Symphony No. 2/Tyberg

August 24, 2013

front cover tyberg 2

The tragic story of Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944) was related to JoAnn Falletta, conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic, by Dr. Milan Mihich who had been trusted with the manuscripts which encouraged her to pursue to record his music. Tyberg unfortunately was part of the cleansing of Jews in Germany and he perished in 1943. This recording is made possible through the support of the Marcel Tyberg Musical Legacy Fund and Falletta, champion of many unrecorded composers. This is the second CD in the series and hopefully there will be more in the future. If you’re interested I’ve reviewed their first release of his third symphony which I found to be a very satisfying listen.

Written in 1927 the second symphony follows the tradition of the 19th century composers Mendelssohn, Bruckner and a fine fugue reminding you of Johann Sebastian Bach. The first movement Allegro appassionato begins with a Bruckner like theme from the strings in the lower register. The melody is turned over to the heroic fanfare from the French horns and the woodwinds. This is a theme that could very easily be a tone poem as it is filled with mystery and intrigue as well as being a structured movement. Tyberg introduces a second theme with dramatic phrases. Tyberg returns to his first melody allowing full development where we again hear the majestic horns. It concludes with a rousing crescendo restating the melody again. The second movement, an adagio, is one of peace and tranquility, a pastoral scene of a shepherd herding his flock, although we hear a brief restatement of the theme from the first movement. The third movement, a scherzo taken from a page out of Mendelssohn, is a bright uplifting one filled with dances, harmony, and fugue like counterpoint. There are three themes that are developed in the movement. The fourth movement begins with a slow almost plodding theme that is introduced by the bass and then turned over to the winds and horns. It is a wonderful fugue not to be missed.

This is a work not to be missed! The Buffalo Philharmonic is in top form and enhances what is being offered. There playing is precise and crisp and well recorded by Tim Handley in a fine sounding music hall that I’m confident will produce many more fine recordings in the future.

The second selection on this CD is Tyberg’s Piano Sonata No. 2 which is rich in the 19th century tradition. This is not necessarily an easy listen as there is a lot going on especially in the allegro, the first movement. The adagio makes Fabio Bidini demonstrate that he is a first class pianist. The scherzo is also busy with some of the material being firmly attacked while other parts are quite delicate in nature. The finale is truly a romantic track that reminds me of something that Rachmaninoff could have conceived. It is well recorded with the sound of the Steinway coming through loud and clear.

As a reviewer I consider Falletta to be the Howard Hanson of the 21st century introducing us to new composers who have much to offer the listener. Recommended.

Track Listing

Symphony No. 2 in F minor (1927)

1. Allegro appassionato (9:37)

2. Adagio:Langsam-Andante con moto (10:38)

3. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con spirit (9:17)

4. Preludium-Allegro assai (12:32)

Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor (1934)

5. Allegro con fuoco (8:38)

6. Adagio, non troppo ma sempre maestoso (12:34)

7. Scherzo: Allegro vivace sempre assai energico (6:27)

8. Finale: Sostenuto e maestoso-Allegro non troppo ma sempre

Con passione (5:04)

Total Time 74:47