David Christopher Panzl inspires in Tegernsee
Vibraphone marimbaphone solo recital with works by Abe, Shih, Cheung, Lobos and Castelnuovo Tedesco
A solo percussion evening, does that exist?
The Taiwanese composer Shih, who was present at the concert by the 27-year-old exceptional artist David Christopher Panzl in the Tegernsee Baroque Hall, asked the question. “the seasoning on the dish that is otherwise served”, and a congenial answer to a world premiere. The result is a fascinating, phenomenal concert experience. The large instruments, the metal vibraphone and the marimbaphone with their wooden sound bars, standing around the corner on the stage, greatly aroused the curiosity of the audience. He was born with a passion for percussion instruments, says David Christopher Panzl, from his father, a professional drummer at the orchestra in Bad Reichenhall. The instruments were available at home, and when he was familiar with everything from the snare drum to tubular bells, cymbals of all kinds and the Javanese gong, he still looked for the melody. The combination of melody and percussion technique is ideally fulfilled in the marimba, says Panzl.
The first piece was a composition by his Japanese teacher Keiko Abe, the marimba virtuoso par excellence, who fundamentally contributed to the development and spread of the instrument.
"Variations on Japanese Children's Songs"
The marimba under Panzl's playing sounds soft, like the approaching wind, at the beginning, building up to fast rhythms, masterfully led by Panzl to tension and sonority, revealing their improbably broad dynamics, from the barely audible swinging of the feathers to the bell tower-like roar.
Originally for guitar, and arranged for vibraphone by David Christopher Panzl, the Suite in D minor Op. 133 in three movements by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Italian pianist and composer, mainly of 20th century film music. Emotional in the first movement, beginning dreamily and ending rapidly in the second, then dancing more and more intensively in the last movement, Panzl brought the natural sound of the vibraphone to life with breathtaking technique.
Now the sympathetic Austrian percussionist charmingly explained his favorites to the audience and let their sound magic work with various amazing playing techniques, e.g. with a double bass bow, in the usual way with four mallets, 2 per hand, and the more difficult one with 6 mallets.
The composer Shih talked about his encounter with the young virtuoso, about the creation of his piece in joint work, and read his poem to go with it. So the world premiere was “One bar for six drums and one percussionist” by Shih. The last memory of the mother before her death sounds touching and stirring, a picture of bright light, of a window in front of poplars and the transfigured look of the mother, aroused by the playing skill of David Panzl with additional cymbals, congas, wooden blocks and bongos. Keiko Abe's "Itsuki Phantasy for six mallets" made a huge impression on the audience, as did the three pieces by Villa-Lobos that followed. The music of Etude No. 1 grows eerily out of the depths, dancing in moving arpeggios, Etude No. 8 chordically, striding and dominantly, and the Prelude No. 2 varying the melody. The Etude in E minor by Pius Cheung is an intoxicating conclusion, a piece of late-Romantic inspiration based on Rachmaninoff's style, with overwhelming virtuosity and joy of sound.
The 3rd movement of Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Suite elicited the greatest enthusiasm as an encore and ended a world-class musical performance.
Text: Marcus Vitolo, Kulturvision