For the adventurous Dutch label TRPTK, pianist Mattias Spee made a series with – unjustly – forgotten composers under the motto ‘Eclipse’.
The first part of the series played by Mattias Spee in Eclipse is dedicated to the Austrian Joseph Wölfl (1773-1812), a contemporary and competitor of Beethoven. He left behind a considerable amount of music including symphonies, string quartets, operas, and the requisite piano concertos and sonatas.
Wölfl was particularly tall in stature, equipped with large hands and a virtuoso pur sang: with ease he could span thirteen keys. His music has a strong and penetrating character. While the often gruff Beethoven performed mainly for the old elite, the friendly Wölfl appealed to a much wider audience. Wölfl was an eminent improviser and he was also extremely popular as a teacher. He traveled extensively throughout Europe and could regularly be found not only in concert halls but also at the gaming tables. And now posthumously on the new Eclipse by Mattias Spee, released under the wings of the Utrecht label TRPTK.
Mattias Spee dates from 1997. He studied with David Kuyken and Ralph van Raat among others. He won several prizes, at the Prinses Christina Concours, the Steinway Piano Competition and the VriendenCultuurPrijs. Spee has a distinct preference for contemporary and lesser known repertoire.
“I would like to bring hidden treasures from music history into the limelight,”
says the pianist.
Start of a great journey
The ‘Sonata in C minor’ with which the album opens is colorful, according to TRPTK:
“The ‘Fugue’ in particular continues to vibrate for minutes. The ‘9 Variations on an Andante’ show great musical imagination. The ‘Sonata in B minor’ is compelling and the ‘Waltz in C minor’ forms a beautiful conclusion. For Mattias Spee, the start of his ‘Eclipse’ series for TRPTK is “a dream come true, the start of a great journey. I fully stand behind my debut and find myself aligned with the views of Brendon Heinst, a recording engineer driven by passion and enthusiasm, just like me. I hope that this lesser-known repertoire by Joseph Wölfl will introduce a new audience to classical music, a fascinating world with which far too few are familiar. In short, I wish that many will enjoy this particularly beautiful music.” The album’s release date is tomorrow, June 11.