The Music of Mieczysław Weinberg

Essay, Thematic List of Works, and Information on Scores

The Music of Mieczysław Weinberg

Essay, Thematic List of Works, Info on Scores

The delicate purity of the music points to an indestructible human substance (Frankfurter Rundschau)

From film and circus music to tragic grand opera, from simple melodies with easy accompaniments to complex twelve-tone music, he was a master of all forms, genres and stylistic directions. With virtuosity and elegance, but always judiciously and with balance, he used elements of Jewish, Polish, Russian and Moldavian folk music. He developed a very personal style with a clear, almost classical architecture. His melodic language – at times introverted and meditative-reflective, at other times full of effervescent joy of living – is particularly noted for its special richness. (Ulrike Patow in MGG, Vol. 17, p. 688ff)

Weinberg was a very modest person, and an extremely subtle and delicate composer: his music breathes a beauty and warmth that is seldom found among contemporary classical works; yet, upon hearing the music, one is also impressed by an intrinsic power, a certain tactile strength and a dynamic, forward-driving motion. Surely then, Weinberg is a composer of contrasts, a master, like his friend Shostakovich, of expressing the lighter and darker sides of life in a single, unified whole.

The remarkable and fascinating progression in Weinberg's music from his early Op. 5 and 8 piano sonatas, to his last Op. 153 chamber symphony, written over 50 years later, traces a composer developing from an already advanced, experimental musical vocabulary to the absorption of modern and post-modern tendencies, to a clear neo-classicism with beguiling grace, all the while never abandoning the melodic and tonal contours of each individual work. Harmonically and rhythmically complex, the music often mixes tender, plaintive lyricism and Jewish themes with stark, contrasting dissonances, to create a balance between tradition and modernity.

One feature that is prominent above others in many of Weinberg's works is a certain religious yearning, a soulfulness that makes some works (especially those for solo stringed instruments) resemble the intonation of a prayer, yet one which is approachable to everyone, regardless of background or personal beliefs. Themes and ideas dwelling on subjects such as suffering, love and faith are not uncommon, but there is also a characteristic, affirmative joy in life. Ideas centered on suffering feature prominently in so many works, no doubt due to the circumstances of the composer's difficult life and the hardships he had to endure during the wars of the 20th century. In this sense, there is a tremendous edifying quality to the music, combined with a trust and hope in something perennial and eminently human, capable of rising above all unfavourable conditions. It is in this way that Weinberg's music carries something resonantly Divine – a light going beyond all restrictions and challenges, and able to change the world for the better.

January 2012. Copyright © 2012 – 2020 A.U./www.music-weinberg.net.

Commentary on a Selection of Weinberg's Major Works

Commentary on Selected Works

Like all great music, Weinberg's works – with their many layers of musical meaning and their complex compositional techniques – can be understood and interpreted in a variety of ways. After all, whatever a composer's original intentions may have been, genuine music transcends its creator (as Olivier Messiaen says). This section presents brief commentary on a small selection of Weinberg's works with the two-fold aim of informally yet uniquely conveying a “sense” of the music, and of providing – along the way – additional insight into some of its salient characteristics (no doubt to some degree subjective insight, as is the case for all musical commentary), which tend to be overlooked or discussed less often. The commentary refers to Weinberg's works from the thematic works-list in the ensuing section (see the horizontalvertical navigation bar at the bottombottom-right).

An early version of this section was first published in 2002. It was subsequently revised in 2012, and further again in 2020. The current version is from 9th of February 2020. A new update planned for Q1 of 2020 will add commentary on Weinberg's Symphonies Nos. 8 Flowers of Poland Op. 83 (1964), 17 Memory Op. 137 (1984), and 21 Kaddish Op. 152 (1991).

Piano sonatas 1 - 6 (Opp. 5, 8, 31, 56, 58, 73): Individual harmony

Although Weinberg was a highly capable pianist, his piano sonatas only span the early and middle periods of his career. In fact, sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 are among Weinberg's earliest works in any medium. Regardless of the occasionally audible influence of other composers (mainly Prokofiev), these early sonatas still manage to convey a distinct and personal voice. Moreover, when one abstracts away from any exterior similarities, it is possible to hear evidence of Weinberg's preoccupations with themes dwelling on suffering and love – one could say suffering with love, i.e. with sublime, self-sacrifical love – that are expressed again and again, in different ways, in works written decades later. In these early works one can also discern Weinberg's somewhat idiosyncratic treatment of polyphonic textures (perhaps most vividly in the Op. 5 sonata's third movement), which becomes a salient feature of his later music. While perhaps not entirely “vintage Weinberg“, these sonatas are still moving works, which is quite an achievement given the composer's young age when he wrote them.

