A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
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WEINBERG, Mieczyslaw (1919-1996)



  • Allison Brewster Franzetti, piano

Weinberg’s fraught early life included two dramatic escapes from the Nazis, as he made his way from his native Poland to the Soviet Union. His eventual arrival in Moscow in August 1943 saw a period of relative stability in his personal life and an extraordinary burst of creative vitality. Sonata No. 3, composed in the space of a week at the end of January 1946, represents a conspicuous advance on its predecessors. The deeply expressive, technically challenging and superbly varied Nos. 5 (1956) and 6 (1960) are the last of the numbered piano sonatas.



Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 31 (1946) (00:22:00 )
I. Allegro tranquillo (00:09:25)
II. Adagio (00:05:34)
III. Moderato con moto (00:06:51)
Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 58 (1956) (00:25:00 )
I. Allegro (00:09:20)
II. Andante (00:07:10)
III. Allegretto (00:08:36)
2 Fugues for Ludmila Berlinskaya () (00:04:00 )
No. 1. — * (00:01:59)
No. 2. — * (00:01:41)
Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 73 (1960) (00:14:00 )
I. Adagio (00:06:54)
II. Allegro molto (00:07:06)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:04:36

The Artist

Brewster Franzetti, Allison

2008 GRAMMY® nominee for Best Instrumental Soloist without orchestra for 20th Century Piano Sonatas on Naxos Records (8.570401), Allison Brewster Franzetti has received international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for stunning virtuosity and musicality. She has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Long Island Philharmonic, English Sinfonia, Denver Symphony, Colonial Symphony, Queens Symphony, European Women’s orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Janáček Philharmonic, and the City of Prague Philharmonic. Solo recitals include critically acclaimed débuts at Merkin Hall, New York and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, a special performance at the GRAMMY® Salute to Classical Music honoring Lang Lang and Earl Wild, and concerts throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, Argentina and Japan. She is a 2003 GRAMMY® Award nominee and a 2002 Latin GRAMMY® Award nominee. An accomplished chamber musician, she has collaborated with renowned composers and performers, including Sir James Galway, John Corigliano, Carlos Franzetti, Lowell Liebermann, David Maslanka, Stephen Paulus, Eugenia zukerman, Julius Baker and Robert White.

The Composer

Mieczysław Weinberg was born in Warsaw, where his father was a composer and musical director at a Jewish theatre. As a Jew Weinberg was forced to flee from his native Poland after the German attack in 1939; he found refuge in the Soviet Union and studied composition in Minsk with Vassily Zolotaryov, a disciple of Balakirev and Rimsky-Korsakov. With the support of Shostakovich he was eventually able to settle in Moscow, and was saved from Stalin’s persecution and arrest in 1953 by the Shostakovich’s intervention and by Stalin’s timely death. He was a close friend of both Shostakovich and Myaskowsky.


Weinberg was a prolific composer, writing in a style akin to that of Myaskowsky and Bartók; however, he was not always given the support and performances he deserved. His orchestral works include 25 symphonies, some with soloists or chorus, as well as symphonic poems. There are concertos for cello, for violin, for trumpet and for flute. His chamber music includes four viola sonatas, four cello sonatas, two violin sonatas, and 17 string quartets.


“It was a wonderful journey, and well worth taking with Allison Brewster Franzetti as our guide.” – Fanfare

Audiophile Audition

“Allison Franzetti seems the perfect advocate for Weinberg’s music, not only because she has the technical chops to play this often obsessive, astringent, steely music, but because she gets inside the music as well, sympathizing with Weinberg’s often troubling world view in a way that brings it home to a listener” – Audiophile Audition

“Allison Brewster Franzetti is superb in this repertoire with thoughtful interpretations and a wonderfully fluid sound. ” – MusicWeb International

“They are beautiful works, played with feeling and sensitivity by Ms. Franzetti. ” – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review