"4 star review"Musica, 01-3-2014
Onverwachte en spannende verbindingen tussen Romantiek en Modernisme
Hoewel de werken op dit album allemaal heel anders zijn, worden ze op een onverwachte en spannende manier met elkaar verbonden. Met het bij elkaar brengen van deze werken op één album kunnen ze anders beluisterd worden – als delen van een geheel en als individuele stukken. De volgorde van deze werken en de overgangen daartussenin zijn heel zorgvuldig uitgekozen.
Het album bevat pianomuziek van een periode van 102 jaar (van 1861 tot 1963). Het is een reis van de Romantiek naar het Modernisme met momenten van rusteloosheid en kalmte, vloeiende passages en fragmentarische stukken, ongeremde extase, gedurfde muzikale experimenten en “une ardeur profonde” (Scriabin); een diepe hartstocht.
De pianist Martin Tchiba werd in 1982 in Boedapest geboren en groeide op in Duitsland. Tchiba’s repertoire bevat werken van alle tijdsperiodes, maar de muziek uit de Romantiek tot aan de hedendaagse klassieke muziek neemt een speciale plek in. Met dit album is hij erin geslaagd om zijn luisteraars te verrassen en zijn muziek op andere en spannende manieren te laten beleven.
If you would open any biography of Franz Liszt, you would probably mostly read about his disquiet life as a piano virtuoso, his passionate love life, and the return to his catholic roots at the end of his life. Although all of this might be true, it only scratches the surface of his comprehensive musical personality. Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and organiser, but above all he was a composer of a voluminous, capricious body of work. Even though his piano works formed his core business, he gave rise to the symphonic poem, got rid of the organ's stuffy appearance, and reinvigorated the oratorio. Moreover, with his piano transciptions of Bach's organ works and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, he was an advocate of both old and new music.
Together with his son-in-law Richard Wagner, he was in the forefront of the Romantic movement and anticipated the musical revolutions of the early 20th century with his new composition techniques.
Richard Wagner was an important innovator of music in his time. He is best known for his operas, which he himself preferred to refer to as musical dramas. He wrote the texts (the libretti) himself and sought to make a Gesamtkunstwerk, the ideal union of text, music and theatre. Over time, this lead to grandiose musical dramas which were performed in a specially built theater for these works in the small town of Bayreuth.
Wagner's greatest critic, the philosopher Nietzsche, named his former friend the "greatest miniaturist of music who in the smallest of space squeezed an endless amount of sense and sweetness". Nietzsche regarded this as a sympton of decadence, yet it does portray the large variety of treasures which can be found in Wagner's music: the mysterious fantasy stories of the love potion of Tristan & Isolde, Wotan's spear, the sea of flames of Brünhilde, the sword of Siegfried... Still the real main character is the orchestra, which shines its light on all the true intentions and feelings of these heroes with great depth.
Both as a composer and as an individual, Wagner remains a subject of controversy and emotional discussions. By many he is hailed as a hero, and by equally many others completely dismissed. But his influence as a composer and musical innovator is undeniable!
Arnold Schoenberg was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, but perhaps also one of the least listened to. Strikingly, Schoenberg was self-educated, even though his music is imbedded in complex music theory. It was Schoenberg who definitely departed from tonality and he developed the twelve tone technique. In this composition style, one has to use every twelve tones of the scale, before one can be repeated. The struggle to adhere to this dogma is clearly audible: his music is tense, hectic and particularly acute - and therefore at times not that accesible to occasional listeners.
Nevertheless, his music and his liberation of tonality had an enormous impact on all composers that came after him. Together with the music of his students Alban Berg and Anton Webern, his style is often referred to as the Second Viennese School, parallel to the First Viennese School of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, who, in a similar vein, changed the history of music for good.
His most performed works are his string sextet Verklärte Nacht, his five Orchestra pieces op. 16, and his opera Moses und Aron. The development of Schoenberg's music can be heard in his Five String Quartets in particular.
4 star review
A clever and satisfying recording
The young Hungarian pianist prestens an original, excelenntly planned programme tracing the links from Romanticism to modernism. Thoughtful playing.
BBC Music Magazine, 01-12-2012
Pianist Martin Tchiba impresses with his play on Linkages"
The idiosyncratic and most fascinating combination of piano-works of different epochs ans styles tends to show linkages between apparent disparates.