialistische Realismus und das fragile Gleichgewicht der musikalischen Welt in der Brežnev-Zeit 123

Levon Hakobian: Weinberg’s Position in Russian Context: From an Insider’s Viewpoint 130

Wolfgang Mende: Sozrealismus als kulturelles Regulativ Weinbergs Opern Die Passagierin und Die Madonna und der Soldat 135

Friedrich Geiger: Weinberg und die Avantgarde 150

Christoph Flamm: Weinbergs Sonaten für Violoncello solo 159

Verena Mogl: »Wenn’s draußen neblig ist, fällt innen das Heimweh leichter, das Erinnern« Weinbergs Auseinandersetzung mit Heimat und Herkunft im Vokalschaffen 172
The collection is extremely interesting, and adds considerably to the existing literature on Weinberg. Further details can be found here. In addition, the volume announces that Verena Mogl's published version of her Weinberg thesis will be available in the Autumn of this year.

In addition, the Weinberg revival is beginning to make considerable headway in Russia, with performances of The Passenger occurring in Yekaterinburg this autumn, and The Idiot in St. Petersburg in July. To complement the growing interest in Russia, and in anticipation of the Weinberg centenary in 2019, a Weinberg festival has been announced, taking place in Moscow, February 2017. This will include various performances, and also a three-day conference entitled 'Mieczysław Weinberg: A Rediscovery of the Composer'. The current call for papers gives the following description:

International Bilingual Project
“Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996):
A Re-Discovery of the Composer”
(Pre-Celebration of the Centenary of His Birth)
Russia, Moscow
Place: Bolshoi Theatre, Russian State Institute of Art Studies, Moscow
Dates: 16-19 February 2017
Languages: Russian and English

Mieczysław (Moisey) Weinberg (8.12.1919 – 26.02.1996) was an outstanding composer, who lived a dramatic life. Anti-Semitism, violence, Nazism, Auschwitz, wars, totalitarianism – all these tragic events of the 20th century are reflected in his music.For many years, Weinberg was known in Russia principally as a composer of film music. His enormous musical legacy (26 symphonies, 17 string quartets, 7 operas, Requiem, and numerous other instrumental and vocal works) remains largely unknown, except for professional musicians. His output has been on the remote outskirts of the music scene and public attention.At the beginning of the 21st century, when the educated society is intensely reflecting upon the tragedies of the past, Weinberg’s heritage and the humanistic ideals expressed in his music have become highly important and topical. Since the early 2000s, Weinberg’s music has attracted a worldwide attention. The ongoing Weinberg revival has significantly modified our view on the history of the 20th century music. While the general interest to Weinberg’s music is growing, his oeuvre remains largely unexplored.Hence, the Weinberg conference in Russia, organized on the eve of the centenary of the composer’s birth (to be celebrated in 2019), promises to open new ways for the Weinberg scholarship and new outlook on his biography and work, as well as on the interpretation of his art.Apart from potential discoveries that may stem from a more profound exploration of his biography and musical heritage, it is important to consolidate the efforts of Russian and international musicologists specializing in Weinberg’s oeuvre.

The Weinberg project

Importantly, the forthcoming conference is a part of the major theatre-and-music project,developed by nine Russian and Polish cultural institutions. The project includes Russian stage premieres of two operas by Weinberg: The Idiot at The Bolshoi Theatre and Mariinsky theatre;The Passenger at the Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre and at the Theatre “New Opera”. We propose to organize the chamber concert, video translations, workshops and publication of a collection of articles and essays on the composer.

The deadline for paper abstracts is 1 September (it goes without saying, I'll be applying to speak at the conference!). Further information can be found here.

Other News
PeerMusic, one of the principal publishers of Weinberg's music, have announced several exciting upcoming projects. The first is a new critical edition of Weinberg's works, in collaboration with the University of Hamburg:
As part of the collaborative project “Weinberg Editions” (Scientific Direction: Prof. Dr. Friedrich Geiger), works of the composer will be edited regularly, either for the first time or in new improved editions, whereby Peermusic Classical will take over the publishing side. The musical text will undergo scholarly editing within the framework of edition seminars, dissertations, and third party financed sub-projects. With this collaboration, Peermusic Classical not only promotes young musicologists and offers insights into the professional field of music publishing, it also supports young students’ engagement with the works of the composer Mieczysław Weinberg.
Further information can be found here.

In addition, a crowdfunding project has started, entitled 'The Weinberg Project', led by pianist Katarzyna Wasiak, with the Quartett Diverso and violinist Robert Kowalski, to record Weinberg's chamber music. Here's a video for the campaign:

More information can be found here.

CDs and Performances
Recent months have seen several new releases, and I mention a few here, along with upcoming releases and concerts.

Linus Roth continues to champion Weinberg's music on the Challenge label, with some of his most challenging music: the three solo violin sonatas. In this excellent recording, they are interspersed with arrangements of Shostakovich's Three Fantastic Dances, with José Gallardo on piano. Overall, a demanding listen, but one that becomes more and more rewarding with each listen.

Channel Classics feature Weinberg in another of their releases, this time paired with Shostakovich's First Concerto, and also Lutosławski's Little Suite - certainly a revealing combination, with rich levels of mutual influence between Weinberg's and Shostakovich's works. Warmly recommended.

Here's several upcoming performances of Weinberg's music, taken from Sikorski's own site, and from the ever-excellent Bachtrack website:

THE IDIOT. Opera in 4 acts after the novel
of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Arranger: Adam, Philippe (Herausgeber)
28.07.2016, St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
30.09.2016, St. Petersburg, RUSSIA

Concerto G minor

15.09.2016, Klaipeda, LITHUANIA
16.09.2016, Kaliningrad, RUSSIA
18.09.2016, Gdansk, POLAND
20.09.2016, Copenhagen, DENMARK
24.09.2016, Peenemünde, GERMANY
29.09.2016, Bucharest, ROMANIA
30.09.2016, Vienna, AUSTRIA
» Details » All performances of this work

THE IDIOT. Opera in 4 acts after the novel
of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Arranger: Adam, Philippe (Herausgeber)
12.02.2017, Moscow, RUSSIA
14.02.2017, Moscow, RUSSIA
15.02.2017, Moscow, RUSSIA
16.02.2017, Moscow, RUSSIA
» Details » All performances of this work

21.04.2017, Vienna, AUSTRIA
» Details » All performances of this work

SYMPHONY NO. 6 for boys' choir and orchestra
15.05.2017, Augsburg, GERMANY
16.05.2017, Augsburg, GERMANY
» Details » All performances of this work

CONGRATULATIONS. Opera in 2 acts
after the novelette by Sholem Aleichem

Weinberg, Mieczyslaw
27.05.2017, Heidelberg, GERMANY
» Details » All performances of this work

Further Weinberg performances available here - including performances in Birmingham and London.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or events to promote, please do not hesitate to get in touch - see the 'Contact' section at the top of this page. 

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