Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, a Soviet composer of Polish-Jewish origin, featuring the music of Weinberg's last two decades.
Over the past seven decades, Composer of the Week has delved into just about every major composer in classical music, and plenty of less well-known ones too. As the programme reached its 70th birthday last year, Donald Macleod challenged listeners to come up with the name of a deserving composer who had never previously been featured. Suggestions flooded in, over four-and-a-half-thousand of them, and of these, more than 20 made the case for an obscure Soviet composer of Polish-Jewish origin, Mieczyslaw Weinberg. Weinberg's music is well represented on CD, and as Donald heard more and more of it, his astonishment that he hadn't come across it before grew commensurately. So all this week, Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, in the company of writer, broadcaster and champion of unjustly neglected composers, Martin Anderson.
Today, in the final installment of this introduction to the life and work of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Donald presents a brief sampling from the music of the composer's last two decades: a pair of concertos, for clarinet and flute; the 12th Symphony, written in memory of his friend and mentor Shostakovich, who died in August 1975; his final violin sonata; and an extraordinary trio for flute, viola and harp, of which Donald remarks, "I don't think I've ever heard the kinds of sonorities that Weinberg extracts from these three instruments".
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