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von Tilzer: Ten Songs of Change - Fridman, von Tilzer

von Tilzer: Ten Songs of Change - Fridman, von Tilzer

trptk  TTK0059

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber


von Tilzer: Ten Songs of Change

Maya Fridman (cello)
Marion von Tilzer (piano)


IN SEARCH OF A DEEPER TRUTH THROUGH ‘I TJING’

That cellist Maya Fridman (1989) does not shy away from any challenge is by now well known. Her latest leap into the deep end is a collaboration with composer and pianist Marion von Tilzer (1968). She composed a cycle based on the Chinese 'I Ching' with ten poems selected by the well-known author Lulu Wang. Title is 'Ten Songs of Change'.

Von Tilzer, who hails from Austria, has been active since the 1990s and has a broad background as a composer that transcends genres. You will find influences from jazz, world music and classical. She has also composed for dance performances, films, and television documentaries. She was able to fully utilize her versatility for her new project based on the 'I Ching', the classic of Chinese literature. The eight trigrams that form the basis of this book are her source of inspiration: Heaven, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain and Earth. These are arranged so that the cycle spans the time of a twenty-four-hour day. Von Tilzer herself added a prologue and epilogue to the eight selected poems: the music begins with a morning song in which Fridman improvises on her cello during a recording of a singing young woman of the Mosuo tribe. At the conclusion of the cycle, Fridman sings a poem by the Chinese poet Li Shanyin (813-858) while simultaneously performing a cello composition. Fridman proves to be a force to be reckoned with as a vocalist as well!

What's special is how lyrics and music come together in "Ten Songs of Change. "You have no idea how liberating our collaboration feels," Fridman says. "Marion and I understand each other without words. Many notes are already on paper, but there is also plenty of room for improvisation. I hope that listeners, like us, can let go of their thoughts and really feel the music."

"It's an intricate fabric of music and poems that you have to try to surrender to as a listener," Von Tilzer adds. "In our music and go in search of a deeper truth. We are putting our money where our mouth is and have linked an extensive summer tour with concerts in various spiritual places, ranging from churches and synagogues to Buddhist temples, with the presentation of the CD. We are very curious what the reactions will be and hope to bring a positive artistic message after that difficult period, when the corona virus held the world in its grip."

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Reviews (1)

Review by Mark Werlin - May 23, 2022

The meeting of two innovative and adventurous musicians produces a work of quiet strength and calm reflection. Pianist-composer Marion von Tilzer, who is featured on the Challenge Classics SACD Gees / Ehlhart / von Tilzer: Extempore (Secret Key Masters) - Gees / Ehlhart / von Tilzer, and the Songlines SACD Aros: Train Song, joins with cellist Maya Fridman in a collaborative program of compositions inspired by a classic Chinese spiritual text.

Literary antecedents are connected to many works of classical music, from the fairytales of Schumann’s “Märchenerzählungen”, to Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata” String Quartet alluding to Tolstoy’s novella, and Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” Symphony, prompted by the poem of W.H. Auden.

An encounter with Chinese poet Lulu Wang led cellist Maya Fridman to contact Marion von Tilzer about writing new music based on the “I Ching”, often translated as “Book of Changes”. Von Tilzer’s “Ten Songs of Change” reflects a contemporary perspective on the source text and the culture out of which it arose. She refrains from appropriation of Chinese motifs, following instead a personal direction of musical inquiry.

A sense of openness to experience pervades the undulating piano arpeggios and languorous cello lines of “Water”. The quality of stillness is captured in “Mountain” and “Earth”, while “Thunder” and “Wind” evoke the characteristic movement of those classical elements. Von Tilzer’s writing falls in the margins between genres. “Thunder’s” repetitions and slowly developing variations suggest the influence of minimalism; the folk-like melodies of “Wind” for cello and voice (read by Lei Qiu) flow unbroken into more strident, rapidly-bowed passages in “Fire”.

There’s an elusive, almost magical quality to this music that makes lengthy analysis superfluous. The two musicians respond to each other with exquisite sensitivity. Grounded in their intuitive responses to subtle currents stirred by the I Ching, the album’s careful and deliberate progression over a 45-minute total running time makes it especially suitable for late-night contemplative listening. It should appeal to those who appreciate the solo piano work by Bart Koop on the TRPTK SACD Reverie - QOPE.

TRPTK label owner/engineer Brendon Heinst recorded “Ten Songs of Change” at DXD resolution with a set of DPA and Neumann microphones. The acoustic of the recording venue, TivoliVradenburg Hertz Zall in Utrecht, is warm and resonant; microphone placement sounds slightly closer to the players than might be heard in a recording from a larger venue, but the stereo mix presents a good balance between the instruments, and the closeness of the image enhances the intimacy of the performance. The album is available on physical SACD from a number of vendors, and as a download in various resolutions, stereo and MCH, through TRPTK’s own website and NativeDSD.

Copyright © 2022 Mark Werlin and HRAudio.net

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