Jump to content

Mieczysław Weinberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mieczysław Weinberg
Pencil portrait of Weinberg, January 1949
Mojsze Wajnberg

(1919-12-08)December 8, 1919[note 1]
Warsaw, Poland
DiedFebruary 26, 1996(1996-02-26) (aged 76)
Moscow, Russia
Resting placeDomodedovo Cemetery [ru]
NationalityPolish, Soviet, Russian
Other namesMoisei Vainberg
Notable workList of compositions by Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Natalya Mikhoels
(m. 1942; div. 1970)
Olga Rakhalskaya
(m. 1970)

Mieczysław Weinberg (December 8, 1919[note 1] – February 26, 1996) was a Polish, Soviet, and Russian composer and pianist. His compositions include 22 symphonies, a host of chamber works (including 17 string quartets as well as sonatas for violin, cello, and piano), a violin concerto, and seven operas. He was a contemporary of Dmitri Shostakovich, and they often shared ideas with each other. A 2004 reviewer considered him as "the third great Soviet composer, along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich".[1] A 2017 article in the New York Times noted that his "darkly lucid music is beginning to gain wider recognition."[2]

Spelling and transliteration of name[edit]

Weinberg's name was registered on his birth certificate as Mojsze Wajnberg. Throughout his adult life, he signed his letters in Polish using the Polish spelling of his surname.[3] During his career in the Yiddish theater of interwar Warsaw, he was known by the German spelling of his name, Mosze Weinberg (Yiddish: משה װײַנבערג); a typical convention of the time for Polish musicians who aspired to produce recordings for export.[4][5] Weinberg adopted the given name Mieczysław professionally at the beginning of his musical career because he believed it sounded more Polish and prestigious.[6]

In the Soviet Union, he was officially known as Moisei Samuilovich Vainberg (Russian: Моисей Самуилович Вайнберг).[7] The name was the result of legal expediency and his personal indifference when he sought refuge in the Soviet Union in 1939. Years later, he recalled waiting to cross over from the Polish border:

Some kind of troop was organized to examine the documents, but it was done rather carelessly, because there were so many people around. I was asked: "Family name?"—"Weinberg"—"First name?"—"Mieczysław"—"Mieczysław, what's that? Are you Jewish?"—"Yes, Jewish"—"Then 'Moisey' it is".[7]

In the 1980s, he successfully petitioned to have his name changed back to Mieczysław.[8] Among friends in Russia, he would also go by his Polish diminutive "Mietek".[9]

Re-transliteration of the composer's surname from Cyrillic back into the Latin alphabet produces a variety of spellings. "Vainberg" became the most common in the 1990s because of a series of compact disc releases on the Olympia label. Per Skans, the author of their liner notes, had erroneously believed that this was the composer's favored choice. Starting in the 21st century, "Weinberg" became the most widespread spelling. The composer himself never declared a preference.[10]



Krochmalna Street [pl], c. 1941

Weinberg was born in Warsaw on December 8, 1919.[11][note 1] His father, Szmuel [ru],[13] was a well-known conductor, composer,[9][14] and violinist at the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw.[15] He had originally come from Kishinev, Bessarabia Governorate (today part of Moldova), which he left shortly before its Jewish community was attacked in the city's pogrom of 1903, in the course of which Weinberg's grandparents and great-grandparents were killed.[16] Weinberg's mother, Sara (née Sura Dwojra Sztern or Sara Deborah Stern),[note 2] was Szmuel's second wife.[17] She had been born in Odessa, Kherson Governorate (today part of Ukraine), and was an actress in several Yiddish theater companies in Warsaw and Łódź.[18] One of the composer's cousins, Isay Abramovich Mishne, was the secretary of the Military Revolutionary Committee of the 1918 Baku Commune [ru]. He was executed in 1918 along with the other 26 Baku Commissars.[19]

The Weinberg's family home was located in the Wola district, on Krochmalna Street [pl].[20] From an early age, Weinberg was surrounded by music; he later told his second wife that "life was my first music teacher". At the age of six, he began to accompany his father to musical performances. At an early age, he taught himself to play the piano, eventually developing enough skill to substitute for his father as conductor. He also began to compose, although he did not accord these early works importance:[21]

What does writing music mean to a child? I simply took down one of my father's music sheets and scribbled down something or other... But in this way, I studied music right from my birth, as it were. And when I wrote these "operettas" I probably imagined myself to be a composer.[21]

Weinberg's birth certificate with enrollment application into the Warsaw Conservatory

At the age of 12, Weinberg began his first formal music lessons at a school in Warsaw. Discerning his precocity, his teacher enrolled him at the Warsaw Conservatory in October 1931, where she felt his talent would be better fostered. Who Weinberg's teachers were in the first two years at the conservatory are no longer known, but in 1933 he became a student of Józef Turczyński,[22] who considered Weinberg to be one of his best students along with Witold Małcużyński.[21] Weinberg graduated in 1939.[23]

Little is known about the influences and musical activities Weinberg may have experienced in Poland.[24] He made his professional debut in a chamber concert organized by the Polish Society for Contemporary Music on 10 December 1936, wherein he was the pianist for the world premiere of Andrzej Panufnik's Piano Trio. His next appearance was in mid-1937, where he was one of the musicians that performed at the conservatory's annual graduation concert. The students receiving diplomas at the event included Witold Lutosławski, Stefan Kisielewski, and Zbigniew Turski. The latter's Piano Concerto was included on the concert program; Weinberg was the soloist. A reviewer praised him as the best performer at the concert and described his playing as "truly masculine".[4]

Weinberg's compositions from this period consisted of a pair of mazurkas, Three Pieces for violin and piano, and his String Quartet No. 1; the latter was dedicated to Turczyński. In 1936, Weinberg also contributed music to an early film by Zbigniew Ziembiński [pl], Fredek uszczęśliwia świat [pl],[25] in which he made a brief appearance playing the piano.[26] The film also included songs by his father, who may have conducted the ensemble used for the film.[27]

In May 1938, Weinberg was introduced by Turczyński to his friend, the pianist Josef Hofmann, who held the post of honorary professor at the conservatory and who was then touring Poland. Weinberg played for him Johann Sebastian Bach's Italian Concerto and Mily Balakirev's Islamey. Impressed, Hofmann invited Weinberg to become his student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, for which he promised to procure an American visa.[28] Ultimately, Weinberg decided to pursue a career as a composer rather than pianist. In the event, he was unable to accept Hofmann's offer because of the invasion of Poland in 1939;[29] Weinberg referred to this as having marked the end of "the best and happiest period" of his life.[30]

Escape from Poland[edit]

Façade of the Café Adria [pl] (c. late 1930s), where Weinberg worked before the war.

