ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
MARCEL TYBERG - Symphony No. 3


MARCEL TYBERG - Symphony No. 3 - Piano Trio in F major - JoAnn Falletta (Conductor) - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra - Naxos 8.572236

Another brilliant mind lost in Auschwitz in 1944. Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944) was a talented and brilliant musician and composer. His works were highly regarded during his lifetime, and some were even premiered by conductors like Rafael Kubelik. The shadow of the late-Romantics looms large over his work and is in full evidence in this impressive Symphony No. 3 in D minor from 1943.

As soon as the first movement opens with determined horn calls, we are immediately reminded of the opening statement of Gustav Mahler's own Third Symphony. These two composers inhabit the same sound world. The whole movement displays a strong grasp of thematic development and orchestral color. The following Scherzo again employs typical Mahler gestures, but this time it shares a more demented character like late Mahler. As we enter the beautiful Adagio, it is obvious that Tyberg has come into his own. A better crafted slow movement would be hard to find, and based on its dark opening you would never guess it would end so beautifully. But with patient and methodical repetition of the opening motif, and an ever so gradual change of mood, the music attains an elevated level of bliss in the end. The final Allegro movement is off to an heroic start with an upbeat theme that gets tossed around and expertly manipulated until the whole symphony ends like the crack of a whip. Conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra actually gave this symphony its premiere performance in concert, and deliver a top rank interpretation in this recording, with all of the orchestra's colors shining through.

The earlier Piano Trio in F major from 1936, performed here by Michael Ludwig (Violin), Roman Mekinulov (Cello) and Ya-Fei Chuang (Piano), displays the same level of craftmanship and dedication, by a composer described by some of his friends and colleagues as a "strange spiritual man who seemed to walk a step further on this earth than was granted to most humans."

Again many thanks to the people at Naxos for unearthing yet another treasure, and saving it from the dark void of oblivion, and sharing the loot with all of us on this musical planet.

Jean-Yves Duperron - August 2010