Mieczysław Weinberg left his family behind and fled his native Poland in September 1939. He reached the Soviet Union, where he become one of the most celebrated composers. He counted Shostakovich among his close friends and produced a prolific output of works. Yet he remained mindful of the nation that he had left. This book examines how Weinberg's works written in Soviet Russia compare with those of his Polish contemporaries; how one composer split from his national tradition and how he created a style that embraced the music of a new homeland, while those composers in his native land surged ahead in a more experimental vein. The points of contact between them are enlightening for both sides. This study provides an overview of Weinberg's music through his string quartets, analysing them alongside Polish composers. Composers featured include Bacewicz, Meyer, Lutosławski, Panufnik, Penderecki, Górecki, and a younger generation, including Szymański and Knapik.
'Elphick's fascinating book is the product of a long and deep engagement with Weinberg's life and work, essential reading for anyone wishing to understand him, and an answer for those who might wonder why this undoubted genius has been so unfairly neglected.'
Mark Glanville Source: Classical Music
'This sheds new light on Weinberg by exploring the tangled political context surrounding the reception of his work … Elphick's writing style remains consistently engaging, and draws upon an impressively wide range of documentary sources to illuminate his arguments.'
Erik Levi Source: BBC Music Magazine
(From the publisher's website.)