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Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944): Symphony No. 2; Piano Sonata No. 2 / Fabio Bidini, piano; JoAnn Falletta

Album Summary

>Tyberg, Marcel : Symphony no 2 in F minor
>Tyberg, Marcel : Sonata for Piano no 2 in F sharp minor
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Expedition Audio Recommended
...The composer's commitment to the principles of the Romantic era is unfailing. Echoes of Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Wagner abound, but the composer who most came to mind while listening to the symphony was Bruckner. I don't get to say that about a composer very often. Not often enough, actually; it's wonderful to hear Bruckner's influence so clearly exhibited... ... read more ...

Marcel Tyberg was a victim of the World War II Holocaust, but his scores were preserved and have recently been revived through the support of JoAnn Falletta and the BPO. The Second Symphony is filled with romantic enchantment and pastoral narrative, reflecting Tyberg's reverence for nineteenth-century styles. The Second Piano Sonata also develops earlier traditions, revealing the influence of Beethoven. Tyberg's Third Symphony can be heard on Naxos 8.572236, the Washington Post stating that the Buffalo Philharmonic 'has never sounded better... Tyberg's music is well-crafted and earnest, tuneful and filled with seriousness of purpose and harmonic mastery.'

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2013
The performance could hardly be bettered: JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic are completely at home in this music and they are very well recorded...Overall [the Sonata] is an impressive work. Fabio Bidini plays it impressively and is recorded truthfully.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2013
Unashamedly Romantic music by this hugely gifted Holocaust victim, with Bidini performing prodigies in the Brahmsian Second Sonata.

American Record Guide, January/February 2014
The 1927 Symphony No. 2 in F minor is in four movements (45 minutes). The opening Allegro Appassionato initially seems Brucknerian, they gradually flare out into more elevated and sustained passages of a fascinating, forward-looking character that peak in almost Elgarian moments of ceremonial aura. The Adagio is the work's emotional crown, following a searching path that radiates the comfort and solace of mellow, pensive themes, enlivened by some adventurous harmonic touches and a surprising string glissando introducing the warmth of a horn contemplation. The 1934 Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp minor does reflect the influence of Beethoven. In the Finale Tyberg achieves a satisfying mix of rhythmic intrigue, lyrical appeal, and harmonic surprise that says everything necessary in a gratifyingly brief five minutes.


Tyberg symphony 2 piano sonata 2
The long-reaching shadows of the atrocities of the Holocaust haunt us still with each new story that emerges about the senseless death of yet another victim. Marcel Tyberg's story began in 1893 with his birth in Vienna. His father was a well-known violinist; his mother was a pianist in the school of the renowned pedagog Theodor Leschetizky and a colleague of the famous pianist and Beethoven interpreter Artur Schnabel. The Tybergs were close friends of the Kubelik family; Jan Kubelik was a renowned violinist and his son Rafael became a famous conductor. After Marcel’s father died in 1927, he and his mother moved to the Italian town of Abbazia (now in Croatia and renamed Opatija). Some time in the early 1930s Rafael Kubelik premiered Tyberg's Second Symphony, composed in 1927, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Marcel, a devout Catholic, composed a setting of the Te Deum, which premiered in the church in Abbazia in 1943. When German forces occupied northern Italy in 1943 Tyberg's mother complied with Nazi regulations and disclosed that one of Marcel's great-grandfathers had been Jewish. Consequently Tyberg (though not his mother) was arrested and deported to the death camps of San Sabba (in Trieste) and subsequently Auschwitz (a.k.a. Oswiecim). It was long believed that Tyberg had committed suicide during transit, but the date of his death was recorded in Auschwitz as December 31, 1944.
Fortuately for posterity, Tyberg entrusted his manuscripts to his friend Dr. Milan Mihich, whose son Dr. Enrico Mihich now works in Buffalo, NY. The latter related the Tyberg story to Maestra Falletta, who reviewed the manuscripts and initiated these performances. Tyberg's Second Symphony is a marvelous example of late-romanticism. To my ears the first movement has strong echoes of Bruckner, Adagio is charming, the Scherzo is well crafted, and the finale evokes memories of certain Mahlerian phrases. This strikes me as being a powerful symphony that I am happy to add to my collection. I am grateful to Maestra JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for what seems to me to be a splendid performance, beautifully recorded.
Tyberg's Second Piano Sonata was composed in 1934. With its echoes of Beethoven plus a touch of Brahms, it too is a powerful work that surely deserves to be included in pianists' repertoires. Edward Yadzinski's program notes are well-written and very informative.
If you like unusual late-romantic works, don’t miss these!
Ted Wilks

Submitted on 10/06/13 by Ted Wilks 
Highly Recommended
Austrian composer Marcel Tyberg's career (and life) was cut short by the Second World War. Despite being a devout Roman Catholic, he was arrested by the Nazis in 1943 because his great grandfather was Jewish. Fortunately, he entrusted his music to a friend before his death in 1944 en route to Auschwitz.

