Gidon Kremer is one of the most ardent advocates of Weinberg’s music. This is also not the first time he has tackled his music. With his Kremerata Baltica and a few eminent guests, he has already recorded Weinberg’s chamber music works for CD in 2014. And the live recording of Weinberg’s violin sonata he made with Martha Argerich in Lugano has rightfully become legendary.
Kremer’s unsubtle way of playing and his almost animalistic drive are the best keys to the music of the Polish-Russian-Jewish composer who for decades – if not forgotten – had been lost in the madness of world history.
The recording of the first three chamber symphonies was made live in the Viennese Musikverein in June 2015. As expected, Kremer and his ensemble are more than ideal for the impetuous music of the composer who whimsically seemed to disregard all musical laws.
A foretaste (in poor sound quality): Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 147 – III Andante Sostenuto
The arrangement of the 1944 piano quintet may seem superfluous, but the addition of percussion does not miss its effect and makes the work more monumental and the tension is immense.
The fourth symphony was the last work Weinberg orchestrated. The addition of the clarinet solo does not miss its effect and leaves the listener gasping for breath with an open mouth. Which is certainly also thanks to the unparalleled playing of the clarinettist Mate Bekavac and the very muscular conducting of Mirga Grazynité-Tyla.
The fact that the inflated piano quintet and the fourth symphony sound slightly better than the other works can be explained: the recording was made in the studio.
Chamber Symphonies; Piano Quintet
Kremerata Baltica, Gidon Kremer (conductor and violin), Yulianna Avdeeva (piano), Andrei Pushkarev (percussion), Mate Bekavac (clarinet), Mirga Gražinité-Tyla (conductor)
ECM 2538/39 4814604 – 155′ (2cd’s)