Richard Bratby

The saddest music in the world

Plus: Charles Stanford’s opera rarity The Travelling Companion receives a revival in Eastbourne

It’s a strange compliment to pay a composer — that the most profound impression their music makes is of an absence. I can’t claim much prior experience of the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg, who died in 1996: a vague sense of a Shostakovich-like figure who had a bad time of it under Stalin, and the composer of an opera, The Passenger, for which great claims are made by people whose judgment I respect but who probably, on balance, spend too much time with their heads in Eastern Europe.

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