Recognition for a Composer Who Captured a Century’s Horrors

(New York Times) — If the music of Dmitri Shostakovich chronicles political repression in Stalinist Russia, that of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, his contemporary and close friend, is a testimony to the horror that swept through Europe in the 20th century. Since the first full staging of his opera “The Passenger” at the Bregenz Festival in Austria six years ago, the composer has begun to overcome his reputation as a second-rate Shostakovich. But Weinberg’s first stage work, which he never lived to see performed, is only one of many compositions that deserve to be posthumously enshrined in the 20th-century canon. Now, the International Mieczyslaw Weinberg Society, founded by the conductor Thomas Sanderling and the violinist Linus Roth in the summer of 2015, hopes to create a place for the composer in the standard repertoire. In addition to gathering musicians and scholars under the aegis of the honorary president, Irina Shostakovich (widow of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich), their activities include premiere performances and recordings. […]

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