Volume 2:

Russia: Weinberg and Prokofiev

Mieczysław WEINBERG Twelve Miniatures 1945

Sergei PROKOFIEV Sonata for flute and piano 1942-43


Mieczyław Weinberg’s compositions drew on elements of folklore from his Polish and Jewish background. His life, however, was full of suffering. In 1939 he fled east from Warsaw, and members of his family were later killed by both Nazis and Soviets. By 1943 he had settled in Moscow, where Shostakovich became his patron. The Twelve Miniatures (1945) appear almost naive in their clarity, but their surface innocence is deceptive, and their mood elusive, often undercut by a current of unease.      

Sergei Prokofiev depicted the violence and tragedy of his country’s wartime experience in three great piano sonatas, before turning to an older, simpler Russia as inspiration for his Flute Sonata (1942-43). Emily and I have always felt that this work inhabits a similar world to the paintings of Marc Chagall, rooted in village life, fairy tale and fantasy.

 (Andrew West)


Recording: 22 & 23 February 2022 at the Zeeuwse Concertzaal, Middelburg (NL)

Recording & editing: Jakko van der Heijden, Zefir records

Piano: Steinway D 572839 Piano technique: Joost van Hartevelt, De Hamernoot, Middelburg

Emily Beynon plays a 14k gold Haynes flute with a 22k gold Lafin headjoint

Photography: Eduardus Lee

Design: Meeuw

Special thanks: Joost van Hartevelt, Villa Dorothy B&B Middelburg (Fransje Frohn & Tonnie Hugens)