Mieczyslaw Weinberg - Requiem, Op. 96 - Weinberg Edition, Vol. 3 (Fedoseyev)

Posted By: tapaz9
Mieczyslaw Weinberg - Requiem, Op. 96 - Weinberg Edition, Vol. 3 (Fedoseyev)

Mieczyslaw Weinberg - Requiem, Op. 96 - Weinberg Edition, Vol. 3 (Fedoseyev)
Classical | EAC: FLAC+Cue+Log | 1 Cd, Covers + Booklet | 301 Mb
Label: NEOS - Date: 2011

The conciliatory message of Weinberg’s Sixth Symphony recurs in his Requiem op. 96. It was composed between 1965 and 1967, surely as a response to Benjamin Britten’s famous War Requiem of 1962, which had been warmly recommended to him by his friend Shostakovich. Both works are fraught with deep emotion and unrestrained outrage at the horrors of war.
Requiems of this sort did not, of course, have a liturgical function in the Soviet Union, where the Orthodox faith had been supplanted by faith in the State. Instead, such laments were used to honour military heroes or communist dignitaries. To be sure, Berlioz and Verdi had already shown that the sacred worship of earlier Requiems would give rise to secular music. In this sense, Weinberg’s work follows in a hallowed romantic tradition.
Weinberg’s Requiem is laid out on a large scale with very demanding vocal parts. As in his Sixth Symphony, he makes use of a boys’ choir. This time, however, it is joined by a mixed chorus and a solo soprano. Besides texts by the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898–1936), the Russian poet Dmitri Kedrin (1907–1945) and the American poetess Sara Teasdale (1884–1933), Weinberg also incorporates passages from his cantata Hiroshima, op. 92 (1966), on Japanese poems by Munetoshi Fukagawa (1921–2008). When America dropped its atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945, it brought humanity face to face with new destructive forces of war.
Here, too, Weinberg manages to elevate a general critique of war above the national standpoint of victors and vanquished. Nonetheless, this work, too, is prefixed with an ode to peace by the socialist poet Alexander Tvardovski (1910–1971) and ends with a text by the conformist Soviet poet Mikhail Dudin (1916–1994), whose words depict the flowering of a storybook communist state against the backdrop of all armed conflicts. It is safe to assume that political passages of this sort were imposed on the composer by the régime. Weinberg himself, of course, was often made to feel the power of the state. To listeners of today, having experienced the collapse of the old Soviet Union, poems of this sort sound like sheer mockery.
Weinberg’s treatment of the orchestra is extremely refined; even a harpsichord, celesta, mandolin and piano are included. Several passages have an acridity reminiscent of Stravinsky. He also deftly handles the vacillation between sections of atonality (chord clusters in movement 3) and tonality, and manages to strike an astute balance between slow contemplative music and riotous propulsion. The Lorca poems, declaimed by the soprano, form lyrical centrepieces framing the dramatic climax in the Hiroshima section.
But neither the riveting music nor the final political message kindled any interest in Weinberg’s opulent Requiem, which vanished into the desk drawers of his study. It was not until 13 years after his death that Thomas Sanderling unearthed the piece and premièred it belatedly in Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall on 21 November 2009.
As the critic Joe Riley wrote on that occasion in the Liverpool Echo, “this opus is not, like Verdi’s bombastic equivalent or Mozart’s dark swansong, so much judgemental of man, as an elegy to the damage done to nature itself”.

01. Requiem, Op. 96 - Bread and Iron [0:02:58.56]
02. And Then … [0:05:00.63]
03. There will Come Soft Rains [0:15:14.67]
04. Hiroshima 5-Line Stanzas [0:21:47.08]
05. People Walked … [0:05:13.59]
06. Sow the Seed [0:10:28.67]

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 10. February 2013, 23:41

Mieczyslaw Weinberg / Requiem, Op. 96 - Weinberg Edition, Vol. 3 (Fedoseyev)

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