In his later piano sonatas, Weinberg shakes away (or one could say, better ingegrates) his early influences to more clearly reveal his own voice, at times imbuing the works with a quartet-like sonority. This is especially true in the first movement of sonata No. 3, and the last movement of sonata No. 4. If one could venture to describe their sonorous, polyphonic approach, the expression “geometrically structured” seems apt, showing a balance between suffering and joy, tranquility and turmoil – like much of Weinberg's music in general. This individual, “geometric structuring” (referring not only to the sophisticated harmonic techniques which Weinberg's employs in many of his works) is closely related to the idea of ‘universal harmony’; and to cite the Russian musicologist Lyudmila Nikitina: the idea of ​​universal harmony, the unity of all that exists, is key to understanding the characteristics of Weinberg's style, its neo-classical and neo-romantic orientation. From the slow movements of both sonatas, still and introspective, it cannot be doubted that Weinberg was a man of deeply personal faith, which shines out from his music as solace. The fifth and sixth sonatas are especially beautiful works, combining Weinberg's “geometric structuring” with genuine warmth and fervour.

(Listen on youtube.com) (Recommended recordings) (Musical scores of sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 4 and Nos. 3, 5, 6)

Solo cello sonatas 1 - 4 (Opp. 72, 86, 106, 140): Expressivity

The solo cello sonatas are among Weinberg's best chamber pieces: profound and contrapuntally complex, with yearning lines and vivid contrasts that seem to create a myriad of luminous forms, now darker, now lighter, or all the variations of single colour, forcefully expressed. Like all of Weinberg's works for stringed solo instruments (of which there are 12), the four cello solo sonatas are works of great depth, beauty and spirituality – being filled not with sadness or desolation, but aspiration and consolation (sometimes using Jewish liturgical motifs as a basis). Every single sonata is a true masterpiece in its own way: from the soulful No. 1, to the modernistic-dodecaphonic No. 4. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to say that they stand good comparison with the solo cello suites of J.S. Bach and Max Reger as some of the most significant music written for the instrument.

(Listen on youtube.com) (Recommended recordings) (Musical scores)

String quartets 7 - 9 (Opp. 59, 66, 80): Existential reflection and searching

[String quartets 7, 8 and 9], written between 1957 and 1964, are all the proof you could ask for, if proof you still require, of the individuality and depth of Weinberg's genius... (Martin Anderson, March/April 2001 issue of the Fanfare, USA Magazine)

There is only one quartet cycle that comes close to Vainberg's accomplishments in this genre, and that is Shostakovitch's. If you think that is an exaggeration, Shostakovitch did not. He regarded Vainberg as his peer and playfully alluded to a "race" that he and Vainberg were running to see who could write the most quartets. If you admire Shostakovitch's quartets, these are works you should also explore (Robert R. Reilly, Music: No End of Odds and Ends, Crisis Magazine Jan 2002)

Weinberg's quartets as a whole, like those of Shostakovich to which they bear comparison in terms of quality and quantity, are personal works. While in the symphonic form Weinberg often explores large-scale, monumental ideas encompassing the shared experiences of those caught in war or oppression, the quartets carry his individual, philosophically existential reflections, in rather more abstract form. They are personal statements of courage in the face of inner turmoil; of compassion amid carelesness; and of an earnest – one could say, inwardly religious – search for freedom and something higher that can help everyone alike cope with tribulations in life. The string quartets also chart Weinberg's whole artistic development, as outlined in Dan Elphick's PhD thesis and his recent book on Weinberg and his Polish contemporaries (see the Further Reading page for more details). In this development, some commentators see influences of (or perhaps more appropriately, allusions to) Shostakovich, Bartók, Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, Hindemith, etc. – as so often happens when discussing the music of a newly-discovered composer – but actually, these allusions (as the Russian musicologist Lyudmila Nikitina writes) are nothing other than Weinberg's polystylism, the use of which results in a unified style that sounds exactly like... Weinberg! – and no one else.

String quartets Nos. 7, 8 and 9 are particularly poignant works ranking among Weinberg's finest from his middle period, and deserve many repeated listenings. Each one uniquely combines robust structure with sorrowful intensity, ebullience and gentle lyricism. Unlike some of Weinberg's later quartets, namely, 11 – 16, these three quartets demonstrate Weinberg's mature language in a more approachable, more readily comprehensible fashion – which is not to say, of course, that his later and more abstract essays in the genre deserve any less attention.

(Listen on youtube.com) (Recommended recordings) (Musical scores for Nos. 1-12,16,17; and for Nos. 13-15)

Symphony 10 (Op. 98): Transcendence

Symphony No. 10 for strings from 1968 is among Weinberg's most powerful works in the larger-scale symphonic genre: from the beginning series of parallel chords – the impression of which is a monolithic cathedral of sound – to the sophisticated counterpoint of the 4th movement, the whole symphony can be likened to a concentrated cosmos of red and gold. There are many moments throughout where the symphony's effect is simply breathtaking, transcedental, as though the music tries to break the barriers of time and space and rise to what the Greek Neo-Platonic philosopher Plotinus describes as Eternity: the announcement of the Identity in the Divine.

Although by no means an immediately approachable work, Weinberg's 10th Symphony is a truly remarkable achievement, standing next to Einojuhani Rautavaara's 7th Symphony “Angel of Light” (1994) and Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony (1948) as a masterpiece of modern and post-modern orchestral music.

(Listen [mp3] from www.fenterp.net) (Recommended recordings) (Musical score)

Chamber symphony 2 (Op. 147): Intensity and contrast

Weinberg's late chamber symphonies turn to his youth – in a very practical way too, as the first three chamber symphonies re-use and re-work material from his early string quartets – and to a lighter, more graceful neo-classical idiom, especially in the last, 4th symphony in the series. Moments of intensity still abound, however, as can be heard in Weinberg's 2nd chamber symphony from the late 1980's, which begins with a propulsive Allegro molto of bright, bold colours, passing on through both contemplative and majestic episodes in the middle movements, until the work slowly fades away into the distance. Like all of Weinberg's symphonies in general, Chamber symphony 2 abounds in contrast and rhetoric, propulsive motion and serene rest – all hallmarks of Weinberg's musical language.

(Listen on youtube.com) (Recommended recordings) (Musical scores)

Thematically Sorted List of Weinberg's Works

Thematic List of Weinberg's Works

Below is an expandablea list of Weinberg's complete works, sorted according to ‘themes’ based on ensemble types. The list builds on and is intended to complement existing online lists of Weinberg's musical output, especially those compiled by Onno van Rijen (arguably the originator of all other lists) and Ron de Leeuw (on Musicalics). Some of the individual works or groups of works are discussed in the commentary provided above.

Instrumental Works (I)

