Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Weinberg, Mieczyslaw. (1919-1996) Symphony No. 19 & The Banners of Peace.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 14-11-2012.
Second listen: 23-11-2012.
Third listen: 4-4-2017.
Label: Naxos.
Recording dates: April 2011.
Recording venue:  Recording Studio, St Catherine Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Recording engineers: Dirk Fischer & Alexei Barashkin.
Running time: 55:36.
Classical relevance to me: Well worth having.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 19 "Bright May" opus 142. (1985)
The Banners of Peace. Symphonic Poem, opus 143. (1985)

Works performed by:
St Petersburg State SO, Vladimir Lande.

Weinberg is not a composer that dwells deeply into the modern. Always tonal be it a little stretched, he is approachable for most. There are sudden moments of shrillness in his expression, and some robustness is not a stranger to him either, but on the other side he can be poetic and pastoral too. I like him, despite moments of chaos and erratic writing in his scores. Vladimir Lande does his utmost but somehow these performances do not touch me beyond the surface. There is throughout the symphony a certain flatness, don't know how to call it else, that keeps me from sinking into the emotional level. Try what I may, it does not work. Weinberg is not an easy task to perform, and it demands a lot from orchestra and conductor and sound engineers. The performance is adequate, and beyond serviceable,  but it is in my ears not an excellent performance. All notes are played and heard, but there is not a real coherence or synergy for me, that makes me connect with this interpretation. The recording is good, although this studio does not give the ultimate in sonics. First movement of the symphony has some high pitched clarinets and flutes that will pierce your eardrums. A beginners fault in engineering that should not have happened. There is ample reverb and enough depth. Details are clear, but the crescendos can be overpowering, and in the process you lose the details, and get one cauldron full of noise. In that respect Chandos did better in their recordings and performances.

So good, but for me a tad flawed.


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