Gary Lemco of Audiophile Audition gives Weinberg: String Quartets Nos. 7 & 8, Serenade for Orchestra, Sinfonietta No. 2 Five Stars!
“The 1952 Sinfonietta No. 2 in A Minor for string orchestra and timpani is performed by Rudolf Barshai and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 1962. In four movements of approximately equal duration, the piece opens with a thrusting, aggressive energy, Allegro. Each jabbing motif has the timpani punctuate its final cadence. The Allegretto second movement, less vehement, presents a thin, lean texture in bouncing, light texture, though the harmonic syntax remains modally angular, in the manner of Britten and Walton. The music’s progress moves towards sadness, the third movement Adagio deeply pained, a la Mussorgsky, and the last movement, Andantino, desolate, stricken by a terrific but tender homesickness. Somewhere, amidst the spiritual bleakness of Bartok, Shostakovich, and dark Prokofiev, this music occupies an arc of evolving unhappiness.
The sonic remastering of Melodiya originals by Gene Gaudette and Paul Arden-Taylor is pearly smooth and eminently clear.”-Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition