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Arcadia Quartet - Weinberg: String Quartets, Vol. 1

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Weinberg: String Quartets, Vol. 1

Arcadia Quartet

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It's strange to think that, even as recently as five years ago, the overwhelming majority of even those working in classical music had had little or no contact with the music of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996). Yet now, thanks especially to the work of Gidon Kremer (most recently partnering with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on DG for a magnificent recording of symphonies 2 and 21), Weinberg feels almost everywhere. Enjoyably so too, given the eloquence with which his Polish-accented, Jewish folk and Shostakovich-esque (but not) language speaks to us. So it was only a matter of time before quartet cycles emerged to give the Silesian Quartet's existing strong offering its first serious competition.

Weinberg's seventeen string quartets span half a century, the first dating from 1937 when he was just eighteen and still self-taught, and the final one penned in 1986 at the end of his composing career. On to the Arcadia Quartet, and while they aren't presenting the quartets consecutively, this first volume does stick to the early end of his career: No. 2 in G major was written in 1939 and 1940 in Minsk, when he was a twenty-year-old composition student; then No. 5 in B-flat major dates from 1945 when he'd settled in Russia, and No. 8 from 1959. The quartet sound itself is a bright, polished one which brings a wonderful shine and luminosity to the lucid textures of No. 2, and a poised insistence to keening, elegiac moments such as the dark opening Adagio of No. 8, or the improvisatory opening violin solo of No. 5's fourth movement – to which the cloaked, flute-like tonal quality from the second violin solo then serves as an ear-pricking foil. Polish doesn't mean an unwillingness to get down and dirty though. For instance there's often an invigoratingly peasanty barb to their attack throughout No. 5's Scherzo, which overall is an edge-of-the-seat-exciting reading for the way, as things become increasingly whirlingly madcap, they hold onto technical precision alongside the fire. Essentially, these are readings that will throw up fresh qualities and colours to admire with each listen, and they bode very well indeed for the volumes to come. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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Weinberg: String Quartets, Vol. 1

Arcadia Quartet

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String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 3 (Mieczysław Weinberg)

1
I. Allegro
00:09:00

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

2
II. Andante
00:09:00

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

3
III. Allegretto
00:04:05

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

4
IV. Presto
00:04:08

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

String Quartet No. 5 in B-Flat Major, Op. 27 (Mieczysław Weinberg)

5
I. Melodie. Andante sostenuto
00:06:17

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

6
II. Humoreske. Andantino
00:06:04

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

7
III. Scherzo. Allegro molto
00:02:28

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

8
IV. Improvisation. Lento
00:05:20

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

9
V. Serenade. Moderato con moto
00:06:29

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

String Quartet No. 8 in C Major, Op. 66 (Mieczysław Weinberg)

10
Adagio
00:07:22

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

11
Allegretto
00:05:45

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

12
Doppio più lento
00:02:21

Arcadia Quartet, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mieczysław Weinberg, Composer

(C) 2021 Chandos (P) 2021 Chandos

Album Description

It's strange to think that, even as recently as five years ago, the overwhelming majority of even those working in classical music had had little or no contact with the music of Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996). Yet now, thanks especially to the work of Gidon Kremer (most recently partnering with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on DG for a magnificent recording of symphonies 2 and 21), Weinberg feels almost everywhere. Enjoyably so too, given the eloquence with which his Polish-accented, Jewish folk and Shostakovich-esque (but not) language speaks to us. So it was only a matter of time before quartet cycles emerged to give the Silesian Quartet's existing strong offering its first serious competition.

Weinberg's seventeen string quartets span half a century, the first dating from 1937 when he was just eighteen and still self-taught, and the final one penned in 1986 at the end of his composing career. On to the Arcadia Quartet, and while they aren't presenting the quartets consecutively, this first volume does stick to the early end of his career: No. 2 in G major was written in 1939 and 1940 in Minsk, when he was a twenty-year-old composition student; then No. 5 in B-flat major dates from 1945 when he'd settled in Russia, and No. 8 from 1959. The quartet sound itself is a bright, polished one which brings a wonderful shine and luminosity to the lucid textures of No. 2, and a poised insistence to keening, elegiac moments such as the dark opening Adagio of No. 8, or the improvisatory opening violin solo of No. 5's fourth movement – to which the cloaked, flute-like tonal quality from the second violin solo then serves as an ear-pricking foil. Polish doesn't mean an unwillingness to get down and dirty though. For instance there's often an invigoratingly peasanty barb to their attack throughout No. 5's Scherzo, which overall is an edge-of-the-seat-exciting reading for the way, as things become increasingly whirlingly madcap, they hold onto technical precision alongside the fire. Essentially, these are readings that will throw up fresh qualities and colours to admire with each listen, and they bode very well indeed for the volumes to come. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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