Sonata for Violoncello and Piano No. 2/Piano Quartet - Weinberg Edition Vol. 4
2011 release. The famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich became acquainted with Weinberg through the agency of Shostakovich, who wrote his First Cello Concerto for this much sought-after artist in 1959. Weinberg's Second Cello Sonata, written at the same time, may have been a response to Shostakovich's piece, although he always stressed his artistic independence from the elder master. Rather, these two figures were connected by a fruitful dialogue. They showed each other their new works for appraisal and drew mutual inspiration from each other. Most of all, Shostakovich championed the younger Weinberg, even in politically difficult times. Remarkably, the main theme from Shostakovich's Cello Concerto recurs in the finale of Weinberg's Second Cello Sonata. Friendship can hardly be expressed more closely than that. The Piano Quintet, op. 18, is one of the most remarkable compositions to emerge from the Second World War. It was premiered in Moscow on 18 March 1945 by Emil Gilels and the strings of the Bolshoy Theatre. There is also a recording made in the early 1960s with the Borodin Quartet and Weinberg at the piano. The extroverted character of some of its passages may relate to the moving times in which the piece was conceived. Like Shostakovich's famous counterpart, Weinberg's Piano Quintet has five movements, including two scherzos that give the piece its propulsive dynamism, along with the fiery finale. In contrast, the slow movement and the introductory Moderato are richly expressive with a strong tinge of melancholy. At times we seem to be listening to a musical memorial. Performed by: EOS-Quartett Wien: Willy Buchler (violin), Christian Blasl (violin), Roman Bernhart (viola), Andreas Pokorny (violoncello), and Doris Adam (piano).