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Shostakovich, Weinberg: Piano Quintets / Szymanowski Quartet

Audio Samples

>Weinberg, Mieczyslaw : Piano Quintet, Op. 18
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57

Album Summary

>Weinberg, Mieczyslaw : Piano Quintet, Op. 18
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

With this disc hänssler Classic continues its exploration of the music of Shostakovich and Weinberg. The two composers were friends, often exchanging ideas and admiration for each other's work. While both works at hand share superficial similarities, they stand in sharp contrast to one another. Written at the height of World War II, Weinberg's monumental Quintet inhabits a fractured world of beauty, torment and tragedy. Shostakovich's pre-WWII piece draws upon Baroque and Classical forms and is a melodic, lyrical work.

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music of Soviet Russia has reams to tell of the role of art in a society that is fundamentally hostile to it, and the more that's recorded the deeper the entire repertoire seems to be. The two chamber works on this album were composed five years apart during World War II, and even if only one is much played, both are masterpieces.

The real news here is the Piano Quintet, Op. 18, of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, composed in 1945 after the young composer had fled the Nazis from Poland to Minsk, Tashkent, and finally Moscow. He became a protégé of Shostakovich, in the literal sense of the word indicating protection, but he was never Shostakovich's student, and his works have a very different flavor from those of the older master. Shostakovich's Piano Quintet, Op. 57, of 1940, with broad dramatic gestures that endeared the music to Soviet cultural commissars even if it lacked the requisite patriotic content, is effectively rendered here, but the real triumph of the Szymanowski Quartet and especially of German pianist Matthias Kirschnereit comes in the Weinberg, where a certain chilly voice of experience extraordinary in one so young comes through. Sample the Presto and the entirely distinctive passage at the beginning of the Allegro agitato finale, where Kirschnereit catches a nervous, angry treatment of folkish materials that Shostakovich never approached.

The Weinberg is a denser, less immediately appealing work than the Shostakovich quintet, but it absolutely deserves a place on concert stages, and this recording, with excellent sound, is a real landmark. Notes are in German and English.

International Record Review
The imposing Largo [of the Weinberg] is finely handled - Kirshnereit a model of lucidity in the lengthy solo passage...Nor is the final Allegro underplayed - the performers as attentive in its toccata-like opening as in the quirky reel-like idea that brings the climactic return of the work's opening theme

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (12/08/2008-12/12/2008).



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Works Details

>Weinberg, Mieczyslaw : Piano Quintet, Op. 18
  • Performer: Matthias Kirschnereit (Piano)
  • Notes: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (12/08/2008-12/12/2008)
  • Running Time: 43 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1944

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57
  • Performer: Matthias Kirschnereit (Piano)
  • Notes: Kammermusikstudio des SWR Stuttgart (12/08/2008-12/12/2008)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1940