Weinberg Vol. 1: String Quartets 2, 5, 8

Chandos Records

 CHAN 20158
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 January 2021
March 2020
Mieczyslaw Weinberg
Arcadia Quartet
Jonathan Cooper
Alex James
4-6 March 2020 Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk
String Quartet

The seventeen string quartets of Weinberg span nearly half a century, from his student days in Warsaw to the end of his career in Moscow, and show his development as a composer more clearly than his work in any other genre. The Second Quartet, composed in 1939 – 40 whilst studying in Minsk, was dedicated to his mother and sister, who he would later learn had not survived the German invasion of Poland. Quartet No. 5, of 1945, was the first in which he added titles to each movement, and reflects the influence of Shostakovich over the young composer.

The final quartet in this programme – No. 8 – was written in 1959 and dedicated to the Borodin Quartet. For many years the best-known of Weinberg’s quartets in the west, this single-movement work is divided into three sections with a coda. The Arcadia Quartet is a passionate advocate for these quartets, writing: ‘[Weinberg’s] music is like a glow of light surrounded by the darkness of the unknown, and it quickly became a goal of ours to attempt to dilute these shadows. With every recording and every live performance of his music, we intend to shine some light on this wide ranging, profound phenomenon, which has remained overlooked for so long, and we hope that, with time, Mieczyslaw Weinberg will take his rightful place in the history
of music.’

Mieczysław Weinberg String Quartets no. 2, 5, 8 released by Chandos Records (January 2021).

To order, stream or download: https://lnk.to/WeinbergArcadia

Our first Weinberg album is here!
We are extremely happy and proud of our new disc that was released today, on January 8, 2021: the first album of the Mieczysław Weinberg quartet series through Chandos Records! String Quartets no. 2, 5 and 8 are on the first disk, 14 more quartets to go for the full cycle. This
is our second record made by Chandos Records. The best classical albums released in 2021 so far Weinberg String Quartets Vol. 1 is included in the best chamber music recordings category.

Classical Music by BBC Music Magazine, UK, January 5, 2021

Weinberg Vol. 1 is Record of the Week by the Record Review of BBC Radio 3
Our freshly released Weinberg String Quartets Vol. 1 has been declared Record of the Week by the Record Review of BBC Radio 3 today (09/01/2021)! You can listen back the programme presented by Andrew McGregor, the announcement and the review can be found at minute 2:29:03: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000r3d6
Thank you BBC Radio 3, such an honour!
Record Review, BBC Radio 3, UK, January 9, 2021

Pizzicato gives a 5 star review
“… That the four musicians certainly have the tools to present these works adequately is undeniable. They do not rush through the works, but they penetrate them intellectually and present the form of the works in a well-dosed manner. But they also don’t fail to get emotionally involved either… this recording at the start of the complete series offers a more than successful performance of the works of this composer. The quality of the recorded sound is not inferior.”
by Uwe Krusch, Pizzicato.com.lu, Luxembourg, January 19, 2021

BBC Music Magazine gives a 5 star review for Weinberg 1
BBC Music Magazine gives a 5-star review for our latest release of Weinberg String Quartets. Also it is included in the best chamber music recordings category of The best classical albums released in 2021 so far by BBC Music Magazine.

“The Arcadia’s evident enthusiasm for the music is perfectly conveyed here with playing that maximises the emotional range explored in each work, as well as exploiting to the full the music’s tonal and textural varieties and its underlying sense of unease.”
by Erik Levi, Classical Music by BBC Music Magazine, UK, January 21, 2021
Interview with Traian Boală about Weinberg Vol. 1 by Radio România Muzical
by Cristina Comandașu, Radio România Muzical, RO, January 29, 2021

A review by cdchoice.co.uk
“… this very engaging new set [String Quartets] prove to be essential listening for admirers of the composer — particularly when as stunningly played as here. The seventeen string quartets of Weinberg span nearly half a century, from his student days in Warsaw to the end of his career in Moscow, and show his development as a composer more clearly than his work in any other genre.”
by Barry Forshaw, cdchoice.co.uk, January 29, 2021

Interview with Traian Boală about Weinberg Vol. 1 by Suplimentul de Cultură
„Vrem să înlăturăm întunericul, acea pătură de necunoaștere ce acoperă opera lui Weinberg“
„În cele trei lucrări de pe disc, interpretarea cvartetului Arcadia este una pasionantă, de tulburătoare intensitate în redarea spectrului, de o spectaculoasă complexitate emoțională, de la oniric la tumultos. Cvartetul Arcadia are un sunet penetrant, cu tensiuni și eliberări, cu o interiorizare a tempourilor capricioase ce traversează pe rând anxietăți profunde și frumuseți transparente. Acest prim volum dintr-o integrală ce se anunță promițătoare, poate fi, prin calitatea interpretării, impuls și argument în descoperirea muzicii lui Mieczysław Weinberg.”

Cvartetul Arcadia și primul volum al cvartetelor de Mieczysław Weinberg. Interviu cu Traian Boală by Cătălin Sava, suplimentuldecultura.ro, RO, February 1, 2021


The Strad Recommends Weinberg Vol. 1
“Eloquent album that ought to shift this neglected music into the mainstream… These are living, breathing performances, even if made in the studio (the Potton Hall recording captures everything with warmth and clarity), and make one impatient for the next instalment.”
by Matthew Rye, The Strad, UK, February 24, 2021

Gramophone reviews Weinberg Vol. 1
“… What cannot be denied is the immaculate ensemble of the Arcadia – which, along with a wellnigh perfect balance and David Fanning’s insightful notes, makes this first instalment a tempting proposition for those new to the cycle.”
by Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone magazine, UK, March 2021

Strijkkwartetten Van Weinberg Door Het Arcadia Quartet: De Perfectie Nabij
Thank you Basia con fuoco for the great review!
“Het is gewoon perfect. De leden van het mij tot nu toe onbekende strijkkwartet spelen levendig en hun betrokkenheid is voelbaar. Simpel gezegd: ze spelen de sterren naar beneden.”
by Basia Jaworski, Basia con fuoco, NL, March 5, 2021

WDR 3 gives 5-4-5 star review for Weinberg 1 on 'Albums of the Week' programme
WDR 3 (Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3) reviewed our newest record Weinberg Vol. 1 in last week’s (March 15, 2021-March 19, 2021) Die Alben der Woche (Albums of the Week) radio programme. To listen back the review click here [https://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/wdr3/wdr3-tonart/audio-cd-kritik-arcadia-quartet-spielt-mieczyslaw-weinberg-100.html ] and check out all the amazing albums on the week’s programme here [ https://www1.wdr.de/radio/wdr3/musik/cd-rezension-tonart-544.html ].

by Die Alben der Woche, Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3, DE, March 15, 2021

ClassicalSource gives a 4 star review
“… The players’ warmth and engagement is never in doubt, amplified by the generous sonics associated with the Chandos label…”
by David Gutman, ClassicalSource.com, March 22, 2021 

Weinberg String Quartets, Volume One – Arcadia Quartet on Chandos

Weinberg Vol. 1 recommended by MusicWeb international
“… joy comes through clearly in their [Arcadia Quartet] performance; their enthusiasm for this music is clear to hear in their strongly articulated, nuanced and inspired playing. Their performance explores the wide-ranging dynamics of Weinberg’s music while displaying their admiration for it. If they are new to Weinberg’s music, it does not show in their detailed and well measured performance which gives the listener great hope for the coming volumes in the
series. If you do not know Weinberg, this recording is a good place to start, and with a performance like this by the Arcadia Quartet you cannot go wrong.”
by Stuart Sillitoe, MusicWeb-International.com, April 28, 2021

Weinberg Volume 1 received the German Record Critics’ Award this Spring
Another fantastic news: Weinberg Volume 1, released by Chandos Records has received the German Record Critics’ Award this Spring. Our CD has been nominated in the Quarterly Critic’s Choice 2/2021 Long List in Chamber Music [ https://www.schallplattenkritik.de/en/quarterly-critics-choice/2021/02?c=3 ] (only strings) section and chosen as the Winner of the category.

