A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare


Complete Piano Works • 2

  • Allison Brewster Franzetti, piano

Weinberg’s fraught biography is reflected in many of the piano works which occupied the earlier part of his career. Some exemplify the extreme pressures placed on him, and others, to conform to official diktat – a period when he was arrested for ‘Jewish bourgeois nationalism’ – whilst others reveal the rich inspiration of folkloric music. The second volume of the complete piano works ranges in date from 1950-55. The Partita, Op. 54 is notable for its alternation of the intimate and the intensely dramatic, whereas the Sonatina, Op. 49 is lyrical, though never straightforward. The Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 56 fuses folk inspiration, rhythmic vivacity and melancholy in a profoundly personal way.

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


Partita, Op. 54 (1954) (00:22:00 )
I. Prelude * (00:00:58)
II. Chorale * (00:01:56)
III. Serenade * (00:01:17)
IV. Sarabande * (00:03:01)
V. Intermezzo * (00:01:34)
VI. March * (00:04:57)
VII. Aria * (00:03:13)
VIII. Ostinato * (00:01:37)
IX. Etude * (00:01:45)
X. Canon * (00:02:16)
Piano Sonatina, Op. 49 (1951) (00:06:00 )
I. Allegro leggiero * (00:02:21)
II. Adagietto lugubre * (00:02:55)
III. Allegretto * (00:01:23)
Piano Sonata No. 4 in B Minor, Op. 56 (1955) (00:32:00 )
I. Allegro (00:08:09)
II. Allegro (00:04:10)
III. Adagio (00:06:26)
IV. Allegro (00:09:30)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 00:57:28

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.


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

Audiophile Audition

“Recommended as another important milestone on the road to redefining Weinberg’s status among modern composers.” – Audiophile Audition

MusicWeb International

“[Franzetti’s] faultless technique has enabled her to be a persuasive advocate of this endlessly fascinating and powerfully stated music” – MusicWeb International

“There’s tenderness, humor, melancholy and terror in Weinberg’s music and Franzetti brings all of it to the fore.” – Ariama.com

“Allison Brewster Franzetti plays the pieces superbly, underlining their strength without taking them over the top.” – The Dallas Morning News

“The American pianist, Allison Brewster Franzetti, is a persuasive advocate, the early movements of the Partita particularly enjoyable. ” – David Denton