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Dramatic Legacy of the 20th Century. M. Rubackytė and „Mettis“ Quartet perform D. Shostakovich and M. Weinberg

Dramatic Legacy of the 20th Century. M. Rubackytė and „Mettis“ Quartet perform D. Shostakovich and M. Weinberg

Presentation of the CD “Shostakovich–Weinberg. Dramatic Russian Legacy”
2021 June 11, Friday, 19.00
Lithuanian National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Vilnius

Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society

MŪZA RUBACKYTĖ (piano; Lithuania, France, Switzerland)
METTIS String Quartet:
KOSTAS TUMOSA (1st violin)
Dramatic Legacy of the 20th Century.  M. Rubackytė and „Mettis“ Quartet perform D. Shostakovich and M. Weinberg

MIECZYSŁAW WEINBERG – Piano quintet in F minor, Op. 18
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH – Piano quintet in G minor, Op. 57

The artistic paths of Mūza Rubackytė, an outstanding pianist, recipient of the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize, the cultural diplomat, and the energetic and young Mettis String Quartet, the winner of prestigious competitions, crossed in 2018 at the historic hall of the Palace of Les Invalides in Paris. Here they performed a programme of a wide historical and cultural context on the occasion of the centenary of the Lithuanian state. The same year they also appeared at the Vilnius Festival and elsewhere in Lithuania. Later the Swiss record label DORON released a live recording of Ferenc Liszt’s Malediction featuring Rubackytė and Mettis String Quartet as part of the CD series Great Lithuanian live recordings.

This year, this chamber ensemble of talented musicians returns to the Festival with a historically important programme. Not emptyhanded – with the release of a new CD ShostakovichWeinberg. Dramatic Russian Legacy (Ligia Digital), which was recorded in the hall of Paliesius Manor boasting unique acoustics.

“The project of the international French record company Ligia, with which I have worked before, came about on my own initiative. The company supported our idea to record the piano quintets of Mieczysław Weinberg and Dmitri Shostakovich. These two particularly important and productive composers lived at the same time, but only the latter was well known. Known neither in the Soviet Union nor in the world, Weinberg seemed to be hiding in Shostakovich’s shadow – he quietly worked on his profound, rarely performed works. This CD is very dear to me, because while I worked in preparation for its release, my beloved Mother departed this world” said Rubackytė.

At the Vilnius Festival, the CD is presented for the first time in Lithuania, but it has been already enthusiastically appreciated by European music reviewers.

In 2019, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Weinberg, the composer of Polish-Jewish heritage, a renaissance of his work began (Gidon Kremer, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Mūza Rubackytė and others are especially active contributors to this). Music connoisseurs discovered Weinberg’s extremely dramatic music, conveying dire complexity of life of a creator in the totalitarian epoch and the ability to project this experience through music. Chamber opuses of Weinberg and Shostakovich, the composer of similar destiny, perhaps most deeply and sincerely convey this existential distress.

Weinberg wrote Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 18 during the World War II. The Moscow premiere in 1945 featured Emil Gilels and the Bolshoi Theatre Quartet (many years later this work was recorded with Weinberg himself and the Beethoven Quartet). Although the opus is thought to have similarities to Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet written in 1940, Weinberg’s work is exceptionally monumental and original, saturated with mesmerizing emotional, textural and rhythmic contrasts.

“I performed Weinberg with the Vilnius String Quartet in 1995, in France. I was so stunned by this masterpiece that I couldn’t help but express my impression directly to Weinberg himself. It was an unforgettable phone conversation and he, already seriously ill, was very happy to learn that his music was performed in the world”, said Rubackytė.

Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 is one of his most famous chamber works, which premiered with the composer at the piano and the Beethoven Quartet in autumn of 1940 at the Moscow Conservatory. “I would like to recall that the Shostakovich’s Quintet was the first quintet in my repertoire. I performed it while still studying at the Moscow Conservatory. So, the direct, “first-hand”, passing on of this music has escorted me all my life. I have performed it in Lithuania together with the Vilnius String Quartet for many years”, says Rubackytė.

Works of both Weinberg and Shostakovich were affected by Stalinist repression, the horror of the Jewish genocide, and conveyed anguish and resistance, sad nostalgia and exoticism. They are among the most important and dramatic 20th-century piano quintets in the history of music.

Ticket prices
20, 30, 40, 50 Eur

Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society

Address: Aušros vartų st. 5, LT-01304 Vilnius, Lietuva
Contact: tel. +370 5 266 52 10, fax. +370 5 266 52 66

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