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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

THE SCOOP | Report Says COC's Alexander Neef Heading For Paris Opera

By Michael Vincent on June 28, 2019

Le Figaro has reported Alexander Neef, the Canadian Opera Company’s General Director, will be chosen as the successor to Stéphane Lissner as head of Paris Opera.
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SCRUTINY | Solid Showing By Gustavo Gimeno In Suspect TSO Program

By Arthur Kaptainis on June 29, 2019

Gustavo Gimeno returned to Roy Thomson Hall Friday as music-director-to-be, handily establishing his basic qualifications, but leaving certain larger questions unanswered.
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REPORT | Study Shows Classical Music Streaming Soaring In Popularity

By Anya Wassenberg on June 24, 2019

Did you know that classical music is the fourth most popular genre among music consumers? Or that it numbers more fans worldwide than R&B or hip hop?
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