MIECZYSLAW WEINBERG (1919-1996): Requiem for Soprano, Boys' Choir, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 96.
Catalogue Number: 10N010
Description: Composed between 1965 and 1967, this was likely a response to Britten's War Requiem which Weinberg would have known via the enthusiasm Shostakovich had for it (note the similar use of a boys' choir for passages concerning innocence and hope). Using poetry by Lorca, American Sara Teasdale and Soviets Dmitri Kedrin and Mikhail Dudin (the latter two probably a concession to the Communist state's demands for elements of socialist realism and propaganda), it also has a 21-minute movement, by far the longest, which is an adaptation from Weinberg's cantata Hiroshima, Op. 92 (1966) on texts by Munetoshi Fukagawa). As a critic for the "Liverpool Echo" put it after the work's 2009 world-premiere performance there, the work is "... an elegy to the damage done to nature itself." Harpsichord, mandolin, celesta and piano add unusual colors to the orchestration and quasi-avant-garde music (as avant-garde as Soviet composers were allowed at the time) compete with Weinberg's mature style and the inevitable Shostakovichian echoes. No texts. Elena Kelessidi (soprano), Vienna Choir Boys, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Vienna Symphony Orchestra; Vladmir Fedoseyev. SACD hybrid