MIECZYSŁAW WEINBERG (1919-1996): Wir Gratulieren!, Op. 111.
Catalogue Number: 09W048
Label: Oehms Classics
Reference: OC 990
Description: 2 CDs. No libretto/translation details but Oehms is usually good for these, so presumably, there will be at least a German libretto. After his move to Moscow in 1943, Weinberg had to face widespread anti-Semitism, both among the population and on the part of politicians. Perhaps for this very reason, he composed the opera Congratulations! especially for the discerning entertainment and edification of the Jewish community in Moscow in the mid-1970s. It is a work full of Jewish topoi that at the same time disguises itself as being Socialist (here, the ‘rich people’ are clearly identified as the enemies and suppressors, and they must be disempowered) – probably because there would otherwise not have been any chance of performing it in Russia. The original text for the opera, to which Weinberg himself made only few amendments, comes from Sholem Aleichem’s play Mazel Tov. This recording is of the 2012 premiere performance outside Russia. Katia Guedes, Anna Gütter (sopranos), Olivia Saragosa (mezzo), Jeff Martin (tenor), Robert Elibay-Hartog (baritone), Kammerakademie Potsdam; Vladimir Stoupel.