“This first chapter of a new complete recording of all seventeen string quartets that Mieczysław Weinberg composed between 1937 and 1986 is more than promising (…) The Arcadia Quartet creates just enough distance to let the urgent intensity unfold in quiet moments while showcasing the many beauties of this unique quartet world.” For the jury: Benjamin Herzog Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik / »German Record Critics’ Award«, May 14, 2021

Review by Die neue Platte radio programme on Deutschlandfunk
Thank you Marcus Stäbler for the amazing review of our first volume of Weinberg string quartets on Die neue Platte radio programme on Deutschlandfunk this morning! You can listen to the programme or read the transcript by clicking the following link. The audio is available only for the next 7 days.
“Das Arcadia Quartet vereint Präzision und Leidenschaft. Auch den Farbreichtum in der Musik von Mieczysław Weinberg erkundet das Ensemble hochsensibel, zu hören im gelungenen ersten Streich seiner Gesamtaufnahme aller Weinberg-Quartette.”
by Marcus Stäbler, Die neue Platte, Deutschlandfunk, DE, May 16, 2021

Weinberg Vol. 1 nominated for ICMA 2022
Exciting news: our Weinberg Vol. 1 has been nominated for the 2022 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA)! We are greatly honoured that our recording by Chandos Records is included in this great list of releases.
“The International Classical Music Awards ICMA today announced the nominations for their Awards 2022, celebrating the best musicians and recordings. This year’s nominations include many renowned soloists, ensembles, conductors and orchestras as well as a lot of young musicians, many of them being first-nominees. A total of 377 audio (+12) and video productions from 129 labels (+7) have been nominated. The finalists will be known by 14 December. The winners of the prestigious ICMA Awards will be revealed on 20 January 2022.” – source: ICMA ICMA, November 16, 2021

Weinberg Vol. 1 is ICMA 2022 Finalist
Such an extraordinary news: our Weinberg Volume 1 released by Chandos Records is an International Classical Music Awards Finalist! We are beyond excited and grateful for this acknowledgment. [December 13, 2021]
“The initial list with a total of 377 nominations has been reduced to three releases per category, the finalists for 2022. ICMA President Remy Franck says: « This year again, many of the nominations were strongly backed by over fifty percent of the jurors. These releases collected many points through all rounds. And when almost 90% of the nominated productions had been eliminated, we started on finding the winner in each of our 16 award categories, the one being inducted in ICMA’s Hall of fame reuniting all the winners from the past years. The winner is chosen from a list of three finalists. » The names of the winners who will receive their trophy at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg on 21 April 2022, will be published on Tuesday 18 January

2022 – source: ICMA
ICMA, December 13, 2021

American Record Guide's Critics’ Choice 2021: Weinberg Vol. 1
The American Record Guide includes Weinberg Volume 1 (Quartets 2, 5, 8, published by Chandos Records) on their Critics’ Choice 2021 Best of list in their January/February 2022.
“This is the first volume of a new Vainberg quartet cycle, the playing is brilliant […], the sound is more spacious and easier on the ears.”
“[Fifth Quartet] After the introduction in IV, I nearly fell out of my chair in awe when one of the violins repeated the main theme, resembling a flute or duduk (the Armenian double reed instrument) rather than a violin. Never have I heard a violin produce such a tone; I’m still gobsmacked. That passage alone is worth the price of the disc.”
“(…) the Arcadians have more style and are aided by the superior sound. This promises to be an exciting series!”
by Stephen Estep, American Record Guide, July/August 2021 issue
The American Record Guide, USA, January/February 2022 issue