You may not be familiar with Mieczysław Weinberg—but this Russian composer of Polish origin is considered one of the most important figures of Soviet-era music, often as highly regarded as Prokofiev or Shostakovich. The latter's work is particularly important when it comes to understanding Weinberg's music, as the two were good friends who influenced each other greatly through letters and conversations about their artistic processes. Censored, then arrested on Stalin's orders in February 1953, Weinberg escaped a grim fate only through the death of the Soviet premier some months later. He continued to compose until his death in 1996, leaving behind more than 150 works, ranging from operas to solo instrumental pieces.
Watch legendary violinist Gidon Kremer in a poignant homage to this colossal, oft-misunderstood figure of twentieth-century Russian music, recorded in 2019 at Moscow's Gogol Center: the 24 Preludes for solo cello, op. 100, arranged for violin by Kremer himself. Reflections of the tumultuous life of the composer, the preludes—by turns lilting and intensely dark—all aim for the heartstrings and hit their mark. Kremer's dizzying interpretation of these Preludes to a Lost Time, full of humanity and emotion, is accompanied by the photographs of Antanas Sutkus, making this recital an unforgettable multimedia experience.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra