Friday, 12 December 2014

New Article - 'Weinberg, Shostakovich, and the influence of "Anxiety"'

Dear readers -

It gives me great pleasure to announce the publication of my first academic article, 'Weinberg, Shostakovich, and the influence of Anxiety'. It appears in the Winter issue of The Musical Times, alongside several esteemed authors from Musicology, including Barry Cooper, Arnold Whittall, and Leo Black. Details for ordering copies can be found on the Musical Times website - here.

The article explores instances of mutual influence in the string quartets of Weinberg and of Shostakovich. While Shostakovich's influence on Weinberg is apparent on first listen, the reverse process is more subtle - and is particularly apparent in some of Shostakovich's earlier quartets. After several examples, the case of Weinberg and Shostakovich is explored in the context of theories of influence itself - especially Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence. I conclude that Weinberg and Shostakovich's relationship of mutual influence is a rather unique one in the history of music.

This publication is the first extended article on Weinberg to appear in an English-language, non-specialised journal. As such, I hope that it can provide an impetus for many further discussions of Weinberg's music in academic print.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

December update

Here's a list of upcoming recordings, events, and other Weinberg-related news for December 2014.


Chandos - Weinberg Chamber Symphonies No. 3 & 4
Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Thord Svedlund

Continuing their long association with Weinberg's music, the Chandos label are bringing out a new disc in collaboration with conductor Thord Svedlund. Like the last few discs in the series, this one will be released on a SACD high-quality disc (which will also play in standard CD players). This is a eagerly-anticipated album, if the previous discs are anything to go by. Coming January 2015 - see this link for further details. 

Grand Piano - Weinberg, complete piano works
Allison Brewster Franzetti

Franzetti's four volume series of Weinberg's complete works for solo piano is to be brought together into this attractively packaged set, scheduled to be released in January 2015. The series represents premiere recordings of many of these works, and also provides refreshingly new interpretations on several pieces that have become over-familiar. More details here. (Perhaps a perfect partnering with the Quatuor Danel's boxset of Weinberg's complete String Quartets? A perfect present this festive season! - details here).


Following on from my November post, which included details for the upcoming Chicago Lyric Opera production of Weinberg's The Passenger (see here) - the company has announced details for a festival themed around the opera and Weinberg's music. The series is called 'Memory and Reckoning' and full details can be found here
   Highlights of the series include various talks and discussions on The Passenger and Weinberg's life and music, as well as the premiere of a newly-commissioned opera The Property, by Wlad Marhulets, libretto by Stephanie Fleischmann. Described as a 'klezmer opera', The Property is based on a graphic novel by Rutu Modan, and explores similar themes to those opened by Weinberg in The Passenger. Further details of The Property can be found here.
   The series also includes several concerts, of both orchestral and chamber music by Weinberg. Highlights include:
29 January 2015 - Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, Trumpet Concerto
31 January 2015 - Symphony No. 18
12 February 2015 - Quartet No. 4
15 February 2015 - Piano Quintet
1 March 2015 - String Trio, Trio for flute, viola, and harp
Each of these concerts is listed at generously cheap ticket prices ($4 for a student ticket!?), so any Chicago-based Weinbergians are in for a real treat. And then, of course, there is The Passenger itself, alongside an exhibition at the Lyric Opera on Weinberg and the opera. Plenty to see!


Symphony No. 18 - Vladimir Lande and the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

Piano Sonata No. 5, Murray McLachlan

My own work

I have an article due out in the Winter issue of the Musical Times - 'Weinberg, Shostakovich, and the Influence of Anxiety'. This will be the first ever English-language article in a non-specialist publication dedicated to Weinberg's music. I'll be sure to post links and details on here as soon as it is available. 

I am also grateful to have been invited to speak at the Royal Musical Association Student Research Conference in Bristol, January 2015, with a paper on psychoanalysis and socialist-realism. The same paper will be previewed in Manchester, on Thursday 11 December, Martin Harris centre, room G16, 16:15. Further details to follow.