During the 21st century, Mieczysław Weinberg’s reputation has become such that he might be considered as the third great Soviet composer after Prokofiev and Shostakovich. This album will only enhance the regard in which he is held. The ear-opener here is the 55-minute Symphony No. 21, a six-movement work from 1991 subtitled “Kaddish” (the Jewish prayer for the dead). Weinberg’s parents and sister were murdered by the Nazis, and this powerful utterance remembers all the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, conducting her own City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Kremerata Baltica, makes every note count in this magnificent performance. Symphony No. 2, for strings alone, is a perfect foil—transparent, ethereal, and, again, rich with personality.
Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra, Op. 30
Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra, Op. 30: I. Allegro moderato