Despite the outbreak of war, Weinberg maintained his daily routine; he believed the assurances of Polish propaganda that Poland was emerging victorious against Germany's invasion. Late on the night of September 6, 1939, Weinberg returned home from the Café Adria [pl], where he worked as a pianist. As he ate a meal that his mother had prepared for him, he heard a radio announcement urging all citizens of Warsaw to flee as the arrival of the German Army was imminent. The next morning, Weinberg left heading eastwards with his younger sister, but she decided to return home because her shoes were badly hurting her feet.[31] Weinberg never saw his sister and parents again.[15][32] It was not until 1966, when he returned to Poland for a visit, that he learned from surviving former neighbors that his family had been murdered at the Trawniki concentration camp.[32]

For seventeen days Weinberg headed alone to the Soviet border, eating little, and avoiding gunfire and bombings. Along the way, he witnessed the deaths of several other refugees who were traveling with him.[31] One of the incidents occurred near the Soviet–Polish border:[33]

Two or three Jews were walking along the road; their clothing revealed that they were Jews. In that moment, a motorcycle came along. A German got off and, from the gesticulation, we understood that he was asking for the way somewhere. They showed him precisely... He probably said "Danke schön", sat down again, started the engine, and as the Jews resumed walking, to send them on their way he threw a hand grenade, which tore them to shreds. I could have easily died the same way. On the whole, dying was easy.[33]

On 3 October, Weinberg arrived at the border. He recalled that he and other refugees were grateful to have made it and that they "blessed the Red Army which could save [them] from death".[33] After crossing the border, Weinberg traveled to Minsk in the Byelorussian SSR. His poor health excluded him from consideration for military service.[7] He arrived with little else aside from some of his musical manuscripts and family photographs.[34]

Refugee in the Soviet Union[edit]

The Minsk Conservatory in 2010

After crossing into the Soviet Union, it is believed that Weinberg first journeyed through Brest, then Pinsk, and Luninets; at the latter he composed his Piano Sonata No. 1, which he nicknamed after the town. He finally arrived in Minsk, where he and other recent immigrants from Poland were granted Soviet citizenship by local authorities. This permitted him the privilege of enrolling for studies at the Minsk Conservatory and became one of the students in Vasily Zolotarev's composition class.[34] In addition, Weinberg also took courses in counterpoint, music history, harmony, orchestration, and conducting.[35] His classmates included Eta Tyrmand, Genrikh Wagner [be], and Ryszard Sielicki [pl]. According to Lev Abeliovich [be], Weinberg was considered the best student.[36] He settled into a room at the conservatory's dormitory. His roommate was Alexei Klumov [ru], a pianist and former student of Heinrich Neuhaus. Klumov taught Russian to Weinberg, who quickly became fluent in the language.[37] After school, Weinberg continued playing the piano to earn money. He sometimes was a duet partner for Tyrmand, with whom he played medleys of themes from popular American films.[38]

Zolotarev had been taught composition by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and, through him, inherited the traditions of the Mighty Handful, particularly their use of folk music idioms. In turn, Weinberg absorbed these influences and began turning to Jewish folklore and music for inspiration.[39] Pleased at the young man's abilities, Zolotarev described Weinberg as "a charming and handsome young man, very (extraordinarily) talented". Concern for Weinberg's health and financial well-being led Zolotarev to solicit help for him from the Committee on the Arts. This led to Weinberg being sent to Moscow as one of the participating delegates for the Festival of Byelorussian Art in June 1940. Through Klumov, Weinberg met Nikolai Myaskovsky:[40]

I remember how baffled I was and it impressed me for my entire life when I saw [Myaskovsky] for the first time: I was twenty years old and he was already over fifty, I think; to me he seemed like an old man. When I was preparing to leave, he suddenly began to help me putting on my coat. I was shocked and my hands started trembling: "Oh, but please, please!"[41]

Weinberg described his first hearing of the music of Dmitri Shostakovich (pictured c. 1942) as being like "the discovery of a continent".

While resident in Minsk, Weinberg composed several works. These include his Piano Sonata No. 2; Acacias, his first song cycle, with texts by Julian Tuwim; and his Symphonic Poem. Weinberg said that Acacias was meant to be a distraction from wartime stresses; it is dedicated to an unnamed woman in whom the composer presumably had a romantic interest. The Symphonic Poem had initially been named the Chromatic Symphony. It was premiered on June 21, 1941 by the State Symphony Orchestra of the Byelorussian SSR conducted by Ilya Musin.[42] Weinberg also first experienced what he later likened to as "the discovery of a continent": the music of Dmitri Shostakovich.[41] This first occurred during a performance by the State Symphony Orchestra of the Byelorussian SSR of the latter's Symphony No. 5. At the time, the orchestra lacked a harp and celesta; Weinberg played their parts on the piano:[43]

And so this was the first time I found out any music by [Shostakovich]... I understood that being just any composer was for more or less talented craftsmen, but a real composer was a reasoning and comprehending personality. I remember how, sitting and playing in the orchestra, I was amazed by every phrase, every musical idea, as if a thousand electrical charges were piercing me. Probably this is the feeling felt by everyone who at one time or another has felt the urge to exclaim "Eureka!"[44]

Aside from the Three Fantastic Dances, Weinberg had little familiarity with Shostakovich; a fact he expressed regret for later in life. "Even today I feel aggrieved because I was deprived of [Shostakovich's] music in the strongest, freshest years of my youth", he said.[41]

On June 22, 1941, the Germans began their invasion of the Soviet Union. All men were ordered to report to local military offices for duty. Weinberg was again exempted from military service, with his Pott's disease cited as the reason. On July 23, he received his diploma from the conservatory; it was signed by Vissarion Shebalin, the chairman of the Moscow branch of the Union of Soviet Composers. Along with his diploma, Weinberg gathered his manuscripts and family photographs, then fled Minsk with his friend Klumov.[45] Although Weinberg was initially refused permission to leave by the authorities, he obtained forged documents that certified him as a music teacher from Klumov. With these he was able to travel as far as his finances permitted, to Tashkent in the Uzbek SSR. Most of the State Symphony Orchestra of the Byelorussian SSR musicians who had not been able to leave Minsk were killed in the subsequent German bombing and capture of the city.[46]


Circumstances in Tashkent during the Great Patriotic War were difficult. The first wave of refugees who arrived in the city found plenteous food and places to live.[47] This gave rise to a popular saying at the time, "Tashkent has bread in abundance".[48] As the war progressed, however, nationwide supply shortages and continuing influxes of evacuees strained the city's resources. Housing and food became scarce; crime rates soared. It was not uncommon to see people dying in the street from starvation.[47]

Nevertheless, when Weinberg and Klumov disembarked in Taskent in July 1941, they were determined to secure employment and ration cards for themselves. With his skills as a piano soloist and ensemble player, as well as composer, Weinberg was in an advantageous position. He was quickly hired by the Uzbek SSR State Opera and Ballet Theatre as a tutor and répétiteur.[49] Later, through his friendship with the Uzbek composer Tokhtasyn Dzhalilov,[50] Weinberg was engaged to work jointly with Klumov and four other Uzbek composers on the creation of The Sword of Uzbekistan, a socialist realist opera with Uzbek folk music themes. They counted among their collaborators Mutal Burhonov, who in 1947 composed the "Anthem of the Uzbek SSR" (later adapted as the "State Anthem of Uzbekistan").[49] The opera, whose plot combined Uzbek national myths that were modified to support the Soviet war effort, has since been lost.[51]

On August 4, 1941, while work proceeded on the opera, Weinberg attended a party hosted by Flora Syrkina, the second wife of the artist Alexander Tyshler. It was there that Weinberg met Natalya Mikhoels, the daughter of Solomon Mikhoels, the actor and director of GOSET. Weinberg's relationship with Natalya led to marriage in 1942.[49] They moved into a dormitory on the campus of Academy of Sciences of the Uzbek SSR, which they shared with Mikhoels and his wife. Weinberg's marriage into the family of Mikhoels, who was then at the peak of his career as leader of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, significantly improved the composer's social and financial standing.[52] He intensely admired and respected his father-in-law, to whom he dedicated his Violin Sonata No. 1 composed in 1943.[53] In turn, Mikhoels strove to find any information for Weinberg about the fate of his family, but was unsuccessful. It was only through a meeting with the trumpeter Eddie Rosner, a fellow emigrant from Poland who was touring Tashkent and had also played at the Café Adria before the war, that he learned his family had been deported from Warsaw by train to an unknown destination. This would be all Weinberg knew about his family until 1966.[54]

