Mieczysaw Weinberg was familiar with the clarinet from his youth, given its prominent place in klezmer bands and theatre ensembles, and he wrote three works specifically for the instrument. In the Clarinet Concerto he draws a wide range of textures from the accompanying strings, over which the soloist explores the clarinets extremes of register in virtuosic fashion. Despite having been written when Weinberg was still in his mid-twenties, the Clarinet Sonata is a mature work with Romantic and folkloric elements. His last completed work was the Chamber Symphony No. 4, an impassioned piece with a wrenching chorale theme and role for obbligato clarinet.
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