WEINBERG, M.: Wir gratulieren!
Mieczysław Weinberg (1919 – 1996): Pozdravlyayem! [Congratulations!] (1975)—arr. H. Koch for chamber orchestra, and sung in German as Wir Gratulieren!
Robert Elibay-Hartog; Katia Guedes; Anna Gütter; Jeff Martin; Olivia Saragosa; Kammerakademie Potsdam; Vladimir Stoupel, cond.
Oehms Classics OC990 (Aug 2020)
According to Naxos Records distributors:
Here’s a rarity and a world premiere recording combined. Weinberg no doubt wrote his two-act opera Wir gratulieren! [Congratulations!] from the heart, following the widespread anti-Semitism he had to face from both politicians and the general public when he moved to Moscow in 1943. Intended as edification for the city’s Jewish community in the mid-70s, the work adopted a socialist veneer to get past the censors. This is a recording of a live performance at the Konzerthaus Berlin that uses Henry Koch’s chamber ensemble version of the work. Weinberg’s extensive output has recently become increasingly appreciated by both critics and the public. This release will surely be a most welcome addition to anyone’s collection of his works.
Mieczysław Weinberg was born in Warsaw, where his father was a composer and musical director at a Jewish theatre. As a Jew, Weinberg was forced to flee from his native Poland after the German attack in 1939; he found refuge in the Soviet Union and studied composition in Minsk with Vassily Zolotaryov, a disciple of Balakirev and Rimsky-Korsakov. With the support of Shostakovich he was eventually able to settle in Moscow, and was saved from Stalin’s persecution and arrest in 1953 by the Shostakovich’s intervention and by Stalin’s timely death. He was a close friend of both Shostakovich and Myaskowsky.
Weinberg was a prolific composer, writing in a style akin to that of Myaskowsky and Bartók; however, he was not always given the support and performances he deserved. His orchestral works include 25 symphonies, some with soloists or chorus, as well as symphonic poems. There are concertos for cello, for violin, for trumpet, and for flute. His chamber music includes four viola sonatas, four cello sonatas, two violin sonatas, and 17 string quartets.