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von Tilzer: Into Eternity - Adamova, Fridman, Hesselink, Thiele, Belinfante Quartet

von Tilzer: Into Eternity - Adamova, Fridman, Hesselink, Thiele, Belinfante Quartet

trptk  TTK0104

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Chamber


Works by von Tilzer

Marion von Tilzer (piano)
Bella Adamova (contralto)
Jacobus Thiele (percussion)
Maya Fridman (cello)
Michael Hesselink (clarinet)
Belinfante Quartet


At the heart of this album is a musical triptych inspired by a letter written by Vilma Grunwald saying goodbye to her husband just moments before she and her son John were killed in the Auschwitz gas chamber.

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Review by Adrian Quanjer - December 22, 2023

People who continue to listen to music produced in the highest possible resolution know what people who don’t are missing. Admittedly, listening while doing something else or trying to manoeuvre your way in dense city traffic, lower res will do. But for a serious and life-like experience, a three-dimensional superior quality with full dynamic headroom is an absolute must. Provided, of course, the producer knows his beeswax. TRPTK is such a music manufacturer and Galaxy Studios in Mol, Belgium, is the coveted place where it was done.

An odd way to start a review? I think not. Good musicians deserve it. Blooming talent and years of practice should not disappear in the impersonal and monotonous turmoil of loudness controlled stampede. And certainly not Marion von Tilzer & Friends’ gripping performance of ‘Music between Heaven and Earth’.

In the liner notes, Sharon Levinson describes the sad yet encouraging farewell letter of Vilma Grunwald “trusting wholeheartedly that love carries us through and beyond the end”, set to music by Marion von Tilzer in three parts plus 5 additional short pieces, the last one ending in the haze of Eternity. Don’t be misled by her compositional sobriety; the result is heartbreaking, reminding us that evil is never far away, as it is here today.

Upon my first round of listening, all participants seemed to be fully aware of the untainted loving character of Vilma’s final words. Playing with supreme tonal ardour and impeccable musical illumination, supporting the beautifully demure, yet spiritually invasive voice of Bella Adamova to perfection, is impressive.

Instead of judging each individually, I’d rather underscore the feeling of common endeavour that emanates from this unique album; its tale of sadness, hope and triumph that these eight talented players convey so convincingly upon us, the listeners. An accomplishment that hardly has any equal as regards sense and meaningfulness of Things. It makes one ponder over such often vague notions as destiny and purpose in life and creates self-reflecting moments. Will humanity ever learn?

This release is more than a compelling musical experience; it is a document that no one should miss.

Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France

Copyright © 2023 Adrian Quanjer and HRAudio.net

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Comment by Marcus DiBenedetto - May 9, 2023 (1 of 2)

Sometimes I must break free from my traditional music library and purchase an album that's new. I was not prepared for the emotional impact of this music. The album was composed by Marion von Tilzer based on a farewell letter from Vilma Grunwald to her husband just before Vilma's death in Auschwitz (11 July 1944). Joost Galema, NRC, writes: "From the dark turmoil of the opening movement, Von Tilzer allows the sung letter to rise slowly — with soft strings and the heartbeat of the piano — from the muck of Auschwitz. And in the final movement, she recaptures innocence from hatred and evil through the simplicity of a lullaby, a beautiful dialogue between alto Bella Adamova and Maya Fridman's drifting cello." There is a studio recording of track 2, "The Letter of Vilma Grunwald", on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvbZBLl_Lyg.

The album is available in SACD and download. It was recorded December, 2022, at Galaxy Studios, Mol (BE) in DSD 256 and released 4/28/2023. I purchased the DXD 352.8/32 surround version. Recording/mastering engineer, Brendon Heinst, has created a remarkable sonic masterpiece. Instruments are clear and distinct providing a broad and deep soundstage. Dynamic range is very wide. The vocals are captured with fullness and depth. The whole ensemble comes together to create a tremendous emotional impact leaving me teary eyed. TRPTK says the genre is classical. I say it's much more. If you're familiar with Intercontinental Ensemble or Aeon Trio's music, there is some of that here. Maya Fridman does her usual spectacular cello playing with indeed her signature "drifting cello". It adds a spiritual moment to the music.

I highly recommend this album.

Marcus DiBenedetto
Las Vegas, NV

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - December 22, 2023 (2 of 2)

Hi Marcus,

I listened to this monumental release and you are dead right. However, to keep this site going (without advertising!) I suggest interested people purchase a physical copy from the vendors listed above.