A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

JACOBI, Wolfgang (1894-1972)

PIANO WORKS


  • Tatjana Blome, piano
  • Holger Groschopp, piano

Wolfgang Jacobi is known to saxophone and accordion players, but he is otherwise largely forgotten and his wider output is still being rediscovered today. He was declared a ‘degenerate’ artist in 1930s Germany but found inspiration in Italy, alluding to Baroque styles in his Sonatas as well as in earlier works that also invoke the spirit of Reger and Grieg. Post-war freedom is reflected in the joyously neo-Classical Sonatine and charming Miniaturen, while the substantial Musik für zwei Klaviere explores the symbolism of one of J.S. Bach’s favourite chorale melodies ‘Durch Adams Fall.’

Tracklist

Disc 1
 
Passacaglia und Fuge, Op. 9 (1922) (00:17:22 )
1
Passacaglia: Grave * (00:12:11)
2
Fuge: Andante con moto * (00:05:13)
 
Suite im alten Stil, Op. 10 (1922) (00:15:43 )
3
I. Präludium * (00:02:47)
4
II. Courante: Allegro * (00:01:48)
5
III. Andantino * (00:03:03)
6
IV. Menuett: Allegretto * (00:01:46)
7
V. Sarabande: Andante * (00:03:17)
8
VI. Rigaudon: Allegro * (00:01:21)
9
VII. Gigue: Allegro * (00:01:44)
 
Piano Sonata No. 2 (1936) (00:11:21 )
10
I. Allegro (00:02:44)
11
II. Scherzo: Allegro (00:04:26)
12
III. Toccata: Allegro (00:04:14)
 
Piano Sonata No. 3 (1939) (00:19:11 )
13
I. Allegro (00:06:11)
14
II. Tranquillo (00:05:07)
15
III. Rondo: Allegro (00:07:59)
Disc 2
 
Music for 2 Pianos, "Choralvorspiel über Durch Adams Fall" (1951) (00:18:47 )
1
I. Allegro moderato (00:06:12)
2
II. Aria: Larghetto (00:06:47)
3
III. Scherzo: Allegro (00:05:49)
 
Miniatures for Piano 4 Hands () (00:15:14 )
4
I. Präludium: Tranquilo * (00:01:31)
5
II. Menuett: Maestoso * (00:01:35)
6
III. Scherzo: Allegretto * (00:00:49)
7
IV. Walzer: Allegro * (00:01:02)
8
V. Rondo: Allegretto * (00:01:05)
9
VI. Burletta: Allegro * (00:01:43)
10
VII. Kanon: Andantino * (00:00:48)
11
VIII. Fuge: Allegro * (00:00:45)
12
IX. Elegie: Andante * (00:00:59)
13
X. Gavotte * (00:01:32)
14
XI. Gigue: Allegro * (00:01:22)
15
XIII. Marsch: Allegro * (00:02:07)
 
Piano Sonatina (1968) (00:05:34 )
16
I. Allegretto (00:01:37)
17
II. Choral: Lento (00:01:38)
18
III. Menuett: Tempo di minuetto (00:02:28)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:43:40

The Artist

Blome, Tatjana

Tatjana Blome took first prize in the Steinway Competition at the age of twelve and a year later gave her first piano recital. In 1995 she made her début with Brahms’s Concerto No. 1 at the Berlin Philharmonie. She has appeared throughout Germany in recitals and as a soloist with various orchestras. She has some 70 recordings to her credit, for Deutsche Grammophon, EDA, Naxos and others. On the Grand Piano label, she has released two volumes of Gerhard Frommel’s piano sonatas [GP606 and 640] to critical acclaim, with MusicWeb International describing them as “nuanced… powerful performances” and American Record Guide finding “one thing after another to marvel at and delight in.”

Holger Groschopp’s solo career has taken him to most European countries, the Middle and Far East and North and Central Americas. He has performed as soloist at major European festivals (including Berlin, Salzburg and Montepulciano) and played chamber music with many prominent musicians. He has had a close collaboration with Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, the Berlin Philharmonic, the DSO Berlin and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. His six recordings released on the Capriccio label with transcriptions by Ferruccio Busoni were given the highest acclaim by a range of international critics, including highest recommendation in the BBC Music Magazine and Fanfare.

The Composer

Karl Theodor Franz Wolfgang Jacobi was born in 1894 in Bergen on the island of Rügen, off Germany’s Baltic coast. Although music fascinated him from an early age, it was only in 1917 that he staked his future on becoming a professional composer. He made this difficult and rather brave decision as he was convalescing at a sanatorium in Davos. He had contracted tuberculosis while being held as a prisoner of war in Carcassonne following his capture at the Battle of the Somme. After recovering his health he studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin until 1922, and emerged as a composer of great talent. Between 1922 and 1933 he taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka-Konservatorium in Berlin and produced a string of notably successful works, including his popular Sonata for Alto Saxophone and some experimental pieces for modern electronic instruments like the theremin. He also took a keen interest in social issues and composed choral music for the trade union movement.

As the Nazis tightened their grip on Germany’s cultural life, the implications for Jacobi’s personal and artistic well-being were severe. Being half Jewish, he fell victim to the regime’s ‘racial laws’, which made public performance of his music impossible. In 1934 he and his family took refuge in Italy, but the introduction of new currency regulations forced their return to Germany a year later. Jacobi was fortunate to escape with his life, but the price of survival was a harrowing decade of lying low. Virtually invisible in his own country, he lived in constant fear and suffered tremendous privations. An additional blow came in 1942 when about a hundred of his compositions were lost in an incendiary raid that destroyed his Berlin home.

By the end of 1945 it was finally safe to appear in public again, which enabled him to resume his teaching career. He accepted a post at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and was influential in re-establishing the city’s former glory as a vibrant and progressive musical centre. In the 1950s he found a niche for himself in the world of accordion music, and began writing what were to become his most widely performed works. These pieces raise the accordion’s status to the level of a highly demanding virtuoso concert instrument. Recognition eventually came Jacobi’s way, and in the last decade of his life he received many national awards and honours. After his death in December 1972 his stock fell again, and it is only in recent years that his music has begun to be rediscovered.

Reviews

“Tatiana Blome is a superb champion for this surprisingly powerful music. She plays with iron-clad command, lovely tonal coloring, and a strong sense for the drama of the works at hand.” – Fanfare