Weinberg: Dawn; Symphony No 12

Weinberg: Dawn; Symphony No 12

CHAN 20165 (Chandos Records, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (20 October 2023)

Playing time: 73'33"
Tracks: 5
Booklet pages: 32
℗ 2023 Chandos Records Ltd
© 2023 Chandos Records Ltd
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Reviewer: Geoff Pearce
Review of Weinberg: Dawn; Symphony No 12 published on 23 September 2023

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Torchinsky, leader
John Storgårds, conductor

Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996):

1 Dawn, Op 60 (1957) - Symphonic Poem for Large Orchestra

Symphony No 12, Op 114 (1975-76) - In memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich
2 Allegro moderato – Doppio movimento – Poco più mosso – Poco più mosso – Doppio più lento – Largo
3 Allegretto
4 Adagio –
5 Allegro – Adagio

Every five years the Soviet Union celebrated the anniversary of the October 1917 Revolution with large-scale public events, to which the country's leading artists were expected to contribute. Mieczysław Weinberg, like his friend Shostakovich, enjoyed mixed fortunes with his efforts. The symphonic poem Dawn (Zarya), Op 60, dedicated to the fortieth anniversary of the Revolution, seems to have remained unperformed during his lifetime, despite its ideologically irreproachable content. Its première was finally given in the BBC studios in Manchester, on 15 May 2019, by the BBC Philharmonic under John Storgårds. When Shostakovich died, on 9 August 1975, it had been five years since Weinberg composed his last symphony. To commemorate his friend and mentor (whom he regarded as the greatest symphonist of his age) Weinberg decided on a full-scale, four movement, non-programmatic work as his personal tribute. Symphony No 12, written between December 1975 and February 1976 is the longest of Weinberg's purely instrumental symphonies. Kirill Kondrashin was due to conduct the première, but his last-minute insistence on large-scale cuts and changes to the score was taken by Weinberg as a great insult, and ended their relationship. The first performance was finally given as a radio broadcast on 13 October 1979, (probably) by the USSR TV and Radio Symphony Orchestra under Maxim Shostakovich. This is the first of a series of Weinberg Symphony recordings with the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds.

Recorded 15 September 2022 (Dawn) and 24-25 November 2022 (Symphony No 12) at MediaCityUK, Salford, Manchester, UK.