This double album, recorded in Vienna and in Riga in June 2015, includes all four of the chamber symphonies written in the last decade of Polish-born Soviet composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s life, plus a beautiful new arrangement – by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata percussionist Andrey Pushkarev – of the early Piano Quintet of 1944, heard here in a premiere recording. It is a recording which underlines the importance and originality of Weinberg’s music. For Gidon Kremer, “Weinberg has become a source of unlimited inspiration. No other composer has entered my own and Kremerata Baltica’s repertoire and program concepts with such intensity.” Weinberg’s chamber symphonies are Kremer says, “the most personal reflections of a great composer on his own life and his generation, like a diary of the most dramatic period of the 20th century.”
Three Palms for string quartet and soprano, op. 120 (1977): A poem by Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (1814–1841) speaks of three palm trees in the Arabian desert. Weinberg used this text as the basis of his like-named work, scored for the unusual combination of soprano and string quartet. The character of this 20-minute work, conceived in 1977, comes from its mixture of chamber music, song cycle and cantata……..
When conceiving his Polonaise for orchestra, Penderecki used the fantasia form, not unfamiliar to Chopin, which is based on a primary theme, which, as the piece progresses, is being developed, transformed and subjected to several different variations. Richly orchestrated, it allows performers to create colours that overlap each other while influencing the overall musical expression. Spatiality is a very important aspect of this work as during its world premiere the wind instruments were placed on the balcony of the Warsaw Philharmonic's Concert Hall. The composition could be called "the apotheosis of a polonaise" or, as the composer prefers, "a small symphonic poem on the theme of a polonaise".