In Tashkent, Weinberg developed his skills as a composer and wrote music prolifically. Aside from the Violin Sonata No. 1, he composed his Piano Sonata No. 2, which was premiered in Moscow by Emil Gilels, whom he had met in Tashkent. Two pieces for string quartet, the "Aria" and "Capriccio", were also composed, but these remained unperformed during the composer's lifetime.[52] In addition, he also composed his Children's Songs for voice and piano, based on texts by I. L. Peretz; they were the first of his compositions to be published.[55]

Most important of Weinberg's works composed in Tashkent was his Symphony No. 1, written in late 1942 and dedicated to the Red Army. Despite being unperformed in public until 1967, the work was of decisive importance in Weinberg's life. Around the time of the symphony's composition, the faculty of the Leningrad Conservatory was evacuated to Tashkent. Israel Finkelstein, a former teaching assistant to Shostakovich, met Weinberg and was greatly impressed by his music. Afterwards, Finkelstein conveyed his opinions on Weinberg to Shostakovich. His enthusiasm provoked Shostakovich's curiosity, who requested to see some of Weinberg's scores. Another member of the conservatory staff, Yuri Levitin, a former Shostakovich pupil, was also befriended by Weinberg in Tashkent; Weinberg had consigned to him a copy of his Symphony No. 1 to give to Shostakovich.[55] Weinberg may have also been assisted by Mikhoels, who had a friendly relationship with the composer. A few weeks later, Weinberg received an official invitation from the Committee on the Arts to come to Moscow.[56]

Wartime success[edit]

Weinberg and his family arrived in Moscow in late summer 1943. They briefly settled into an apartment on Tverskoy Boulevard, where his father-in-law Mikhoels had lived prior to the war, before moving into another home on Nikitsky Boulevard. On October 3, the couple's only child, Victoria, was born;[57] her name was chosen to represent their hope for a Soviet triumph in the war.[52] In September, Weinberg's Symphony No. 1 had been performed for the Union of Soviet Composers. Myaskovsky was among those who heard the work; he described it as "talented, technically fine, but without warmth".[57]

According to Weinberg's later reminiscences, he first met Shostakovich in person in October 1943. He was received at the latter's apartment located on Myasnitskaya Street [ru]. Waiting with Shostakovich was his friend, the musicologist and arts critic Ivan Sollertinsky. Weinberg played for them a piano reduction of his Symphony No. 1; Shostakovich replied with a few appreciative comments.[58] The meeting established a friendship between the composers that endured until Shostakovich's death.[59] Weinberg thereafter was entrusted as a partner in many of the first hearings of Shostakovich's orchestral music in reductions for piano four-hands.[60] Soon after this meeting, Weinberg was accepted into the Union of Soviet Composers. The benefits he received as a member permitted him to focus on composing full-time, as well as allowed him access to food and products unobtainable to ordinary Soviet citizens.[61] Weinberg's newfound comfort, which contrasted sharply with his financial and professional standing in prewar Poland,[62] also coincided with a gradual return to normalcy in everyday Soviet life.[63]

No longer troubled by privation and with his integration into the musical culture of Moscow proceeding successfully, Weinberg composed prolifically. He added to his work catalog 21 compositions during his early years of residence in Moscow—a total of approximately 7 hours' worth of music. Many of them were quickly premiered after their completion; they were championed by Gilels, Maria Grinberg, Dmitri Tsyganov [ru], and the Beethoven Quartet. Some of the most notable works Weinberg composed in this period include his Piano Quintet, Piano Trio, Symphony No. 2, and his String Quartets Nos. 3 – 6.[60] His music was generally received positively, but its reception was tinged with insinuations about the perceived derivativeness of his music and its dependence on wartime imagery.[64]

By the time the Soviet Union emerged among the victors in the war against Germany in 1945, Weinberg's career appeared to be heading in an auspicious direction.[62]


The announcement proclaiming the Allied victory in Europe was broadcast across all radio stations in the Soviet Union on the night of May 9, 1945. Weinberg and his family were at the Mikhoels home when they heard the news. Natalya, the composer's wife, said that she ran downstairs to tell her father. He replied:[65]

"It is not enough to win the war. Now the world will need to be won and that is much more difficult." With those words, he cooled our elation; and we would have the chance to see how much truth there was in his words for the rest of our lives.[65]

Weinberg's professional reputation continued to gain prominence in the immediate postwar period. He was in demand as both composer and performer; and was chosen by Kara Karayev, Nikolai Peiko, and Yuri Shaporin, among others, to perform in premieres of their new works. As a composer he found support from Shostakovich and Myaskovsky. Music critics, particularly Daniel Zhitomirsky, began to write about Weinberg's music more favorably. His Piano Quintet was nominated for a Stalin Prize in 1945. The work was denied a prize because one of the jury members, the architect Arkady Mordvinov, objected to the work's use of pizzicato, a common string technique that he apparently was unfamiliar with.[66] His rebuke of the work was also interpreted as a proxy attack against Shostakovich.[67] In the event, Weinberg's friend, Georgy Sviridov,[68] ultimately won the first class prize in the chamber music category with his Piano Trio.[69]

Beyond these personal successes, major shifts in Soviet cultural policy were taking place. Increased repression and marginalization of minority groups was signaled in 1946 when Jewish candidates for the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union were pressured to withdraw. Campaigns against formalism led by Andrei Zhdanov in literature and film began in 1946; this resulted in the censure of Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, and Sergei Eisenstein. On October 2 – 8, a smaller scale campaign took place within the Union of Soviet Composers.[70] Under the guises of encouraging composers to seek "more creative guidance" and to develop "closer ties between Soviet composers and Soviet reality",[71] the campaign was designed to subjugate Soviet music to the purposes of propaganda.[65] Lev Knipper took the stage to admonish Weinberg and Jānis Ivanovs at one of the meetings:[70]

A slackening of bonds between formal mastery and richness of ideas... This is a dangerous tendency. Our youth has to learn from the elder generation about the importance of ideology.[72]

Shaporin, Shostakovich, and Aram Khachaturian reacted by defending Weinberg. Instead, they urged, he needed the assistance of his colleagues to bring his musical style into alignment with the expectations of Soviet officialdom. Khachaturian expanded on this point by saying that critics who had praised Weinberg had done him a disservice by not balancing their views with diagnoses of his shortcomings. He also implored Weinberg to explore his "national melos", which the Armenian composer disapprovingly remarked was used "extremely rarely".[73]

In spite of this suggestion, Weinberg showed little interest in exploring folk music idioms. Excepting his Festive Pictures for orchestra, the music he composed immediately after these remarks, instead, continued to pursue and refine stylistic traits that he established during the war. Other works in which he may have heeded Khachaturian's advice are now partially or entirely lost.[74]

Persecution and arrest[edit]

The 1948 death of Andrei Zhdanov, who led ideological campaigns against artists, was one of the factors that resulted in the "doctors' plot".

On January 5, 1948, Joseph Stalin and members of the Politburo attended the Bolshoi Theatre for a performance of the opera The Great Friendship by the Georgian composer Vano Muradeli. For reasons that are unknown, the opera outraged Stalin, who immediately directed Andrei Zhdanov to organize a wider and renewed campaign against musical formalism.[75] A few days later, on January 12, Weinberg's father-in-law Mikhoels was murdered in Minsk [ru] on the orders of Stalin. The actor had been lured to his death by the critic and covert MVD informant, Vladimir Golubov [ru]; both were killed in what was officially ruled a traffic accident. Mikhoels' body was returned to Moscow and given a state funeral. Lazar Kaganovich surreptitiously conveyed to Weinberg's family his condolences, but urged them not to inquire any further about the death.[76] Weinberg was placed under constant MVD surveillance, regularly harassed by the police, and had his travel privileges curtailed.[77]

Meanwhile, the ongoing anti-formalist campaign in music necessitated a convocation of the Union of Soviet Composers. Khrennikov, who was appointed general secretary of the union, led the proceedings, but refused to engage in anti-Semitic tactics. This resulted in a number of anonymous letters accusing him of having "sold out".[78] On February 10, the Politburo published its "Resolution on the Opera 'The Great Friendship' [ru]" in Pravda. This was followed on February 14 by a ruling that listed composers and works banned from performance. Although not one of the six composers who were the campaign's most prominent targets, Weinberg's music for children was censured.[79] He was also further compromised professionally by his association with Shostakovich, who had been among the six.[80]

In spite of these developments, Weinberg appeared to have no cause for concern about his personal welfare. One of his works, the Sinfonietta No. 1, was received warmly by the press. It was also praised by Khrennikov[81] after it was performed at the December 1948 plenum of the Union of Composers:[82]

Shining evidence of the fruitfulness of the path to realism is to be found in the Sinfonietta by Weinberg, a composer who used to be under the powerful influence of modernistic art which distorted his unquestionable talent in an ugly way. Turning to the sources of Jewish folk music, Weinberg has created a brilliant work full of joie de vivre and devoted to the joyous, free working life of Jewish people in the Land of Socialism. In this work Weinberg has revealed outstanding skill and richness of imagination.[83]

The work soon established itself as a part of the Soviet orchestral repertoire and was one of Weinberg's most played works through the mid-1950s.[81] Another work, the cantata In My Native Land, which set texts that glorified Stalin, was conducted by Alexander Gauk.[84] Weinberg also composed a number of other populist works during the late 1940s, but suppressed them from being performed.[85] Other works, like the Violin Sonatina composed for Leonid Kogan, were only first played years later. Much of Weinberg's energies in these years were devoted to music for films and the circus;[86] the latter was considered by the Soviet government to be second only to the film industry in importance.[87] In 1952, Shostakovich nominated Weinberg's Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes for a Stalin Prize, but lost.[88] Weinberg was one of the few major Soviet composers of the 1940s and early 1950s who neither won a Stalin Prize nor whose nominations ever went beyond the first round of voting.[89]

Around Weinberg, official persecution of Jews intensified. In November 1948, the government dissolved the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and arrested several of its members. Benjamin Zuskin, Mikhoels' successor at GOSET, was arrested in February 1950. He was interrogated by authorities about Weinberg, but told them he knew little except that he was a composer, one of Shostakovich's friends, and that Khrennikov considered him a "formalist".[77] Zuskin's arrest led Weinberg and his wife to believe that his would soon follow. One of her relatives, Miron Vovsi, was arrested in late January 1953 and accused of being one of the conspirators in the "doctors' plot".[84]

Weinberg was jailed at the Lubyanka Prison in early 1953

On February 6, Weinberg attended a performance of his Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes in an arrangement for violin and orchestra played by David Oistrakh. After the concert, Weinberg went back to his home for a late night meal accompanied by Nikolai Peiko, Boris Tchaikovsky, and his wife. At 2:00 a.m., the police arrived with an arrest warrant for Weinberg;[90] he got dressed, informed his guests that he was innocent, and was taken into police custody.[84] His working room was sealed off and apartment searched until the morning.[90][91] Fear of torture impelled him to admit his culpability to whatever charges he was accused of, irrespective of their plausibility. These included attempting to dig a tunnel to England under his home in order to flee.[90] His wife inquired regularly with officials at the Lubyanka Prison to determine the state of his arrest and to ensure that he was alive. She was soon contacted by Shostakovich, who informed her that he wrote a letter to Lavrenty Beria that vouched for Weinberg's innocence. He also arranged with her that in the event of her arrest, he would assume power of attorney over the Weinbergs' affairs and the responsibility of raising their daughter.[92] Matters changed course after Stalin's death on March 5, an event which Weinberg did not learn of until weeks later. He was released from jail on April 25.[93] To the end of his life, Weinberg rebuffed suggestions that the official persecution endured by him or other composers had been severe, and denied facts relating to these. "Evidently he had invested too much in his search for freedom to give up on it", wrote Fanning.[94]

Khrushchev Thaw[edit]

This 2003 Russian commemorative envelope and stamp depict the film The Cranes are Flying (center left) and its director Mikhail Kalatozov (upper right). Weinberg's score for the film was a great success.

Following the composition of the Overture for orchestra soon after his release from prison,[95] Weinberg temporarily shifted away from concert works.[96] Those that he did compose tended to be chamber music, which by their relative economy of resources needed had improved opportunities for performance.[95] Instead, he concentrated on composing music for films and cartoons. His score for the 1954 film Tiger Girl, starring Lyudmila Kasatkina in the title role, became successful enough that he extracted an orchestral suite for concert performances.[97] The resulting suite became one of his most often performed works, with only the Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes exceeding it in popularity.[98] Another successful film score was the one he composed for The Last Inch, a drama directed by Nikita Kurikhin [ru] and Teodor Vulfovich [ru]; the music secured the film its enduring fame in Russia. The writer Mikhail Veller, who saw the film in his childhood, recalled it and its music:[99]

It [sent] chills down my spine, needles pricking me in the chest and knees, a spasm in my throat, tears in my eyes, hope, grim delight, and joy. We could not know the word "catharsis". I do not think you can comprehend what it meant to a nine-year-old to see The Last Inch for the first time: in the Soviet Union, behind the Iron Curtain, without television, virtually no radio, without any commercials, and in totalitarian-filtered austerity; everything is Soviet, nothing is foreign, imported, capitalist, unfamiliar, in this rarefied space—a movie theatre. It was a revelation, a shock, a bitter tragedy with an exalted conclusion that was ripped from destiny. It was a song we all sang. Soon a record came out and I bought it. Music by Weinberg, lyrics by Sobol [ru] The bass, a soloist with the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, Mikhail Ryba [ru]. The harps (!) began to strum, the basses entered, and a piano solo rattled the nerves at the heights of its passages.[100]

His most notable success in film was with his score to the 1957 war drama directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, The Cranes are Flying. A contemporary Soviet film encyclopedia praised Weinberg for the skill and precision with which he used his music, describing it as being guided by "dreams, love, and hope". The score, which includes a sequence for piano and orchestra in the style of Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto, became so popular in the Soviet Union that there was great demand for arrangements of it in various styles.[101]

Weinberg also composed incidental music for a theatrical production of Honoré de Balzac's Les Ressources de Quinola. Some of Weinberg's notable concert works of the period include his Piano Sonata No. 4, Partita,[102] and Violin Sonata No. 5; the latter dedicated to Shostakovich.[95]

As a pianist, Weinberg was involved as one of the principal figures in the dissemination and early reception of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10 in 1954. Weinberg first played it with the composer in an arrangement for piano four-hands for selected staff and students at the Moscow Conservatory. They later played it for Yevgeny Mravinsky, who later conducted the symphony's premiere, and then for a session in April of the Leningrad branch of the RSFSR Union of Composers. At the latter performance, the symphony fomented intense debate, in which Weinberg spoke in its defense.[103] At some point in 1954, Weinberg and Shostakovich made a recording, which the former later described as a "treasure, a kind of talisman". They also made a private recording of Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues in an arrangement for four-hands, but neither recording nor arrangement have since been found.[104]

A 1955 ballet, The Golden Key, based on the eponymous children's tale by Alexei Tolstoy that was itself adapted from Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, became Weinberg's major work of the era.[97] The work had originated from music Weinberg composed for a "vaudeville for children" by the writer Vadim Korostolyov [ru]; its success led to the commissioning of The Golden Key.[98] It was described by the musicologist Nataliya Gounko as a "grandchild" of Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka.[105]

In time, Weinberg established for himself a career that accommodated his personal goals with those of the state.[106] By the end of the 1950s he began to reorient his energies back into concert music; a turn signaled in 1957 by the composition of the String Quartet No. 7, his first essay in the genre in eleven years.[107] With Weinberg's financial state improved, he indulged in his delight in shopping for clothes and second-hand books. His daughter Viktoria described him in these years as cutting the figure of a "real Polish dandy".[108] He also began manifesting character traits borne from trauma that endured for the rest of his life. These included paranoia of continued anti-Semitic persecution, being unpunctual, and drawing official scrutiny for his connections with people outside of the Soviet Union. When Weinberg's former classmate, Małcużyński, requested to visit with him during a tour of the Soviet Union, the composer sought repeated reassurances from authorities that it was acceptable to meet with the pianist and invite him home.[109]

"Stellar years"[edit]

Weinberg frequently vacationed in the town of Ruza (Partisan Square pictured), where he composed numerous works.

Success and intense productivity marked Weinberg's life in the 1960s.[110] He received renewed support from the RSFSR Union of Composers, through the auspices of Muzfond [ru], as well as access to the union's circuit of creative resorts located across the Soviet Union. Weinberg composed a number of important works, including his Symphony No. 10 and String Quartet No. 12, at the resort in Dilijan, Armenian SSR. However, his favorite was in the town of Ruza, near Moscow. During visits there between 1953 and 1983, Weinberg composed four symphonies, three string quartets, six instrumental sonatas, the opera Congratulations!, and numerous other works.[111] Increased royalties from performances of his concert music in combination with steady film work, which was the most profitable available to composers, provided Weinberg with the freedom to earn a comfortable living from composition alone.[112]

As his prosperity and visibility increased, so did his connections with the top Soviet musicians of the era.[112] Along with longstanding friends like Kogan, who premiered the Violin Concerto, a new generation of musicians—including Rudolf Barshai, Timofei Dokschitzer, Mikhail Fichtenholz, Kirill Kondrashin, and Mstislav Rostropovich—took up the cause of his music.[113] The "Allegretto" from Weinberg's String Quartet No. 7 became a favorite encore piece of the Borodin Quartet, while its successor, the String Quartet No. 8 from 1959, gained recognition in the West; for many years the only one of the composer's quartets to achieve this.[114] Works which had long remained unperformed, such as the Symphony No. 2, were premiered and played in the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc.[115]

The decade augured a streak of symphonic triumphs that began with the premiere of the Symphony No. 3 conducted by Alexander Gauk on March 23, 1960.[113] With the Symphony No. 5 of 1962, Weinberg achieved his maturity as a symphonic composer.[116][117] According to the musicologist Lyudmila Nikitina, who had first met the composer in the early 1960s, the symphony crystallized procedures that Weinberg would continue to use throughout his life; wherein he draws from personal experience, treats the act of creation as a "mirror of his individual perception", and produces music of social significance.[118] The non-vocal symphonies that followed, Nos. 7 and 10, were by their chamber orchestra scoring comparatively restrained in its use of resources; the latter was enthusiastically praised by Shostakovich, while the former shows traces of being influenced by the sonorism that was characteristic of the emerging new Polish music.[119]

Fellow composer Krzysztof Meyer befriended Weinberg during his trip to Poland in 1966.

Weinberg's music was occasionally heard and his career reported on in Poland. A 1964 issue of the bi-monthly music magazine Ruch Muzyczny [pl] mentioned that he was a composer highly regarded in the Soviet Union whose name was often mentioned in connection with Shostakovich. In 1963, Weinberg's String Quartet No. 8 was played by the Komitas Quartet at that year's Warsaw Autumn. Audiences and critics considered the work old-fashioned and mostly ignored it.[120] Three years later, an ultimately aborted attempt by Kondrashin to conduct Weinberg's Symphony No. 8 with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra on tour in Poland led to the composer's return to the country of his birth for the first time since his emigration. Accompanied by his friend Tchaikovsky, Weinberg walked through the streets of Warsaw. Although he found his family home still standing, he was appalled as much by how the city had transformed as it had remained the same. Of its restored prewar buildings, Weinberg likened them to empty shells bereft of souls.[121][122] "His great disappointment", said the composer Krzysztof Meyer, who befriended Weinberg on this trip, "was that the city he knew no longer existed".[122] Despite much searching, he found virtually nobody, aside from his former classmate Turski, who knew him from before the war. He also finally learned about his family's death. Reinforcing Weinberg's feeling of unease on this trip was his snubbing from most Polish composers; an outcome based on their perceptions of him as a stylistic reactionary and a member of the Soviet establishment, as well as their general suspicion of Russian culture.[123] This did not preclude his enjoyment of their works such as Grażyna Bacewicz's String Quartet No. 7[124] and Krzysztof Penderecki's St. Luke Passion,[125] which he heard at that year's installment of the Warsaw Autumn.[124] All the same, the visit left him disillusioned: he came to the conclusion that there was no country for him to return to.[121][126] "Poland is my homeland", he later said, "but my second homeland remains Russia".[121] Nevertheless, the Polish language became for him a symbol of his vanished motherland. He maintained his command of it and regularly read in Polish.[127] Meyer said of Weinberg's use of the language:[122]

[He] spoke a flawless Polish. One did not hear the tone of the vernacular: he articulated it as it is printed. It was the language of the bourgeoisie—well-groomed, melodious, not so tragic.[122]

Back in the Soviet Union, reception of Weinberg's instrumental music proceeded largely without negative commentary. Mixed reactions and hostility from colleagues met his vocal music, however, such as his Symphony No. 6.[128] A work that the musicologist Lyudmila Nikitina said is structured "akin to a dramatic monologue",[129] it is the first of his six vocal symphonies,[130] and consists of settings of texts by Leib Kvitko, Samuil Galkin, and Mikhail Lukonin; all of whom were considered to be politically suspect by authorities.[128] After its premiere on November 12, 1963, Dmitri Kabalevsky confided his intense dislike of the work to Karen Khachaturian and Rodion Shchedrin; the details of his criticism were relayed to Weinberg. Later, at a meeting of the Ministry of Culture, the musicologist Boris Yarustovsky [ru] attacked the symphony for being what he called a "ballade of dead children".[131] Their opposition resulted in the cancellation of an article about the symphony that had been scheduled for a forthcoming issue of Sovyetskaya Kultura. Weinberg was subsequently approached face-to-face about the symphony by Kabalevsky, who related to him that he was "immensely despondent and aghast at [its] extraordinary failure". When pressed about why the symphony was "hopeless, sad, and even demoralizing", Weinberg responded that his symphony was nothing of the kind. "The whole point of the symphony", he told Kabalevsky, "was about the struggle against the most terrible evil of all—war—and that the Soviet people, who had suffered from fascism the most, would never permit war and, therefore, could sleep in peace".[131]

