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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | New Album By Anastasia Kobekina Is The Record Of The Year (So Far)

By Norman Lebrecht on April 5, 2019

Anastasia Kobekina
This recording with cellist Anastasia Kobekina almost slipped by unnoticed, but whatever happens in the next eight months, this is the record of the year for 2019.

Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Fantasy for Cello and Orchestra &c. (Claves)

★★★★☆
🎧 iTunes | Spotify | Amazon

This recording almost slipped by unnoticed. It opens with a neither here nor there performance of the first Shostakovich concerto, neither rippled with black comedy the way Slava Rostropovich played it nor invested with loving compassion like the mellifluous Heinrich Schiff. The Berlin-based soloist, Anastasia Kobekina, gives a good account of the piece and the Berne Symphony play well enough under the direction of Kevin John Edusei.

What follows is simply gripping. The 1956 Weinberg Fantasy, of which there appear to be only two extant recordings, has an arresting opening melody and the best atmospherics I can think of outside the moody-blues songbook of Jacques Brel. Looking at the orchestration, I see that Weinberg has thrown in three saxophones, tenor, soprano and bass, and a Sarrusophone, which does exactly what its name suggests. And a Hammond organ, to leave you with a sense of unfulfilled longing.

The middle movements are chirpier but the ending goes back to Adagio for the opening theme, by which point you’ll be reaching for the fifth tissue. I can’t tell you much more about the work since the Claves booklet writes only about the performers and the Internet has yet to catch up on the Weinberg centenary wave. But rest assured that this is an indispensable addition to the cello repertoire and the main theme is one that you’ll think you have known all life long.

I don’t care what happens in the next eight months. This is my record of the year for 2019.

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
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Ludwig Van Toronto

SCRUTINY | Last Minute Replacement Saves The Day At The Toronto Symphony

By Stephan Bonfield on April 18, 2019

In the wake of yet another conductor abruptly dropping out due to illness from a major TSO event, Matthew Halls steps in to score a triumph with Mahler's Resurrection Symphony.
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THE SCOOP | Study Finds Listening To Music Makes Painkillers More Effective

By Michael Vincent on March 30, 2019

A new study suggests music, when combined with ibuprofen, offer a potent combination in the treatment of pain.
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SCRUTINY | 'Beautiful — The Carole King Musical' Is A Good Time Ride

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Beautiful is the quintessential Broadway jukebox musical lite that is guaranteed to keep you thoroughly entertained.
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