I.1 Chamber and Solo Works

  • I.1.1 Piano Works
    I.1.1.1. Piano Sonatas (6)
    • Piano Sonata No. 1 (Op. 5), 1940
    • Piano Sonata No. 2 (Op. 8), 1942
    • Piano Sonata No. 3 (Op. 31), 1946
    • Piano Sonata No. 4 (Op. 56), 1955
    • Piano Sonata No. 5 (Op. 58), 1956
    • Piano Sonata No. 6 (Op. 73), 1960
    I.1.1.2. Miscalleneous Pieces
    • Sonatina for piano (Op. 49), 1951
    • Partita for piano (Op. 54), 1954
    • Sonatina for piano (Op. 49 bis), 1978
    • Berceuse for piano (Op. 1), 1935
    • Children’s Notebook No. 1 (Op. 16), 1944
    • Children’s Notebook No. 2 (Op. 19), 1944
    • Children’s Notebook No. 3 (Op. 23), 1945
    • Twenty-One Easy Pieces for piano (Op. 34), 1946
  • I.1.2. Solo Sonatas(+) (13)
    I.1.2.1. For violin
    • Sonata No. 1 for violin solo (Op. 82), 1964
    • Sonata No. 2 for violin solo (Op. 95), 1967
    • Sonata No. 3 for violin solo (Op. 126), 1979
    I.1.2.2. For viola
    • Sonata No. 1 for viola solo (Op. 107), 1971
    • Sonata No. 2 for viola solo (Op. 123), 1978
    • Sonata No. 3 for viola solo (Op. 135), 1982
    • Sonata No. 4 for viola solo (Op. 136), 1983
    I.1.2.3. For cello
    • Sonata No. 1 for cello solo (Op. 72), 1960
    • Sonata No. 2 for cello solo (Op. 86), 1965
    • Sonata No. 3 for cello solo (Op. 106), 1971
    • Sonata No. 4 for cello solo (Op. 140), 1986
    • Preludes (24) for cello solo (Op. 100), 1968
    I.1.2.4. For double-bass
    • Sonata for double-bass solo (Op. 108), 1971
    I.1.2.5. For bassoon
    • Sonata for bassoon solo (Op. 133), 1981
  • I.1.3. Sonatas(+) with Accompaniment (9)
    I.1.3.1. For violin and piano
    • Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano (Op. 12), 1943
    • Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano (Op. 15), 1944
    • Sonata No. 3 for violin and piano (Op. 37), 1947
    • Sonata No. 4 for violin and piano (Op. 39), 1947
    • Sonata No. 5 for violin and piano (Op. 53), 1953
    • Sonata No. 6 for violin and piano (Op. 136bis), 1982
    • Sonatina for violin and piano (Op. 46), 1949
    • Capriccio for violin and piano (Op. 11), 1943
    I.1.3.2. For two violins (duo)
    • Sonata for two violins (Op. 69), 1959
    I.1.3.3. For cello and piano
    • Sonata No. 1 for cello and piano (Op. 21), 1945
    • Sonata No. 2 for cello and piano (Op. 63), 1958-1959
    I.1.3.4. For clarinet and piano
    • Sonata for clarinet and piano (Op. 28), 1945
    I.1.3.5. For flute and piano
    • Twelve Miniatures for flute and piano (Op. 29), 1946
  • I.1.4. Trios and Quintet
    • Piano Quintet (Op. 18), 1944
    • Piano Trio (Op. 24), 1945
    • String Trio (Op. 48), 1950
    • Trio for flute, harp and viola (Op. 127), 1979
  • I.1.5. String Quartets (17)
    • String Quartet No. 1 (Op. 2/141), 1937 rev. 1986
    • String Quartet No. 2 (Op. 3/145), 1940 rev. 1987
    • String Quartet No. 3 (Op. 14), 1944
    • String Quartet No. 4 (Op. 20), 1945
    • String Quartet No. 5 (Op. 27), 1945
    • String Quartet No. 6 (Op. 35), 1946
    • String Quartet No. 7 (Op. 59), 1957
    • String Quartet No. 8 (Op. 66), 1959
    • String Quartet No. 9 (Op. 80), 1963
    • String Quartet No. 10 (Op. 85), 1964
    • String Quartet No. 11 (Op. 89), 1965-1966
    • String Quartet No. 12 (Op. 103), 1969-1970
    • String Quartet No. 13 (Op. 118), 1977
    • String Quartet No. 14 (Op. 122), 1978
    • String Quartet No. 15 (Op. 124), 1979
    • String Quartet No. 16 (Op. 129), 1981
    • String Quartet No. 17 (Op. 146), 1987
    • Aria for string quartet (Op. 9), 1942

