WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Tansman: Piano Concertino; Piece Conertante; Elegie / Seibert, Griffiths, Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt

Tansman / Seibert / Griffiths
Release Date: 05/29/2012 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777449   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexandre Tansman
Performer:  Christian Seibert
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



TANSMAN Piano Concertino. Pièce Concertante. Stèle. Elegy Christian Seibert (pn); Howard Griffiths, cond; Brandenburg St O Frankfurt CPO 777 449-2 (53:22)


One could say that the composer Alexandre Tansman (1897–1986) was a man of the world. He was born and raised in Lodz, Poland (a part of the then Russian empire), he moved—like his fellow countryman Chopin—to Paris to live and work among many other talented artists of the day, and he eventually found his way to California during the war Read more years, before finally returning to Paris, where he spent the rest of his days. In a sense, this forced exposure along with his openness to many different influences and styles of music caused him to be categorized as an avant-garde composer in his day—a term that he professed was at least a “little offensive” to him. Avant-garde or not, a wide range of influences can easily be perceived in his music: bits of Stravinsky, Ravel, Milhaud, Gershwin, Debussy, native Polish music, jazz, Asiatic music, along with aspects of the traditional canon. And though one might get the impression that the composer’s music is nothing but a mere hodgepodge of these influences, Tansman skillfully weaves certain of these into each of his pieces, always carefully maintaining his own distinct voice. The current recital is noteworthy for tracing the development of the composer from his original Paris years, through the American ones, and finally skipping over a few decades before returning us to his later style of composition.


The first of these, the Piano Concertino, is a jazzy work, yet one filled with a motoric drive in its opening movement. Christian Seibert handles the difficult movement easily, never losing sight of the forward momentum, yet relishing all of the metrical intricacies of the writing. The simple and straightforward slow movement that follows is a point of relief, filled with delicate orchestrations and wandering harmonies; it too is given a very fine reading here. The Pièce Concertante for piano left-hand and orchestra of 1943 was written for Paul Wittgenstein (the pianist who commissioned a host of left-handed works from the likes of Ravel, Prokofiev, Strauss, Schmidt, Korngold, and Hindemith, among many others). As Tansman never finished orchestrating the work (this was done some 65 years after its composition, by Piotr Moss), it is receiving its very first performance here. What a shame that Wittgenstein never got the chance to hear the composition. It is a relatively short work (lasting only around 15 minutes) but contains some beautiful music: The first movement is filled with an abundance of energy; the second movement is hauntingly beautiful and mysterious; the finale is jazzy, lighthearted, and fun. The last movement sounds fiendishly difficult! The two later works were composed as homages to some of his lifelong friends and major influences, Stravinsky and Milhaud. They are both wonderful musical tributes to his colleagues, making use of themes from each of their major works, but all in a serious and respectful way.


Throughout the entire recital Seibert proves to be a very fine guide, possessing all the requisite mechanical abilities, and always capturing the spirit of the musical moment. As the orchestral parts are complex and highly important to the success of these works, much credit must go to Howard Griffiths and the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt—I could not imagine any ensemble sounding better in this music than they do here. Another winner from CPO!


FANFARE: Scott Noriega
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concertino for Piano and Orchestra by Alexandre Tansman
Performer:  Christian Seibert (Piano)
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Poland 
2.
Stèle - In memoriam Igor Stravinsky by Alexandre Tansman
Performer:  Christian Seibert (Piano)
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; France 
3.
Concertante for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra by Alexandre Tansman
Performer:  Christian Seibert (Piano)
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
4.
Elegie in memory of my friend Darius Milhaud by Alexandre Tansman
Performer:  Christian Seibert (Piano)
Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 

Sound Samples

Piano Concertino: I. Toccata - Allegro vivace
Piano Concertino: II. Intermezzo Chopiniano - Andante cantabile
Piano Concertino: III. Finale - Allegro risoluto
Stele in memoriam Igor Stravinsky: No. 1. Elegia
Stele in memoriam Igor Stravinsky: No. 2. Studio ritmico
Stele in memoriam Igor Stravinsky: No. 3. Lamento
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (completed by P. Moss): I. Allegro con moto
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (completed by P. Moss): II. Andante cantabile
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (completed by P. Moss): III. Vivace - Allegro deciso - Vivace
Elegie a la memoire de Darius Milhaud

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In