You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

0

0

▼  5th Inning 0 outs

Music Review

Cédric Tiberghien makes his mark at Longy

Cédric Tiberghien played works by Szymanowski, Liszt, Ravel, and Debussy.

Benjamin Ealovega

Cédric Tiberghien played works by Szymanowski, Liszt, Ravel, and Debussy.

CAMBRIDGE — Call him indefatigable. In his Boston recital debut for the Celebrity Series at Longy School’s Pickman Hall Wednesday evening, 38-year-old French pianist Cédric Tiberghien blazed through a physically taxing program of Liszt, Szymanowski, and Ravel, nearly two hours of music, and then tossed off a pair of Debussy préludes as encores. Tiberghien’s technique is formidable, but it’s his intensity and poetic impulsiveness that catch the ear.

He began with Liszt’s “Années de pèlerinage — Suisse,” at nearly an hour a rare treat on recital programs. The opening “Chapelle de Guillaume Tell” resonated with his big tone, and he milked the modal hymn, which turns into a kind of anthem, for drama. There was no holding back in the eruptions here or in “Orage”; the emotion of the moment reigned everywhere, occasionally at the expense of architecture. Yet the centerpiece of Liszt’s Swiss pilgrimage “year,” the 16-minute “Vallée d’Obermann,” was a well-judged journey, from the brooding descending theme at the beginning to the unearthly E-major calm after the storm and then the unsettling question mark. And the bells of the concluding “Les cloches de Genève” were like twinkling stars.

Continue reading below

“Masques,” which Szymanowski completed in 1916, is a trilogy: “Shéhérazade,” “Tantris le bouffon,” and “La sérénade de Don Juan.” Like Sheherazade, who had to keep her story going to keep her head, Tiberghien seemed to be making these pieces up as he went along, but he never lost the thread of the narrative, and he conveyed the lullaby quality of the end. You could hear the dogs barking at the disguised lover in “Tantris” (a kind of “Tristan” parody), and the one-note insistence of Don Juan’s return to his mirror before his abrupt departure, as if he had been caught in the act by a father or husband.

Ravel’s “Miroirs,” from 1905, sparkled in primary colors rather than pastels, with yearning night moths flitting about in “Noctuelles,” a sunlit marketplace for the jester’s morning dance in “Alborada del gracioso,” and more tender bells in “La vallée des cloches.” It wasn’t just those bells that knit the program together, but the mirror-like surfaces, the rippling arpeggios, the cascades and torrents, the hammer-like repeated notes, the Lisztian tremolandos, the elusive harmonies, the improvisatory structures, and the odd anticipations and reflections of Stravinsky’s “Petrouchka.”

Tiberghien hadn’t run out of fireworks, exploding through “Jeux d’artifice” before subsiding slightly with “La cathédrale engloutie.” If the latter didn’t quite knit together, it still bore the pianist’s gratifyingly individual stamp.

Jeffrey Gantz can be reached at jeffreymgantz@gmail.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.