I.2 Orchestral Works

  • I.2.1. Symphonies (22)
    • Symphony No. 1 (Op. 10), 1942
    • Symphony No. 2 for string orchestra (Op. 30), 1946
    • Symphony No. 3 (Op. 45), 1949 rev. 1959
    • Symphony No. 4 (Op. 61), 1957 rev. 1961
    • Symphony No. 5 (Op. 76), 1962
    • Symphony No. 6, after L. Kvitko, S. Galkin and M. Lukonin for boys' chorus and orchestra (Op. 79), 1962-1963
    • Symphony No. 7 for strings and harpsichord (Op. 81), 1964
    • Symphony No. 8 Flowers of Poland, after J. Tuvim for tenor, mixed chorus and orchestra (Op. 83), 1964
    • Symphony No. 9 Everlasting Times, after J. Tuvim and V. Bronievsky for narrator, chorus and orchestra (Op. 93), 1940-1967
    • Symphony No. 10 for string orchestra (Op. 98), 1968
    • Symphony No. 11 Festive Symphony, after various revolutionary poets for chorus and orchestra (Op. 101), 1969
    • Symphony no. 12 (Op. 114), 1975-1976
    • Symphony no. 13 (Op. 115), 1976
    • Symphony No. 14 (Op. 117), 1977
    • Symphony No. 15 I Believe in This Earth, after M. Dudin for soprano, baritone, women’s chorus and orchestra (Op. 119), 1977
    • Symphony no. 16 (Op. 131), 1981
    • Symphony No. 17 Memory (Op. 137), 1984
    • Symphony No. 18 War, there is no word more cruel for chorus and orchestra (Op. 138), 1986
    • Symphony No. 19 The Bright May (Op. 142), 1986
    • Symphony No. 20 (Op. 150), 1988
    • Symphony No. 21 Kaddish for soprano and orchestra (Op. 152), 1991
    • Symphony No. 22 (unfinished) (Op. 154), 1994
  • I.2.2. Sinfoniettas (2)
    • Sinfonietta No. 1 (Op. 41), 1948
    • Sinfonietta No. 2 for string orchestra and timpani (Op. 74), 1960
  • I.2.3. Chamber Symphonies (4)
    • Chamber Symphony No. 1 (Op. 145), 1987
    • Chamber Symphony No. 2 (Op. 147), 1987
    • Chamber Symphony No. 3 (Op. 151), 1991
    • Chamber Symphony No. 4 (Op. 153), 1992
  • I.2.4. Symphonic Poems et al.
    • Symphonic Poem for orchestra (Op. 6), 1941
    • Suite for small orchestra (Op. 26), 1939-1945
    • Festive Scenes for orchestra (Op. 36), 1946-1947
    • Polish Tunes for orchestra (Op. 47-2), 1949
    • Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes for orchestra (Op. 47-1), 1949
    • Serenada for orchestra (Op. 47-4), 1949
    • Symphonic Poem Morning-Red for orchestra (Op. 60), 1957
    • Symphonic Songs for orchestra (Op. 68), 1951 rev. 1959
    • Symphonic Poem The Banners of Peace (Op. 143), 1986
  • I.2.5. Ballet Suites
    • Two Ballet Suites for orchestra (Op. 40), 1947
    • Suites Nos. 1 – 4 from the ballet The Golden Key (Opp. 55-A, 55-B, 55-C, 55-D), 1964
    • Six Ballet Scenes for orchestra (Op. 113), 1973-1975
  • I.2.6. Concertos (6)
    I.2.6.1. For violin
    • Concertino for violin and string orchestra (Op. 42), 1948
    • Concerto for violin and orchestra (Op. 67), 1959
    • Moldavian Rhaspsody for violin and orchestra (Op. 47-3), 1949
    I.2.6.2. For cello
    • Concerto for cello and orchestra (Op. 43), 1948
    • Concertino for cello and orchestra (Op. 43bis), 1948
    • Fantasy for cello and orchestra (Op. 52), 1951-1953
    I.2.6.3. For flute
    • Concerto for flute and string orchestra (No. 1) (Op. 75), 1961
    • Concerto for flute No. 2 (Op. 148), 1987
    I.2.6.4. For trumpet
    • Concerto for trumpet and orchestra (Op. 94), 1966-1967
    I.2.6.5. For clarinet
    • Concerto for clarinet and string orchestra (Op. 104), 1970

Ballet (B)

Vocal Works (V)

  • V.1. Song Cycles (27)

    • Opp. 4, 7, 13, 17, 22, 25, 32, 33, 38, 50, 57, 62, 65, 71, 77, 78, 84, 88, 90, 99, 110, 116, 120, 125, 132, 134, 139
    • Spanning a period from 1940 to 1986 (i.e. nearly all of Weinberg's career).
    • The songs set poems by Julian Tuwim (6 cycles), Gabriela Mistral, Shakespeare, and various major Russian poets (Tyutchev, A. Fet, ...), among others.
    • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.
  • V.2. Large-Scale Vocal Works

    V.2.1. Operas (7)
    • Opp. 97, 105, 109, 111, 112, 128, 144
    • Spanning the period of 1967 to 1985.
    • The opera librettos are based on (variously): Zofia Posmysz, George Bernard Shaw, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and others.
    • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.
    V.2.2. Choral Works (6)
    • Opp. 51, 87, 91, 92, 96, 102
    • Spanning a period from 1952 to 1970.
    • The works set texts from various international authors. Weinberg's Requiem Op. 96 is perhaps his most significant choral work.
    • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.

Instrumental Works (I)

I.1 Chamber and Solo Works

I.1.1 Piano Works
I.1.1.1. Piano Sonatas (6)
  • Piano Sonata No. 1 (Op. 5), 1940
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 (Op. 8), 1942
  • Piano Sonata No. 3 (Op. 31), 1946
  • Piano Sonata No. 4 (Op. 56), 1955
  • Piano Sonata No. 5 (Op. 58), 1956
  • Piano Sonata No. 6 (Op. 73), 1960
I.1.1.2. Miscalleneous Pieces
  • Sonatina for piano (Op. 49), 1951
  • Partita for piano (Op. 54), 1954
  • Sonatina for piano (Op. 49 bis), 1978
  • Berceuse for piano (Op. 1), 1935
  • Children’s Notebook No. 1 (Op. 16), 1944
  • Children’s Notebook No. 2 (Op. 19), 1944
  • Children’s Notebook No. 3 (Op. 23), 1945
  • Twenty-One Easy Pieces for piano (Op. 34), 1946
I.1.2. Solo Sonatas(+) (13)
I.1.2.1. For violin
  • Sonata No. 1 for violin solo (Op. 82), 1964
  • Sonata No. 2 for violin solo (Op. 95), 1967
  • Sonata No. 3 for violin solo (Op. 126), 1979
I.1.2.2. For viola
  • Sonata No. 1 for viola solo (Op. 107), 1971
  • Sonata No. 2 for viola solo (Op. 123), 1978
  • Sonata No. 3 for viola solo (Op. 135), 1982
  • Sonata No. 4 for viola solo (Op. 136), 1983
I.1.2.3. For cello
  • Sonata No. 1 for cello solo (Op. 72), 1960
  • Sonata No. 2 for cello solo (Op. 86), 1965
  • Sonata No. 3 for cello solo (Op. 106), 1971
  • Sonata No. 4 for cello solo (Op. 140), 1986
  • Preludes (24) for cello solo (Op. 100), 1968
I.1.2.4. For double-bass
  • Sonata for double-bass solo (Op. 108), 1971
I.1.2.5. For bassoon
  • Sonata for bassoon solo (Op. 133), 1981
I.1.3. Sonatas(+) with Accompaniment (9)
I.1.3.1. For violin and piano
  • Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano (Op. 12), 1943
  • Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano (Op. 15), 1944
  • Sonata No. 3 for violin and piano (Op. 37), 1947
  • Sonata No. 4 for violin and piano (Op. 39), 1947
  • Sonata No. 5 for violin and piano (Op. 53), 1953
  • Sonata No. 6 for violin and piano (Op. 136bis), 1982
  • Sonatina for violin and piano (Op. 46), 1949
  • Capriccio for violin and piano (Op. 11), 1943
I.1.3.2. For two violins (duo)
  • Sonata for two violins (Op. 69), 1959
I.1.3.3. For cello and piano
  • Sonata No. 1 for cello and piano (Op. 21), 1945
  • Sonata No. 2 for cello and piano (Op. 63), 1958-1959
I.1.3.4. For clarinet and piano
  • Sonata for clarinet and piano (Op. 28), 1945
I.1.3.5. For flute and piano
  • Twelve Miniatures for flute and piano (Op. 29), 1946
I.1.4. Trios and Quintet
  • Piano Quintet (Op. 18), 1944
  • Piano Trio (Op. 24), 1945
  • String Trio (Op. 48), 1950
  • Trio for flute, harp and viola (Op. 127), 1979
I.1.5. String Quartets (17)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (Op. 2/141), 1937 rev. 1986
  • String Quartet No. 2 (Op. 3/145), 1940 rev. 1987
  • String Quartet No. 3 (Op. 14), 1944
  • String Quartet No. 4 (Op. 20), 1945
  • String Quartet No. 5 (Op. 27), 1945
  • String Quartet No. 6 (Op. 35), 1946
  • String Quartet No. 7 (Op. 59), 1957
  • String Quartet No. 8 (Op. 66), 1959
  • String Quartet No. 9 (Op. 80), 1963
  • String Quartet No. 10 (Op. 85), 1964
  • String Quartet No. 11 (Op. 89), 1965-1966
  • String Quartet No. 12 (Op. 103), 1969-1970
  • String Quartet No. 13 (Op. 118), 1977
  • String Quartet No. 14 (Op. 122), 1978
  • String Quartet No. 15 (Op. 124), 1979
  • String Quartet No. 16 (Op. 129), 1981
  • String Quartet No. 17 (Op. 146), 1987
  • Aria for string quartet (Op. 9), 1942

Ballet (B)

B.1. Ballets (2)

  • Opp. 55, 64
  • Composed during 1954-55 and 1958.
  • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.

I.2 Orchestral Works

I.2.1. Symphonies (22)
  • Symphony No. 1 (Op. 10), 1942
  • Symphony No. 2 for string orchestra (Op. 30), 1946
  • Symphony No. 3 (Op. 45), 1949 rev. 1959
  • Symphony No. 4 (Op. 61), 1957 rev. 1961
  • Symphony No. 5 (Op. 76), 1962
  • Symphony No. 6, after L. Kvitko, S. Galkin and M. Lukonin for boys' chorus and orchestra (Op. 79), 1962-1963
  • Symphony No. 7 for strings and harpsichord (Op. 81), 1964
  • Symphony No. 8 Flowers of Poland, after J. Tuvim for tenor, mixed chorus and orchestra (Op. 83), 1964
  • Symphony No. 9 Everlasting Times, after J. Tuvim and V. Bronievsky for narrator, chorus and orchestra (Op. 93), 1940-1967
  • Symphony No. 10 for string orchestra (Op. 98), 1968
  • Symphony No. 11 Festive Symphony, after various revolutionary poets for chorus and orchestra (Op. 101), 1969
  • Symphony no. 12 (Op. 114), 1975-1976
  • Symphony no. 13 (Op. 115), 1976
  • Symphony No. 14 (Op. 117), 1977
  • Symphony No. 15 I Believe in This Earth, after M. Dudin for soprano, baritone, women’s chorus and orchestra (Op. 119), 1977
  • Symphony no. 16 (Op. 131), 1981
  • Symphony No. 17 Memory (Op. 137), 1984
  • Symphony No. 18 War, there is no word more cruel for chorus and orchestra (Op. 138), 1986
  • Symphony No. 19 The Bright May (Op. 142), 1986
  • Symphony No. 20 (Op. 150), 1988
  • Symphony No. 21 Kaddish for soprano and orchestra (Op. 152), 1991
  • Symphony No. 22 (unfinished) (Op. 154), 1994
I.2.2. Sinfoniettas (2)
  • Sinfonietta No. 1 (Op. 41), 1948
  • Sinfonietta No. 2 for string orchestra and timpani (Op. 74), 1960
I.2.3. Chamber Symphonies (4)
  • Chamber Symphony No. 1 (Op. 145), 1987
  • Chamber Symphony No. 2 (Op. 147), 1987
  • Chamber Symphony No. 3 (Op. 151), 1991
  • Chamber Symphony No. 4 (Op. 153), 1992
I.2.4. Symphonic Poems et al.
  • Symphonic Poem for orchestra (Op. 6), 1941
  • Suite for small orchestra (Op. 26), 1939-1945
  • Festive Scenes for orchestra (Op. 36), 1946-1947
  • Polish Tunes for orchestra (Op. 47-2), 1949
  • Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes for orchestra (Op. 47-1), 1949
  • Serenada for orchestra (Op. 47-4), 1949
  • Symphonic Poem Morning-Red for orchestra (Op. 60), 1957
  • Symphonic Songs for orchestra (Op. 68), 1951 rev. 1959
  • Symphonic Poem The Banners of Peace (Op. 143), 1986
I.2.5. Ballet Suites
  • Two Ballet Suites for orchestra (Op. 40), 1947
  • Suites Nos. 1 – 4 from the ballet The Golden Key (Opp. 55-A, 55-B, 55-C, 55-D), 1964
  • Six Ballet Scenes for orchestra (Op. 113), 1973-1975
I.2.6. Concertos (6)
I.2.6.1. For violin
  • Concertino for violin and string orchestra (Op. 42), 1948
  • Concerto for violin and orchestra (Op. 67), 1959
  • Moldavian Rhaspsody for violin and orchestra (Op. 47-3), 1949
I.2.6.2. For cello
  • Concerto for cello and orchestra (Op. 43), 1948
  • Concertino for cello and orchestra (Op. 43bis), 1948
  • Fantasy for cello and orchestra (Op. 52), 1951-1953
I.2.6.3. For flute
  • Concerto for flute and string orchestra (No. 1) (Op. 75), 1961
  • Concerto for flute No. 2 (Op. 148), 1987
I.2.6.4. For trumpet
  • Concerto for trumpet and orchestra (Op. 94), 1966-1967
I.2.6.5. For clarinet
  • Concerto for clarinet and string orchestra (Op. 104), 1970

