conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
“Alexander Toradze plays as a man possessed, as if umbilically attached to the instrument, which in his hands becomes as varied and expressive as a full orchestra… The audience roared approval…”
—The Guardian (London)
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1
Theatrical interlude with Edward Gero as Shostakovich
Shostakovich/Barshai: String Symphony, Op. 110a
Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Symphony No. 10
6:30 Pre-concert presentation: Weinberg chamber music (with commentary)
PCE’s tradition of immersion experiences continues with an exploration of the complex relationship between Dmitri Shostakovich and Miecyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996). Interest in Weinberg is rapidly growing. The violinist Gidon Kremer, who is leading the charge (and who performs the Weinberg Violin Concerto with the National Symphony in January 2017), considers Weinberg as significant as Shostakovich.
Weinberg and Shostakovich continually influenced one another over the course of a remarkable creative conversation. In particular, the spare “late style” of both composers arose collaboratively, and so did their earlier use of Jewish themes.
Weinberg was Jewish – a Polish refugee whose parents and sister perished in the Holocaust. Though Stalin’s Soviet Union rescued him, Weinberg was himself arrested in 1953 as part of Stalin’s war against the Jews. Also, his father-in-law, the famous Jewish actor Solomon Mihkoels, was in 1948 the first victim of this internal war.
The distinguished Jewish-music scholar James Loeffler, who takes part in PCE’s festival, adds: “Weinberg, having lost his Polish identity, was twice a survivor – of the Holocaust and of Stalin’s Jewish purges. Survivor guilt is intrinsic to his creative identity. He made his god the anti-Fascist Red Army.”
Watch a video about Alexander Toradze, Paavo Järvi, and the making of their recording of the Shostakovich Piano Concerti: