Weinberg: Symphony No. 18

Weinberg: Symphony No. 18 "War - there is no word more cruel"; Trumpet Concerto

by Vladimir Lande


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Product Details

Release Date: 05/27/2014
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313319077
catalogNumber: 573190
Rank: 270284


  1. Symphony No. 18, Op. 138
  2. Trumpet Concerto in B flat major, Op. 94

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Weinberg: Symphony No. 18 "War - there is no word more cruel"; Trumpet Concerto 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
lollidamaAC More than 1 year ago
The Symphony 18 is a heartfelt forty-four minute work laid out in four movements. The writing is primarily tonal, somewhat unusual considering the year of composition (1982-1984). The emotional tenor is one of despair and resignation alternating with episodes of spiritual reflection and hope. The substantial orchestration is augmented by four soloists and chamber choir. Comparisons to Shostakovich are inevitable. Nonetheless, Weinberg does project a decidedly personal style, quite sophisticated in its choral writing and facility with counterpoint. The trumpet concerto is chiefly of interest because of the stunning virtuosity of the soloist, Andrew Balio. Movements I and especially II are strong in terms of invention. Movement III, incorporating several familiar quotations, is somewhat contrived. The music on this disc is technically adroit and engaging, if not always memorable. The performances are committed and reasonably well played. The sonics are airy and detailed.
KlingonOpera More than 1 year ago
Interesting and moving works from Weinberg… This recording consists of Weinberg’s Trumpet Concerto as well as his 18th Symphony (“War, there is no word more cruel”). Weinberg was born in Warsaw, and was a highly regarded pianst – but the Nazi occupation forced him to flee his homeland and eventually move to Moscow. The well written liner notes indicate that he wrote his 1st Symphony there, and that the piece impressed Shostakovich – they also indicate that he was briefly imprisoned for alleged Jewish subversion prior to the death of Stalin, which obviously colored the works presented here. The trumpet concerto, while clearly a contemporary piece, has very approachable Mendelssohnian characteristics, while at the same time being somewhat reminiscent of some of the works of Stravinsky. However, this work (while most definitely a non-trivial exercise for the soloist), is most definitely enjoyable, albeit with a certain amount of patience for the sonic discontinuities present in the piece. As for Symphony No. 18, it is clear that the unrest present in the Soviet Union at the time is reflected in the piece. The chorus, however, does a marvelous job of bringing the text to life and instilling in the listener the frightening ambivalence and intensity of the wartime experience – this work is both unsettling and appropriate at the same time, and were it not for the top-notch work put in by the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir and Music Director Nikolai Kornev, this recording would not have been nearly as captivating. Those listeners that appreciate virtuoso Trumpet work as well as fantastic choir work in the context of war, will most certainly find more than a few things of value here. This is a marvelous, if unsettling recording, and deserves to be experienced. Recommended.
RGraves321 More than 1 year ago
Mieczyslaw Weinberg's 18th symphony is the final part of a symphonic trilogy, "On the Threshold of War." Symphony No. 18, subtitled "War -- there is no word more cruel" isn't so much an anti-war statement as it is an honest portrayal of the emotional depletion felt by the survivors of conflict -- even if their victors. Overall, the work is quiet, expressing deeply-felt sorrow and loss; elegiac rather than maudlin. Mieczyslaw's symphony uses Russian poetry quite effectively. "He was buried in the Earth," the text of the third movement is set as a simple chorale, very Russian in character -- appropriate for this poem about the death of a common foot soldier. The third movement adapts a Russian folksong that carries an undertone of disquiet before splintering into a kaleidoscopic fugue. In the final movement, the chorus sings the poem "War -- there is no word more cruel," and the work ends with not a bang, nor whimper, but rather a calm acceptance of war's cost. The Trumpet Concerto provides welcome emotional balance to the album. To my ears, the work uses some of Prokofiev's "wrong-note" technique, with seemingly simple melodies and harmonies not going quite the direction one expects. Trumpet soloist Andrew Balio plays with clear, full sound. Attacks are consistently clean, and the phrasing smooth and expressive. This concerto imbues the trumpet with a little bit of attitude, and Balio delivers.