WRTI Spotlight
2:27 pm
Mon January 17, 2011

Classical Lost and Found: String Quartets in the Shadow of Shostakovich


From Deceptive Cadence - NPR's new classical music blog. Bob McQuiston writes about Dmitri Shostakovich's influence on the Polish-born composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg. Three of Weinberg's string quartets are performed on the young Danelo Quartet's latest album.

Polish-born composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg (also spelled Vaynberg) was of Jewish decent, and the only immediate member of his family to get out of Poland alive, following the Nazi occupation of 1939. Initially he fled to Minsk, but as the Nazis "panzered" into Russia, he moved further east to Tashkent in 1941.

While there he sent a copy of his first symphony to Dmitri Shostakovich, who was so impressed he invited him to Moscow, where Weinberg would go in 1943, and spend the rest of his life. But in some respects he jumped from the Nazi frying pan into the Soviet fire, considering his music was ignored for years by the hard-line cultural establishment. READ MORE...