Tansman: Piano Music, Vol. 1 / Zelibor

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Alexandre Tansman’s fundamental style is Stravinskyan Neo-Classicism animated by the dance-rhythms of his native Poland and energized by a masterly command of counterpoint. The substantial body of music he produced for his own instrument, the piano, has never been systematically examined in recordings. This first installment presents works he wrote soon after his 1919 arrival in Paris, the city that was to remain his home – except for the years of WW II, spent in American exile. Tansman’s music is a special area of academic study and musical exploration for the American pianist Danny Zelibor.


It is always surprising to be treated to first recordings written as far back as the 1920s and there are three on this disc. It was fascinating to hear them and to read the helpful notes. These highlight what to listen out for among which was an indication that there are echoes of Scriabin among others in Tansman’s experimental 7 Préludes and so there are. In fact that feeling often occurs when Tansman is at his most dreamy creating a state in which fantasy plays a strong role.

The works on this disc seem all the more impressive when one is reminded that they were written when the composer was in his twenties and had another fifty plus years of composition ahead of him. He never wasted any of those years, producing a huge volume of works. He was definitely one of those composers who ‘hit the ground running’ for these early works do not betray any struggle to find his style. His ensuing compositional life was more one of development and refinement.

I’ve always been impressed by Tansman’s works and this disc proves no exception. Danny Zelibor is obviously an enthusiast and can write authoritatively about the music he plays. He gives us compelling performances that will surely win over new fans for this thoroughly decent and principled human being and superlative composer. Toccata continues to shed new light on undeservedly obscure composers and deserve support and thanks from all music-lovers.

-- MusicWeb International

Product Description:

  • Release Date: May 12, 2015

  • Catalog Number: TOCC0170

  • UPC: 5060113441706

  • Label: Toccata Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Alexandre Tansman

  • Performer: Danny Zelibor