MARCEL TYBERG - Symphony No. 2

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MARCEL TYBERG - Symphony No. 2 in F minor - Piano Sonata No. 2 - JoAnn Falletta (Conductor) - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra - Fabio Bidini (Piano) - 747313282272 - Released: August 2013 - Naxos 8.572822

If you were playing a "guess the composer" game and someone asked you, without giving you any clues, to identify the composer of this symphonic work, no one could blame you for thinking that this might be a newly unearthed lost work by Anton Bruckner. After all, the first movement in particular, shares the same cyclical thematic manipulation so typical and peculiar to Bruckner, and the Scherzo third movement moves forward with the same energetic dotted rhythm blueprint. And as far as the Piano Sonata is concerned, hearing it is like opening the door to Johannes Brahms' study. The Adagio movement in particular shares the same autumnal atmosphere as the late Op. 116-118 piano pieces by Brahms.

If you've read my previous review (here) of his Symphony No. 3 which inhabited Mahler's sound world, it should become apparent that Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944) was an extremely gifted composer who so much admired the great masters of the 19th century, that he tried to revive their presence by emulating their styles and orchestration techniques. His intent was not plagiarism or simple duplication, but rather a considerable effort at following in the footsteps of greatness by echoing it. His mastery of the idiom is such that his music stands shoulder to shoulder with the aforementioned composers, so much so that it's difficult to tell them apart. His melodic invention is strong and his control of extended structures is solid. The Sonata on this CD can attest to that very well.

Again the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of conductor JoAnn Falletta are in great form and project a sonic weight that suits this music very well. Pianist Fabio Bidini brings out the music's broad strokes as well as its finer intimate details. I would even say that his interpretation brings the work's magnificence forward and raises the whole thing up a notch. Recommended!

Jean-Yves Duperron - September 2013