WEINBERG Complete Violin Sonatas Vol 2
Although it bears little resemblance to that of Shostakovich, the music of Mieczysław Weinberg nevertheless expounds similar values: the grim conditions in which it was conceived, its folk influences and the mercuriality of its emotional states. Where they differ fundamentally is in the sensitivity with which they present that condition. Whereas Shostakovich’s music is often born out of black depression, Weinberg presents a melancholy that is easier to reach. The terseness of the cultural references in all the works here is brought out with honest intensity by the Moscow-born violinist Yuri Kalnits and British pianist Michael Csányi-Wills, whose performance is very much one of musicians who carry the music in their blood.
That said, there is some beautiful melody which, from the standpoint of a listener new to Weinberg, doesn’t always break out of the texture like rays of sunshine as it could. There is sometimes a sense that the playing is too sinuous for the delicateness of the melody; and in not retreating enough, the changeability that feels like the key to much of this music is lost, placing it too close to Shostakovich’s door than it should be. This is only in the slightest bit frustrating because over the course of the disc there is interpretation of this music that feels absolutely complete in its authenticity – it is entirely possible to hear the love and affection Kalnits in particular feels for the music.