1988 Soviet stamp commemorating the cartoon Winnie-the-Pooh

Throughout the 1960s, Weinberg continued to compose scores for films and cartoons. While the feature films he scored in those years did not attain a similar level of fame to those he scored in the 1950s, his music for the 1969 adaptation of Winnie-the-Pooh directed by Fyodor Khitruk became an instant favorite with Soviet audiences; it has since been recognized as the best known of all his cartoon scores.[132] Weinberg's music continued to be renowned in Russia long after the cartoon's release,[133] with the verses sung by its titular character entering the popular lexicon. The composer said that off all his music for films and cartoons, Winnie-the-Pooh contributed the most to the preservation of his legacy. One commentator described the cartoon's patter songs as being so simple that they could have been created by a child;[134] another held them up as a "salient example of early Soviet rap".[135]

From the vantage point of an interview in 1994, Weinberg looked back on the 1960s with fondness; he referred to the decade as his "stellar years".[136]

Transitions, setbacks, and honors[edit]

In the mid-1960s, Weinberg began an extramarital affair that quickly developed into a romantic relationship with Olga Rakhalskaya,[137] daughter of the psychiatrist Yuliy Rakhalsky [ru].[138] The couple had been introduced to each other to by Weinberg's daughter Victoria, who was Rakhalskaya's classmate at Moscow State University.[139] Weinberg divorced his wife Natalya in 1970 after dithering on the matter for a long period;[137] she and their daughter emigrated to Israel in 1972.[139] Many of his peers and friends, who respected Natalya's family and its legacy, shunned the composer after his divorce. Shostakovich was one of his few friends who remained supportive.[140] In 1971, Rakhalskaya gave birth to Weinberg's second daughter Anna; the couple married the following year.[141] There is no evidence that Weinberg's career suffered as a direct result of his divorce and new marriage.[142]

The rupture of Weinberg's first marriage notwithstanding, his personal life became stable and unremarkable in his later years, dominated mostly by work and increasingly illness.[142][141] He continued to enjoy steady income from film work, which permitted him to continue composing full-time,[142] although he complained that it occupied too much of his time.[143] His second wife described Weinberg as thinking nothing else but of musical work during these years:[142]

He worked every single minute, day and night. If he wasn't sleeping, he was working. Even in his sleep. When he was dozing off he would often drum his fingers without realizing it, as though they were grasping the piano keys. That's why there are no memorable data in his biography: the only important landmarks in his life are what he composed.[144]

Much of Weinberg's energies during these years were spent in his unsuccessful attempt to stage his opera The Passenger,[145] based on the 1962 eponymous novel by Zofia Posmysz, which in turn she had adapted from her original radio play.[146] The novel was translated into Russian and published in the Soviet Union in 1963.[147] One of its admirers was Shostakovich, who discerned the novel's potential as a basis for an opera. He shared a copy with the writer Alexander Medvedev who, in turn, gave it to Weinberg.[148] Its plot, about a former Auschwitz guard who believes she sees a long-dead inmate while traveling on an ocean liner, may have reminded Weinberg of a similar incident that had occurred to him while he met with Małcużyński, when the composer became agitated upon seeing one of the jailers from his 1953 arrest sitting nearby at a restaurant.[146] Despite the enthusiastic approval of the board of the RSFSR Union of Composers, including Rodion Shchedrin, Shostakovich,[149] Khrennikov, and Sviridov—who as union chairman praised the opera as being "written with the heart's blood"—plans for a premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre were rejected by the Ministry of Culture.[150] Later research has neither been able to determine a cause for this decision, nor other later rejections of proposed performances elsewhere in the Soviet Union.[151]

Exponents of Weinberg's music began to diminish or lose influence in the 1970s.[152] His friend Sviridov was not reelected chairman of the RSFSR Union of Composers when his term ended in 1973.[153] A more serious loss was the death of Shostakovich on August 9, 1975. The two composers were in close contact almost to the very end;[154] their mutual amity evident in that Weinberg's name is the one that appeared the most in Shostakovich's diary.[155] In 1976, Weinberg composed his Symphony No. 12 in Shostakovich's memory and asked Kondrashin to conduct its premiere. The conductor had balked at Weinberg's vocal symphonies and when he was offered the Symphony No. 12, he accused the composer of having become "arid, variable in quality, and expressionless" since his Symphony No. 8. He stipulated furthermore that he would only conduct the Symphony No. 12 contingent on extensive cuts to the score to be approved by him. Exasperated by Kondrashin's behavior, Weinberg terminated his friendship with him.[156] Another friendship that came to an end was with Rostropovich, for whom the 24 Preludes for solo cello had been intended. By the time of its composition in 1968, his relationship with Weinberg worsened to the point that he never performed the work,[157] despite having edited it for publication. Weinberg said near the end of his life that Rostropovich had become "too busy" to play his music. Rostropovich, on the other hand, said little other than calling Weinberg "a coward".[158] Other performers who regularly played Weinberg's music, like Barshai, had emigrated.[153] Still, he acquired a few new advocates, including Maxim Shostakovich and Vladimir Fedoseyev; the latter was entrusted with a series of premieres in the last decades of the composer's life.[153]

Concurrently, Weinberg received in 1971 the first of his official honors, Honored Artist of the RSFSR, and was written about widely in the musical press. He found contentment in life with his second wife and daughter, with whom he often spent time with in excursions to the town of Valentinovka [ru] outside of Moscow.[159]

Final years and posthumous reception[edit]

Towards the end of his life, Weinberg suffered from Crohn's disease and remained housebound for the last three years, although he continued to compose. He converted to Orthodox Christianity on January 3, 1996, less than two months before his death in Moscow.[160] His funeral was held in the Church of the Resurrection of the Word.[161]

A 2004 reviewer has considered him as "the third great Soviet composer, along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich".[1] Ten years after his death, a concert premiere of his opera The Passenger in Moscow sparked a posthumous revival. The British director David Pountney staged the opera at the 2010 Bregenz Festival[162] and restaged it at English National Opera in 2011.[163] Thomas Sanderling has called Weinberg "a great discovery. Tragically, a discovery, because he didn't gain much recognition within his lifetime besides from a circle of insiders in Russia."[164]

Conversion to Orthodox Christianity[edit]

In the period immediately preceding death, Weinberg converted to the Russian Orthodox Church; sources disagree as to whether this was done under pressure or done freely. According to David Fanning, who authored a monograph about the composer, it is generally believed that this conversion occurred under pressure from his second wife, Olga Rakhalskaya, a Sunday school teacher of Jewish heritage.[165] This allegation was repeated in a 2016 interview by the composer's eldest daughter, Victoria, who doubted that the baptism was undertaken voluntarily in light of his long-standing illness,[166] Rakhalskaya denied that Weinberg had been coerced into baptism. She replied that involuntary baptism is sinful and of no value, and that Weinberg had been considering his conversion for about a year before he asked to be baptised in late November 1995.[138] The composer's youngest daughter, Anna Weinberg, has written that "father was baptized in sound mind and firm memory, without the slightest pressure from any side; this was his deliberate and conscious decision, and why he did it is not for us to judge."[161] The composer's interest in Christianity may have begun while working on the film score for Our Father in Heaven (Russian: Отче Наш, romanizedOtche Nash), directed by Boris Yermolayev [ru] in the late 1980s. A setting of the Lord's Prayer appears in the manuscript score of Weinberg's Symphony No. 21 from 1991.[167]


Weinberg's output includes 22 symphonies, various works for orchestra (including four chamber symphonies and two sinfoniettas), the Violin Concerto, 17 string quartets, 8 violin sonatas (three solo and five with piano), 24 preludes for cello and six cello sonatas (two with piano and four solo), four solo viola sonatas, six piano sonatas, numerous other instrumental works, as well as more than 40 film and animation scores (including The Cranes are Flying, Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, 1958). He wrote seven operas, and considered one of them, The Passenger (Passazhirka) (written in 1967–68, premiered in 2006),[168][169] to be his most important work.[170] Beginning in 1994, new recordings and reissues of Melodiya recordings were released by Olympia, being among the first systematic efforts to bring Weinberg's music to a wider audience. Since then, numerous other labels have recorded his music, including Naxos, Chandos, ECM and Deutsche Grammophon.

