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Complete Piano Works • 1

  • Allison Brewster Franzetti, piano

The works on this first volume of the complete piano works of Mieczyslaw Weinberg range from very early yet characterful Mazurkas and the remarkably intense Lullaby, his Opus 1, to the at times dissonant Piano Sonata No. 1 and the more classically oriented Piano Sonata No. 2. The Sonata, Op. 49bis is a 1978 expansion and rebalancing of a work originally completed in 1951.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Fazioli 308 Concert Grand


Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 5 (1940) (00:15:00 )
I. Adagio (00:06:14)
II. Allegretto (00:02:39)
III. Andantino (00:03:12)
IV. Allegro molto (00:03:48)
Berceuse, Op. 1 (1935) * (00:05:06)
Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 8 (1942) (00:20:00 )
I. Allegro (00:05:11)
II. Allegretto (00:03:09)
III. Adagio (00:07:48)
IV. Vivace * (00:04:22)
2 Mazurkas (1933) (00:04:00 )
Mazurka No. 1 in F Minor * (00:02:59)
Mazurka No. 2 in A Minor * (00:01:17)
Piano Sonata, Op. 49bis () (00:15:00 )
I. Allegro leggiero * (00:04:55)
II. Andantino * (00:04:41)
III. Allegretto * (00:05:36)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:00:57

The Artist(s)

Allison Brewster Franzetti

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(s)

Like his friend and mentor, Shostakovich, Weinberg was a composer and pianist, whose career progressively emphasized the former rôle at the expense of the latter. From the age of twelve, after an initial period of self-tuition and some experience in his father’s band of theatre musicians, he began taking piano lessons from one Mrs Matulewicz (first name unknown), who ran a music school in Warsaw and who soon realised that his talent would be best nurtured at the Warsaw Conservatory. There he came under the supervision of Józef Turczynski (1884–1953), a pianist and pedagogue of considerable repute. His own recordings, notably of his Piano Quintet with the Borodin Quartet, of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony in duet with the composer, and of the première of Shostakovich’s cycle of Blok Romances, where he stood in for the indisposed Sviatoslav Richter, testify to his continuing fluency.


“Franzetti’s bravura performances make an emphatic case for their artistic significance.” – Culture Catch

“Allison Brewster Franzetti has taken on this project, as she has proven herself up to the task with her noteworthy recording of 20th-century piano sonatas recorded for Naxos” – Fanfare

“Franzetti’s playing in the Second Sonata is outstanding; layered and clearly the result of much thought. ” – International Piano

“Franzetti’s performance of the magical close of the Andantino is touching, seemingly wandering into the distance before the fearsome Finale emerges. ” – The WholeNote

San Francisco Chronicle

“Allison Brewster Franzetti plays it all with fervor and appealing commitment.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“They are excellent works, and Franzetti’s bravura performances make an emphatic case for their artistic significance.” – Culture Catch

“American pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti has a basic feel for Russian music and a muscular style that projects these explosive youthful works well. This is the first in a projected series of Weinberg works from this performer, and it bodes well for the set.” – Ariama.com

“I hope that Franzetti is the pianist chosen to continue and complete the series because her performances are ideal.” – Ariama.com

“The American pianist, Allison Brewster Franzetti, is a champion of 20th century music, her playing technically assured and sympathetic to the Russian style of the period.” – David Denton

“Hats off! Anyone who is seriously interested in piano music should check out Grand Piano for an extended test drive in their home CD player. ” – The Listener