Mieczysław Weinberg / Dmitri Shostakovich
Solo Sonatas for Violin nos. 1 - 3
Challenge Classics CC72688 (SACD)

Linus Roth, violin
José Gallardo, piano *
6 May 2016



Dmitri Shostakovich : 3 Fantastic Dances (transcribed for Violin and Piano by Harry Glickman) *

Mieczyslaw Weinberg : Solo Violin Sonata no. 1 op. 82

Mieczyslaw Weinberg : Solo Violin Sonata no. 2 op. 95

Mieczyslaw Weinberg : Solo Violin Sonata no. 3 op. 126

Just a decade ago the name “Mieczysław Weinberg” drew a blank from music lovers. If you went into a record store you either didn’t find a dedicated index card with his name on it, or else five differently spelled ones. Weinberg’s music and its surge to a more general acknowledgment is the surest sign that there are still unearthed geniuses among composers out there, whose unearthing can enrich our musical diet and change our perception of the musical past. This disc continues Linus Roth’s discovery and exploration of Weinberg, which started with learning about, reading, playing and recording the Sonatas for Violin and Piano and has most recently led to his initiating the International Mieczysław Weinberg Society. He has since recorded Weinberg’s works for violin and orchestra; here he is back with chamber music: Weinberg’s three unaccompanied violin sonatas, whose dates of composition are 1964, 1967 and 1978. This last Third Sonata, op.123, is the most challenging and important: somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes long, it provides challenges all of its own. Apart from its share of technical challenges, its one-movement structure asks for continuous play. This sonata is dedicated to the memory of his father Shmil Weinberg, who was a composer and conductor at the Yiddish theater in Kishinev. Given that Weinberg knew, that his father had been murdered in the Holocaust, the sonata isn’t easy listening. It is a challenge for performers and listeners alike: it demands and deserves dedication on the part of the listener, whom it rewards eventually by revealing a surprising, raw tenderness behind the veneer of thorns.