According to Lyudmilla Nikitina, Weinberg emphasized the "neo-classical, rationalist clarity and proportion" of his works.[170]

Weinberg's style can be described as modern yet accessible.[by whom?] His harmonic language is usually based on an expanded/free tonality mixed with occasional polytonality, such as in the Twentieth Symphony, and atonality, such as in the Twelfth String Quartet or the 24 Preludes for Solo Cello. His earlier works exhibit Neoromantic tendencies and draw significantly on folk-music, whereas his later works, which came with improved social circumstances and greater compositional maturity, are more complex and austere. However, even in these later, more experimental works from the late 1960s, 70s and 80s, such as the Third Violin Sonata or the Tenth Symphony, which make liberal use of tone clusters and other devices, Weinberg retains a keen sense of tradition that variously manifests itself in the use of classical forms, more restrained tonality, or lyrical melodic lines. Many of his instrumental works contain highly virtuosic writing and make significant technical demands on performers.

Stylistic influences[edit]

Although he never formally studied with Shostakovich, the older composer was an important influence on Weinberg. This is particularly noticeable in his Twelfth Symphony (1975–1976, Op. 114), which is dedicated to the memory of Shostakovich and quotes from a number of the latter's works. Other explicit connections include the pianissimo passage with celesta which ends the Fifth Symphony (1962, Op. 76), reminiscent of Shostakovich's Fourth;[citation needed] the quote from one of Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues in Weinberg's Sixth Piano Sonata (1960, Op. 73); and numerous quotes from Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto and Cello Sonata in Weinberg's 21st Prelude for Solo Cello. These explicit connections should not be interpreted, however, to mean that musical influences went in only one direction, from Shostakovich to Weinberg. Shostakovich drew significant inspiration from Weinberg's Seventh Symphony for his Tenth String Quartet;[171] Shostakovich also drew on some of the ideas in Weinberg's Ninth String Quartet for the slow movement of his Tenth Quartet (opening bars of Weinberg's Ninth), for his Eleventh Quartet (first movement of Weinberg's Ninth) and for his Twelfth Quartet (F-sharp major ending);[172] and in his First Cello Concerto of 1959, Shostakovich re-used Weinberg's idea of a solo cello motif in the first movement that recurs at the end of the work to impart unity, from Weinberg's Cello Concerto (1948, Op. 43).[173]

It is also important to note that Weinberg does not restrict himself to quoting Shostakovich. For example, Weinberg's Trumpet Concerto quotes Felix Mendelssohn's well-known Wedding March; his Second Piano Sonata (written in 1942, before moving to Moscow) quotes Haydn; and his Twenty First Symphony quotes a Chopin ballade. Such quotations are stylistic features shared by both Weinberg and Shostakovich.[174]

More general similarities in musical language between Shostakovich and Weinberg include the use of extended melodies,[further explanation needed] repetitive themes, and methods of developing the musical material.[175] However, Nikitina states that "already in the 60s it was obvious that Weinberg's style was individual and essentially different from the style of Shostakovich.".[175]

Along with Shostakovich, Nikitina identifies Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Béla Bartók and Gustav Mahler as formative influences.[170] Ethnic influences include not only Jewish, but also Belarusian, Moldavian, and Polish music.[176] Weinberg has been identified by a number of critics as the source of Shostakovich's own increased interest in Jewish themes.[171][177]



  1. ^ a b c According to Weinberg's own reckoning, he was born on December 8, 1919. His birth certificate withal states the date as January 12, 1919. The Polish musicologist and Weinberg biographer, Danuta Gwizdalanka, believes his birth occurred on December 8, 1918.[12]
  2. ^ Weinberg stated that his mother's maiden surname was Kotlicka. However, documents preserved at the Chopin University of Music, as well as notations in surviving family photographs record her name as Sura Dwojra Sztern.[17]


