Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla continues her exploration of the music of Mieczysław Weinberg

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla launched her Deutsche Grammophon recording career in 2019 with an album dedicated to Symphonies Nos 2 and 21 by Mieczysław Weinberg, released on the centenary of this neglected composer.

Among its many accolades, it was named Recording of the Year by Gramophone and won Gražinytė-Tyla the Opus Klassik Conductor of the Year award. Today, she pursues her mission to make known the music of the composer born in Warsaw with Weinberg: Symphonies n° 3 and 7 and Concerto for flute n° 1. She is joined by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and the soloist Kirill Gerstein for the Symphony No. 7, and by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for the Flute Concerto – with soloist Marie-Christine Zupancic – and Symphony No. 3. The new album was released today, digitally and on CD.

The first work shown here is the Third Symphony, on which Weinberg began work in 1949. He had by then moved to Moscow, having been displaced by the outbreak of World War II, during which he lost many of his relatives. By 1949, however, he had already fallen out of favor with the Stalinist regime and the planned premiere of the symphony was cancelled. After substantially reworking the original score, he finally saw it performed in March 1960. A work rich in contrasts, it incorporates folk tunes from Poland and Belarus, where Weinberg had studied – whether for purely musical reasons or in an attempt to abide by the official Soviet doctrine of socialist realism – as well as reminiscences of Schubert, Mahler and Weinberg’s friend and champion Shostakovich.

Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO, with whom she performed her final gig as Music Director in May, presented the work to great acclaim at the BBC Proms in 2019. One reviewer called it a “revelation”, adding: “there is confidence and imaginative flair in this music; and there was faith, fidelity and verve in the CBSO’s honest commitment to Weinberg’s symphony” (Seen and Heard International ).

The composer wrote his Flute Concerto No. 1 shortly after revising his Third Symphony, and it was premiered by his dedicatee Alexander Korneyev in Moscow at the end of 1961. Here too we find light and shadow, with the hasty and virtuosic writing of the first movement followed by a much darker and melancholic Largo. The finale is notable for its klezmer musical notes, a style Weinberg is said to have known from the Jewish weddings he played the piano at in his youth. Gražinytė-Tyla, the CBSO, and soloist Marie-Christine Zupancic – the orchestra’s section chief flute – capture every shifting nuance of this intriguing concerto.

Compared to the considerable forces required for No. 3, Weinberg’s Symphony No. 7 from 1964 is written for harpsichord and strings alone. A modern version of a Baroque concerto grosso, the symphony begins in a tranquil style, but its writing becomes increasingly dissonant as its five movements unfold without interruption. Under Gražinytė-Tyla’s direction, soloist Kirill Gerstein and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen explore a wide range of sonorities, bringing searing intensity to the most dramatic moments of this essentially dark work.

Weinberg’s music continues to play a key role in Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s program this season, and she leads the CBSO and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason on a high-profile tour of the United States, culminating in Carnegie Hall on October 22, 2022.

Weinberg: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 7 and Flute Concerto No. 1
1. Weinberg: I. Adagio sostenuto [Symphony No. 7, Op. 81] (6:33)
2. Weinberg: II. Allegro – Adagio sostenuto [Symphony No. 7, Op. 81] (5:31)
3. Weinberg: III. Andante [Symphony No. 7, Op. 81] (5:06)
4. Weinberg: IV. Adagio sostenuto [Symphony No. 7, Op. 81] (3:03)
5. Weinberg: V. Allegro – Adagio sostenuto [Symphony No. 7, Op. 81] (10:50)
6. Weinberg: I.Allegro [Flute Concerto No. 1, Op. 75 (5:18)
7. Weinberg: II. Largo [Flute Concerto No. 1, Op. 75] (4:46)
8. Weinberg: III. Allegro comodo [Flute Concerto No. 1, Op. 75] (5:58)
9. Weinberg: I.Allegro [Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 45] (11:45)
10. Weinberg: II. Allegro giocoso [Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 45] (4:59)
11. Weinberg: III. Adagio [Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 45] (8:55)
12. Weinberg: IV. allegro vivacious [Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 45] (8:17)

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla 2022 Live US Tour Schedule
October 10, 2022 – Granada Theater (Community Arts Music Foundation of Santa Barbara) | Santa Barbara, California
October 11, 2022 – Segerstrom Center for the Arts (Philharmonic Society of Orange County) | Costa Mesa, California
October 12, 2022 – Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA Phil) | Los Angeles, CA
October 15, 2022 – Mondavi Center for the Arts (UC Davis) | Davis, California
October 16, 2022 – Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco Symphony) | San Francisco, California
October 19, 2022 – Hill Auditorium (University Musical Society) | Ann Arbor, Michigan
October 21, 2022 – Strathmore (Washington Performing Arts) | North Bethesda, MD
October 22, 2022 – Carnegie Hall | New York, NY

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