Weinberg Preludes for solo cello


Oil on Belgian linen, 84 x 97 cm

The music

Composer: Mieczyslaw Weinberg (Moishei Vainberg) (1919-1996)
Works: Works for solo cello: Preludes (24) for solo cello and Sonata for solo cello No. 1
Suggested performance: Yosif Feigelson (recording label: Olympia, Naxos)

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I first came across the music of Weinberg in 2001, when the Renaissance for this great composer was in its very beginnings. My introduction to his music were the Preludes for Solo Cello. Not long after, I decided to make a work using this very same composition, and the result was the painting shown here. When listening to Weinberg's Preludes, I found that I could not express the music in any other way than I did, with the antithesis of light and darkness, and -- what can perhaps be seen as two complementary poles -- Nature and the insects. For me, light and darkness play a big part in Weinberg's music, though not necessarily as moral opposites, but rather, as dialectical polarities. The insects in my work reflect another side of life -- insects are all around us, and, even though people usually do not like them, without them the whole Ecology of the world, of Nature, would not be possible. Thus, they are symbolic of life. At the same time, their buzzing and frantic motion can be seen as something unsettling, thoughts and feelings that a man has to sometimes pass through in some moments of time, that require the counterpoise of Nature, or even inner peace -- a mysterious night-like darkness one could say. In this night- time darkness one can fathom the Spirit -- darkness and Nature, calm, inanimate, and life and light surging in frenzy: two opposites. Overall, the painting makes no pretension to capture the wealth and variety of Weinberg's Preludes, but, just like the multiple polyphonic layers of the music, it admits many layers of true (as well as false!) interpretation that opens the ears and eyes of a listener to Nature and, perhaps beyond, a different world.    -- November 2011 --