  1. ^ a b Steve Schwarz, review of The Golden Key on Classical Net Review, 2004.
  2. ^ da Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna (November 1, 2017). "Review: Violinist Gidon Kremer Shares 24 Soviet Snapshots". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  3. ^ Gwizdalanka, Danuta (February 12, 2015). "Unknown Facts From Mieczysław Wajnberg's Biography". Culture.pl. Warsaw: Adam Mickiewicz Institute. Archived from the original on January 5, 2024. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  4. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 25.
  5. ^ שװאַרץ, פֿיליפּ (October 27, 2023). "Immortalizing the work of composer Mieczysław (Moyshe) Weinberg". The Forward. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  6. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 24.
  7. ^ a b c Fanning 2019, p. 23.
  8. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 144–145.
  9. ^ a b Fanning 2019, p. 8.
  10. ^ Skans, Per. "What is in a name?: Per Skans on Mieczysław Weinberg's surname". music-weinberg.net. Archived from the original on January 5, 2023. Retrieved January 5, 2024. Why Weinberg? Why not Vainberg? Why not Wainberg? Or Vajnberg? Or Wajnberg? Weinberg is correct, all other spellings are wrong! [...] I confess having a certain guilt myself, since I once accepted—without checking them—certain rumors that Weinberg himself preferred the spelling 'Vainberg'.
  11. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 16.
  12. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 14–15.
  13. ^ Tsodikova 2009a.
  14. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 18.
  15. ^ a b Ovchinnikov 2003.
  16. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 15.
  17. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 15.
  18. ^ "Иллюстрации к "Дерево Жизни"". zhurnal.lib.ru.
  19. ^ Tsodikova, Ada (February 20, 2009). "Дерево Жизни". ArtLib.ru (in Russian). Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  20. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 13–14.
  21. ^ a b c Fanning 2019, p. 17.
  22. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 22.
  23. ^ Medvedev 2004.
  24. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 19.
  25. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 35.
  26. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 29.
  27. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 37.
  28. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 27.
  29. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 18.
  30. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 30.
  31. ^ a b Fanning 2019, p. 21.
  32. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 33.
  33. ^ a b c Fanning 2019, p. 22.
  34. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 35.
  35. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 37.
  36. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 41.
  37. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 35–36.
  38. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 36–37.
  39. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 36.
  40. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 37–38.
  41. ^ a b c Fanning 2019, p. 26.
  42. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 38.
  43. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 27.
  44. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 49.
  45. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 39.
  46. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 57.
  47. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 40.
  48. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 32.
  49. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 41.
  50. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 33.
  51. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 58.
  52. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 42.
  53. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 59.
  54. ^ Elphick 2020, pp. 59–60.
  55. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 43.
  56. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 69.
  57. ^ a b Elphick 2020, p. 70.
  58. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 41.
  59. ^ Weinberg 1976, p. 48.
  60. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 47.
  61. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 44–45.
  62. ^ a b Elphick 2020, p. 87.
  63. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 80.
  64. ^ Elphick 2020, pp. 80–81.
  65. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 51.
  66. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 49.
  67. ^ Frolova-Walker 2016, p. 98.
  68. ^ Sviridov & Weinberg 2023, p. 39.
  69. ^ Frolova-Walker 2016, p. 291.
  70. ^ a b Fanning 2019, p. 49.
  71. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 98.
  72. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 49–50.
  73. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 50.
  74. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 51–52.
  75. ^ Frolova-Walker 2016, pp. 222–223.
  76. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 60–61.
  77. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 65.
  78. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 67.
  79. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 64.
  80. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 108.
  81. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 64.
  82. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 68.
  83. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 68.
  84. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 77.
  85. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 69.
  86. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 123.
  87. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 72.
  88. ^ Frolova-Walker 2016, p. 123.
  89. ^ Frolova-Walker 2016, p. 124.
  90. ^ a b c Elphick 2020, p. 124.
  91. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 78.
  92. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 79.
  93. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 88.
  94. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 70.
  95. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 84.
  96. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 91.
  97. ^ a b Fanning 2019, p. 92.
  98. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 86.
  99. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 87.
  100. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 87–89.
  101. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 101.
  102. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 91–92.
  103. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 83–84.
  104. ^ Nikitina 1994, p. 19.
  105. ^ Gounko, Nataliya (1994). Vainberg: Ballet: 'The Golden Key', Op. 55 (booklet). Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler. Olympia Compact Discs. p. 3. OCD 473.
  106. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 96.
  107. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 97.
  108. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 90.
  109. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 92–93.
  110. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 103.
  111. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 100.
  112. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 101.
  113. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 103.
  114. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 98.
  115. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 107.
  116. ^ Nikitina 1972, p. 80.
  117. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 107.
  118. ^ Nikitina 1972, pp. 80–81.
  119. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 111, 113.
  120. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 111.
  121. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 113.
  122. ^ a b c d Elphick 2020, p. 192.
  123. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 195.
  124. ^ a b Elphick 2020, p. 185.
  125. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 188.
  126. ^ Elphick 2020, p. 193.
  127. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 164.
  128. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 104.
  129. ^ Nikitina 1972, pp. 99–100.
  130. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 108.
  131. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 105.
  132. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 122–123.
  133. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 137.
  134. ^ Kuriy, Sergei (December 22, 2018). "Какова история саундтреков к мультсериалам "Ну, погоди!" и "Винни-Пух"?" [What is the story behind the animated serials "Hey, Hold Up!" and "Winnie-the-Pooh"?]. ShkolaZhizni.ru (in Russian). Archived from the original on January 25, 2024. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  135. ^ Bysko, Maxim V. (November 28, 2019). "Музыкальный Винни-Пух: к 100-летию Вайнберга" [Musical Winnie-the-Pooh: On Weinberg's 100th Anniversary]. Mediamusic (in Russian). Archived from the original on January 25, 2024. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  136. ^ Nikitina 1994, p. 22.
  137. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 116.
  138. ^ a b Rakhalskaya 2016.
  139. ^ a b Fanning 2019, p. 105.
  140. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 106.
  141. ^ a b Elphick 2020, p. 207.
  142. ^ a b c d Fanning 2019, p. 125.
  143. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 120.
  144. ^ Fanning 2019, pp. 125–126.
  145. ^ Sviridov & Weinberg 2023, p. 204.
  146. ^ a b Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 121.
  147. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 122.
  148. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 117.
  149. ^ Sviridov & Weinberg 2023, p. 205.
  150. ^ Sviridov & Weinberg 2023, p. 206.
  151. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 127.
  152. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 138.
  153. ^ a b c Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 140.
  154. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 126.
  155. ^ Digonskaja, Olga (2010). "Notes on Shostakovich's diary". In Fairclough, Pauline (ed.). Shostakovich Studies 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0521111188.
  156. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, pp. 138–139.
  157. ^ Skans, Per (1997). M. Vainberg (1919–1996): Volume 9—Yosif Feigelson Plays Works for Cello (booklet). Yosif Feigelson. Olympia Records. p. 5. OCD 594.
  158. ^ Feigelson, Josef (2010). Weinberg: Complete Music for Solo Cello, 1—24 Preludes, Sonata No. 1 (booklet). Josef Feigelson. Naxos Records. p. 2. 8.572280.
  159. ^ Gwizdalanka 2022, p. 135.
  160. ^ Reilly, Robert R. (February 2000), "Light in the Dark: The Music of Mieczyslaw Vainberg", Crisis Magazine, reproduced at http://www.music-weinberg.net/biography.html.
  161. ^ a b Gorfinkel, Ada (March 7, 2012). "Моисей (Мечислав) Вайнберг ["Moisey (Mieczyslaw) Weinberg"]" (in Russian). Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  162. ^ David Poutney (September 8, 2011). "The Passenger's journey from Auschwitz to the opera". The Guardian. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  163. ^ Andrew Clements (September 20, 2011). "The Passenger – review". The Guardian. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  164. ^ Rebecca Schmid (December 21, 2016). "Recognition for a Composer Who Captured a Century's Horrors". New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  165. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 162.
  166. ^ Blumina, Elizaveta (February 26, 2016). ""Я никогда не говорила об этом, но сейчас, думаю, пришло время" ["I never talked about it, but now, I think, the time has come"]". Академическая музыка (in Russian). Colta.ru. Archived from the original on June 24, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  167. ^ Fanning, David (2014), Notes to Symphony 21, Toccata Classics CD TOCC 0193.
  168. ^ World premiere (in concert version): December 25, 2006, Moscow International House of Music "Состоялась мировая премьера оперы "Пассажирка" | Радио России". Retrieved December 29, 2006.[dead link]
  169. ^ Staged premiere: July 21, 2010, Bregenz Festival "Passagierin10 | Bregenz Festival". Archived from the original on November 12, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  170. ^ a b c Nikitina 2001.
  171. ^ a b Sobolev, Oleg (May 15, 2014). "Мечислав Вайнберг: Глоссарий ["Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Glossary"]". ART-1 (in Russian). Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  172. ^ Fanning, David (2010), Notes to String Quartets Vol. 4, CPO CD 777 394–2, p. 15.
  173. ^ Fanning, David (2012), Notes to Cello Concerto and Symphony 20, Chandos CD CHSA 5107, pp. 5 – 6.
  174. ^ Ross, Alex (May 8, 2019). "The Wrenching, Rediscovered Compositions of Mieczyslaw Weinberg". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  175. ^ a b Nikitina, Lyudmilla (1994), "Почти любой миг жизни — работа…" ["Almost every moment of my life is work"], Музыкальная академия [Journal of the Academy of Music] No. 5, pp. 17–24.
  176. ^ Fanning 2019, p. 77.
  177. ^ "Mieczysław Weinberg". holocaustmusic.ort.org. Retrieved December 27, 2023.


Further reading[edit]

In German[edit]

  • Sapper, Manfred (2010). Die Macht der Musik (in German). Berlin: BWV, Berliner Wiss.-Verl. ISBN 978-3-8305-1710-8.
  • Mogl, Verena (November 26, 2019). "Juden, die ins Lied sich retten" - der Komponist Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996) in der Sowjetunion (in German). Münster New York: Waxmann. ISBN 978-3-8309-3137-9.
  • Gwizdalanka, Danuta (April 14, 2020). Der Passagier (in German). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN 978-3-447-11409-7.

In Polish[edit]

  • Gwizdalanka, Danuta; (Poznań)., Teatr Wielki im. Stanisława Moniuszki (2013). Mieczysław Wajnberg (in Polish). Poznań: Teatr Wielki im. Stanisława Moniuszki. ISBN 978-83-913521-6-8.

In Russian[edit]

  • Khazdan, Evgenia Петербургская опера: «Идиот» в Мариинском театре (Petersburg Opera: "The Idiot" at the Mariinsky Theatre). Музыкальная академия. 2016, No. 4. С. 20–23. (in Russian, registration required)
  • Мечислав Вайнберг (1919—1996). Страницы биографии. Письма (Материалы международного форума). Москва, 2017.
  • Мечислав Вайнберг (1919—1996). Возвращение. Международный форум. Москва, Большой театр России, 2017.

External links[edit]