MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Anatol VIERU (1926-1998)
Symphony No. 6, Op. 112 Exodus (2006) [58:52]
Memorial, Op. 118 (1990) [17:08]
Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Horia Andreescu (Exodus)
Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra/Ludovic Bács
rec. 1995-99, Radio Romania. DDD

The music of Romanian composer Anatol Vieru has owed much over the last three decades to the now defunct Olympia CD label. Those discs continue to enjoy a vigorous half-life on the secondhand market on ebay and Amazon. There were three of which I only ever had one: OCD 419 which, courtesy of Electrecord, carried radio tapes from 1979-92 of Joseph and His Brothers for eleven players and magnetic tape (1979), Symphony No. 3 Earthquake and Taragot (1991) for two soloists, orchestra and percussion. On the other two discs were symphonies Nos. 2 and 4 and the Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra.

Vieru was born in Iasi and attended Bucharest Conservatory (1946-51). There his teachers included Constantin Silvestri (conducting) and Paul Constantinescu (harmony); the latter's orchestral music also featured on three Olympia CDs (OCD402, 411, 415). After Bucharest there came studies with Khachaturian in Moscow. After being under the spell of folk music he gravitated towards serialism. Martin Anderson wrote that "The music which results - often using rapid foreground textures built over a basic underlying pulse - sounds both modern and ancient." There are four operas, seven symphonies (1967; 1973; 1978; 1982; 1984–5; 1989; 1992–3), eight string quartets, film scores, vocal music and much else.

This Troubadisc CD contains two late works. Memorial is dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust and was premiered in Israel in 1991. It is not overly emotional, repressed even. It spends its 17 minutes musing in a smoking Bergian wasteland. The hour-long Symphony No. 6 Exodus, dedicated to Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, is in four movements. The first is a Tangochaccona which is smooth, cleanly textured yet hesitant and fearful. It has a Shostakovich-like tread at the start and the air of a tragic epic march. Its tonal foundations reminded me of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15. The twenty minute second movement bears the name of the whole symphony. It is cold, chastening, desolate and nocturnal. Horns bellow like whale-song at one point and the music rises to an aural vision of seemingly chaotic dissonance. In the third movement, San Antonio de la Florida, a song is intoned by the tuba but this has no lift in its step - no bounce. At 4.30 drums interrupt. Like the side-drum in Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5 this seems designed to halt or at least disrupt progress. After tinkling bells and an echo of klezmer there come shadows of something that sounds like Copland's outdoors music. The finale is entitled Pale Sun in which the trumpet sings in quiet confidence but by no means is joy unbounded. We have what amounts to a serenade to desolation and a step out towards the emotionally remote. Pale Sun indeed; there are no swaggering parades here and Vieru ends the work with a sense of uncertainty.

The useful notes are by Thomas Beimel and are in English, German and French.

Darkly accented and obsessed music but not an experience that will beckon to most listeners. Even fans of Pettersson's symphonies might find this tough. It's so unlike the many tonal works written over the last three decades that it intrigues. Expect laced-tight reserve rather than emotional fluency.

Rob Barnett



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing