Tyberg: A Forgotten Victim of the Nazis Re-emerges
(January 27, 1893, Vienna, Austria - December 31, 1944, Auschwitz )
Marcel Tyberg Musical Legacy Fund
Jewish Community Center
787 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo
NY 14209, USA
Telephone +1 716 886-3145, Fax +1 716 961-0863
1. The Rediscovery of Marcel Tyberg
by Herman Trotter
Music Critic Emeritus of The Buffalo News
In the years immediately before the Second World War II, Marcel Tyberg was a promising young composer whose Second Symphony had been premiered in the 1930s by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Rafael Kubelík. But for more than sixty years his name (pronounced ‘Tee-berg’) has been languishing in limbo, following his arrest by the Gestapo in 1944 and his deportation from his home in the northern Adriatic town of Abbazia in a cattle car, headed for an undisclosed concentration camp. Nothing more was known of his destiny except for an unconfirmed rumour that he had hanged himself on the train rather than face almost certain torture and extermination at the hands of the Nazis.
There were only a few insiders who remembered Tyberg, an introverted loner whose real life was in the torrents of music swirling around in his head. He cared little for acclaim and fame, and several times declined offers to publish his music. Even those few insiders presumed that his compositions – consisting (at least) of three symphonies, two piano sonatas, a piano trio, a string sextet, two masses, some 35 lieder, and a scherzo and finale intended to complete Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony’(1) – had perished along with the composer.
But in early February a feature article in The Buffalo News ( USA ) disclosed that Tyberg had been so fearful of deportation that he had given all of his scores to a family friend, Dr Milan Mihich, who lived in nearby Fiume . Dr Mihich died in 1948, but left the Tyberg scores with his son, Enrico, who had studied harmony with Tyberg, and was then a medical student. In 1957 the young Enrico Mihich was offered a research position with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo , NewYork State , where he went on to establish a brilliant career as developer and director of its Cancer Drug Center . The Tyberg scores lay fallow for many years, while Enrico Mihich was absorbed in cancer research. Then, but in the 1980s, he began to make discreet inquiries with conductors of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra aimed at obtaining first American performances of Tyberg’s orchestral works, all to no avail. In the mid-1990s Dr Mihich turned back to Europe and made contact with the aging Rafael Kubelík, who was overjoyed to learn that Tyberg’s scores had been in safekeeping for more than half a century – but his death in 1996 put an end to that avenue of exploration.
More recently Dr Mihich has found a willing and enthusiastic partner in the current music director of Buffalo Philharmonic, JoAnn Falletta. ‘Tyberg’s music is extremely powerful, rich and profound’, Falletta has declared, ‘and very worthy of performance and recording.’ As a result of Falletta’s enthusiastic reading of Tyberg;s scores, a Tyberg Musical Legacy Fund has been established in Buffalo at the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies, where a supervisory committee including Dr Mihich and JoAnn Falletta has evolved a plan for the progressive introduction of Tyberg’s works.
The Fund’s modest first step was a recital on 12 February by the soprano Lucinda Hohn and pianist Elenora Seib in Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo that included three lieder by Tyberg, the first of his works ever heard in the western hemisphere. Tyberg’s repertoire includes some 35 lieder and songs, most set to texts by Heinrich Heine, but four with texts by British poets. It was three of the British songs that were selected for the recital: EveningBells (text by Sir Thomas More), To a Flower (Barry Cornwell) and My Heart’s in the Highlands (Robert Burns). From conversations with Ms Hohn it was apparent that she has a thorough intellectual understanding of these songs, but in performance her voice was rather monochromatic, lacking any range in either coloration or warmth. As a result, even though the piano writing seemed highly idiomatic, in a clean and slightly spiky late-Romantic style, the emotional impact of Tyberg’s English song-settings will have to wait for other performers to reveal. Plans are taking shape for the eventual recording of all the lieder.
The second step in the rediscovery of Tyberg’s music took the form of performances on 1 March in the Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo by the young Russian pianist Katya Grineva of the First and Second Piano Sonata, completed in 1920 and 1934 respectively. This recital was followed by a session in the Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo where both of these sonatas will be recorded for release on a commercial CD later this year.
Grineva’s advocacy of the Tyberg sonatas indicates that she feels his music is a natural match for the interpretive pianistic principles she espouses. A regular performer at Carnegie Hall, she has singled out Tyberg’s Sonata No. 1 for inclusion on her next recital on the main stage of that famed venue on 1 June – a first step in taking Tyberg’s music to a wider, international audience.