Tyberg didn't compose many works, but the quality of them makes one wonder how he would have fared in a less toxic atmosphere. His second symphony, finished in 1931 is a big, post-romantic composition and reminded me of Erich Korngold's symphonic works. Tyberg seems more influenced by Beethoven than Brahms, however, with simple motives building and transforming themselves in rigorously logical fashion. The overarching themes were expressive examples of post-romanticism -- not as memorable as Rachmaninov's but still quite moving.

JoAnne Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic are thoroughly invested in this work, and that dedication shows. Falletta lets the music stand on its own strengths. The performance presents a well-constructed symphony that should be immediately appealing to most listeners.

Coupled with the symphony is Tyberg's second piano sonata from 1934. Tyberg was a pianist and organist, and his composition takes full advantage of the instrument. The work ranges over the keyboard, with plenty of Liszt-inspired gestures. If Nicolai Medtner wrote more tightly organized music, he might have composed something along these lines.

Pianist Fabio Bidini performs the sonata with relish, delivering the music with all its inherent drama and brio.

Submitted on 10/10/13 by RGraves321 
Stuck in a time warp
This is a great symphony – for 1897 – but decidedly not for 1927. I have to admit that, having purchased and listened to the earlier released Symphony No. 3, I could not write a review because it left no impression. Given the skill of the orchestration and the obvious erudition, where was Tyberg? In a climate of horrific acts against Jews and other citizens who lived under the Third Reich, the effect on the composer seemed – nil, for lack of a better word. Let me state the obvious: music does not have to be programmatic to be personal. The self-imposed isolation of Tyberg against the currents of change in the musical world at the time of this composition seems almost snobbish in relation to other composers of his time, and personally speaking, not an attitude that I would consider eccentric. Certainly, more original composers used post-romantic influences to make more contemporary statements; chief amongst them was Reger, who used Brahmsian models to craft a kind of perpetual, vaguely thematic set of variations to create a unique ebb and flow and a pronounced melancholy – in my opinion that makes Reger a modern composer. But the composers who were devoted to the Bruckner/Mahler influence, such as Weigl, Braunfels, Franz Schmidt, Klenau and even Casella transcend this influence (but not the greatness of these composers). The musical world was transformed by Stravinsky’s Pulcinella in such a profound way that looking back in time was as revealing as moving forward with a fresh perspective. But here we have Tyberg, like a student in Bruckner’s classroom slavishly emulating the master without his rhapsodic spirituality (I’m fantasizing), or perhaps Mahler’s scribe-like pupil without his teacher’s tormented psychology and haunted nostalgia. There are people in the world who will not acknowledge change – they can be praised by some but not me. 1927 was the year of Varese’s Arcana and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, by the way.

Credit must be given to maestro Falletta for discovering unknown composers who deserve recognition: case in point, her early recording of Karol Rathaus. But I don’t share her enthusiasm for either Tyberg or Cascarino. She and her wonderful Buffalo orchestra play with deep conviction, and that indicates how passionately she believes in her discoveries. This is also a first rate recording. JoAnn Falletta may be the most talented American conductor of her generation.

As for the very Lisztian piano sonata, it is extremely well-played by Fabio Bidini, and beautifully recorded. The Adagio has glimmers of Korngold, and the Finale hints of Brahms. But this was written in 1934, the year of Bartok’s 5th Quartet and Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth. Without the date of creation, I might have been lulled into believing I was listening to music of 40 years before.

Submitted on 11/15/13 by Andy F. 
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Works Details

>Tyberg, Marcel : Symphony no 2 in F minor
  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta
  • Ensemble: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York, USA (04/30/2011/05/01/2011)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1927

>Tyberg, Marcel : Sonata for Piano no 2 in F sharp minor
  • Performer: Fabio Bidini (Piano)
  • Running Time: 32 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934