Why are some composers popular, then forgotten? Or ignored during their lifetime and later treasured? Such is the case with the Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, whose centennial falls in 2019.
Mieczyslaw Weinberg once said: "Composing isn't entertainment. It's an eternal dialogue, an ongoing search for harmony in human beings and in nature. This search is the meaning and the responsibility on our brief journey on this earth. The strength or weakness of an artist can only be measured to the extent that he succeeds in expressing the eternal, ancient known truth — and filling it with a new light of his own."
Those are words to keep in mind as you listen to a Weinberg symphony this hour.
Born 100 years ago into a Jewish family in Poland, Weinberg only narrowly escaped death fleeing the Nazis but hardly had an easier time later in the Soviet Union.
He earned a living mostly as a composer of music for films and cartoons, while his great works were written for the desk drawer and for a close circle of friends and are only now being discovered in the music world.
Our featured conductor Thomas Sanderling grew up in Russia and knew Mieczyslaw Weinberg personally.
Trio for violin, viola and cello, op. 48
Gidon Kremer, violin
Daniil Grishin, viola
Giedré Dirvanauskaité, cello
on ECM-Records ECM 2368
Symphony No. 22 op. 154, orchestrated by Kirill Umansky
Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin
Thomas Sanderling, conductor
Recorded by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Berlin (DLF) in the Konzerthaus, Berlin on February 1, 2019