Vocal Works (V)

V.1. Small-Scale Vocal Works

V.1.1. Song Cycles (27)
  • Opp. 4, 7, 13, 17, 22, 25, 32, 33, 38, 50, 57, 62, 65, 71, 77, 78, 84, 88, 90, 99, 110, 116, 120, 125, 132, 134, 139
  • Spanning a period from 1940 to 1986 (i.e. nearly all of Weinberg's career).
  • The songs set poems by Julian Tuwim (6 cycles), Gabriela Mistral, Shakespeare, and various major Russian poets (Tyutchev, A. Fet, ...), among others.
  • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.

V.2. Large-Scale Vocal Works

V.2.1. Operas (7)
  • Opp. 97, 105, 109, 111, 112, 128, 144
  • Spanning the period of 1967 to 1985.
  • The opera librettos are based on (variously): Zofia Posmysz, George Bernard Shaw, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and others.
  • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.
V.2.2. Choral Works (6)
  • Opp. 51, 87, 91, 92, 96, 102
  • Spanning a period from 1952 to 1970.
  • The works set texts from various international authors. Weinberg's Requiem Op. 96 is perhaps his most significant choral work.
  • See Ron de Leeuw's Weinberg list of works for more information.

Information on Scores

Information on Scores

Some sites from which one can acquire Weinberg scores / sheet music for performance include:

Scores or sheet music can sometimes also be obtained directly from the following publishers:

In all cases one can search for the widely-accepted spelling of the composer's surname, i.e. “Weinberg” (see the text by Per Skans on this site's front page for more information regarding Weinberg's name) to obtain the required results.

Artistic Fusion

Artistic Fusion

Below are several paintings by the Australian artist Annael Anelia Pavlova made after the music of Weinberg (using various pieces). Annael's art is a fascinating mix of the traditional and modern, fusing classical music into a visual medium. Details from some of her unique artwork after Weinberg appear throughout this site. The images below are included to facilitate a deeper understanding and appreciation of this multi-faceted music from a different, visual perspective, while acknowledging that plumbing the depths of a genuine work of art – whether visual or aural – is always a great challenge. Permission to reproduce these images has been granted by the artist.

Cello Solo Sonatas 2, 3 & 4 (Opp. 86, 106, 140)

Annael Anelia Pavlova's painting to Weinberg's cello solo sonatas 2, 3 & 4

Piano Sonatas 4, 5 & 6 (Opp. 56, 58, 73)

Annael Anelia Pavlova's painting to Weinberg's piano sonatas 4, 5 and 6

Chamber Symphonies 1 & 4 (Opp. 145, 153)

Annael Anelia Pavlova's painting to Weinberg's chamber symphonies 1 and 4

Symphony 7 (Op. 81)

Annael Anelia Pavlova's painting to Weinberg's symphony 7

Please also visit the front/home page for additional information, including the latest news/upcoming concerts and CD releases of Weinberg's music.