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The two large scale works of four-hand music, the sprawling Nachklang
einer Sylvesternacht (Echoes of New Year's Eve) and the Manfred
[listen -- CD2 track 3, 6:44-8:00],
form a trilogy of sorts with the violin piece, sharing
motivic material that is also symbolically autobiographical, touching as
they do on Nietzsche's superstitions about time, while making an
oblique, though brief reference to Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. While his
purpose was hardly to imitate his one-time hero, and later bitter
opponent, it is emblematic of his unusual, and emotionally dependent
relationship with Cosima Liszt, Wagner's mistress and second wife.
Here, Mr Coote and Mr Papasifakis team up, as they do again in a
discrete performance of the Monodie a Deux, to fine effect. Perhaps
because Nietzsche's skills as a pianist were undeveloped at best, the
piano writing is dense and thorny, making ensemble playing at times an
uncomfortable occasion for physical contortion; all too frequently the
four hands intersect, collide and all but fall over each other. But the
pianists here overcome all that easily, conveying with precision and
purpose the internecine conflicts that lurk behind the notes as
well as the literary ideas that influence them.
What distinguishes this new recording from the NMP's original efforts is
the inclusion of a CD-Rom that showcases excerpts from an extraordinary
film about Nietzsche and his relationship to music. Produced and
written by NMP founder and creative director Tali Makell, in
co-operation with New York filmmaker Stephen Blauweiss, Zarathustra's
Drunken Song is movingly narrated by the distinguished stage and screen
actor, Fritz Weaver. The imagery and cohesive narrative, accompanied
throughout by Nietzsche's music, is as detailed as it is compelling, and
one of the most absorbing documentaries to come along in recent memory.
Brief as they are, these enchanting clips hold plenty of promise, and
wet the appetite for more.
Detailed and elegantly written liner notes in English and German (the
film is also available in a German version), compliment vivid
translations of the poetry, set to Rückert, Pushkin, Petöfi, Chamisso,
Andreas-Salome, and Nietzsche himself.
Copyright © 2 November 2003
John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA
BUY FROM CDBABY.COM
THE NIETZSCHE MUSIC PROJECT
The Music of Friedrich Nietzsche
Stereo NEW RELEASE (2 CDs) 47'07"/44'18" - TT 91'25" 2003 Nietzsche Music Project
David Blackburn, tenor; Thomas Coote, piano; Christian Hebel, violin; Manolis Papasifakis, piano
CD1: Da geht ein Bach (piano version); Aus der Jugendzeit; Mein Platz vor der Tür; Das Kind an die erloschener Kerze; Da geht ein Bach (vocal arrangement); Ständchen; Es winkt und neigt sich; Unendlich; Gern und Gerner; Das Zerbrochene Ringlein (piano solo); Ungewitter; Junge Fischerin; Verwelkt; Beschwörung; Monodie a Deux (piano four hands); Kirchengeschichtliches Responsorium; Wie sich Rebenranken schwingen; Nachspiel; Gebet an das Leben; CD2: Eine Sylvesternacht; Nachklang einer Sylvesternacht, mit Prozessionslied, Bauerntanz, und Glockengeläut; Manfred-Meditation; Das Fragment an sich. Also includes a CDROM containing excerpts of the documentary film 'Zarathustra's Drunken Song'