Later this year, JoAnn Falletta is planning to present a concert with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic, offering the first performances of Tyberg’s Trio for piano, violin and cello, and his Sextet for two violins, two violas, cello and double bass. A recording is also scheduled for these chamber works.
Promise, Arrest and Oblivion
The intriguing story of Marcel Tyberg’s fleeting fame, his death, and now his re-emergence onto the world stage hinges on the close relationships between the Kubelík, Tyberg and Mihich families. Marcel Tyberg was born in Vienna on 27 January 1893 , the son of two musicians. His father, also Marcell (but spelt with a double L), was a violinist, and his mother, Wanda, was a pianist who had studied with Artur Schnabel. They were close friends of the violinist Jan Kubelík and his son Rafael, then a budding conductor. In the 1920s, musical appointments took the Tybergs to Gorizia and then Abbazia, in the northern Adriatic region of Italy . But they kept in contact with the Kubelíks, and young Marcel dedicated several of his compositions to members of the Kubelík family.
When Marcell Tyberg died in 1927, his son became extraordinarily protective of his mother. In a touching memoir by their friend Marion Schiffler, published in a German newspaper in the early 1950s. Wanda is portrayed as ‘an unusually generous, gentle woman. Patiently toiling, she copied Marcel’s illegibly scrawled compositions, and the copies were so beautiful that every note appeared as if engraved’.
A tragic aspect of Tyberg’s story was the fact that his loving mother could be naïve and innocent to a fault about the character of the German government. When the Nazis took over the area in 1943 they required anyone with a Jew in the last seven generations of ancestry to register with the authorities. Wanda had a Jewish great-grandfather and without a second thought she dutifully went to report this lineage. A few months later she died, apparently of natural causes. It was then that Marcel, obsessed with the idea that he might be deported, turned his life’s work over to Dr Milan Mihich for safe-keeping.
It was a prescient move: a few weeks later Tyberg was indeed arrested and shipped off on a train, never to be seen again. The bitter irony is that Marcel was only one-sixteenth Jewish, a fact of which the Nazis would probably have remained unaware if his mother had not been so terminally honest about her great-grandfather.
With definite plans for performance and recording of Tyberg’s songs, piano sonatas and chamber music, what about the Symphonies? JoAnn Falletta says that the Tyberg Musical Legacy Fund expects to build on the publicity generated by this year’s performances, the income from sales of recordings, and anticipated donations to the Fund as the base of a campaign to expedite grants that will cover the cost of copying out of the parts for Symphony No. 3 so that it can be performed and recorded. ‘It’s a beautiful work’, Falletta says, ‘that is not radical or revolutionary in any way. It’s right out of the late-Romantic tradition, but still has its own individual stamp. If you think of Brahms, Reger and the more lyrical works of Szymanowski, it should give you an inkling of what Tyberg’s sound is like. More than anything, it’s listener-friendly, and I think audiences will love it.’
2. Tyberg Remembered
by Marion Schiffler
Article first published in Standpunkt ( Merano , Italy ), February 1948; translated by Herbert Winters, December 2005
Everyone in Abbazia(2) knew him. One could not miss him when he in his typical attitude – hands clasped behind his back, the head strangely gentle and slightly bent forward as if listening – walked through the streets. He always wore an old outworn loden coat, much too large for his slight stature, a Basque cap, and always very good shoes which took on a special shape because of his organ-playing. The casual observer might have found his appearance ridiculous and unkempt. But if one looked more closely at his face, one would hesitate, and if one met his gaze one would start thinking. They were large, dark eyes radiating gentleness and childlike joy, and they projected a peculiar light over his features – eyes which gave life to his whole face full of a clear dreamy gravity.
I myself encountered him several times before I was introduced to him. Nearly always he smiled at me in a friendly manner, while his eyes momentarily rested on me in quiet contemplation. Later I realised that his glances and his smile appeared quite accidentally without noticing the human being in the slightest way. He ran past his best friends, and if they did not actually stop him they could not awake him from his musical dreams. His thoughts dwelled in another realm, in those heavenly heights which were known only to the endowed artists of the past.
It was my friend Enrico(3) who told me more about Tyberg. Twice a week the artist spent the afternoon with Enrico at the piano. He had the great gift of being able to analyse each piece of music with deep understanding, and his all-embracing musical knowledge enabled him to introduce his students to realms of complete expression and feeling, realms so difficult to achieve. At the time when Enrico first told me of him, Tyberg lived in indescribable poverty and supported himself and his mother only through miserable lessons. Not too many years earlier his mother had been a well-known pianist whose playing through its expressiveness was especially moving. Between mother and son there was a very loving relationship. Tyberg hung on his mother with the deepest love and reverence; she was described by all as an unusually generous gentle woman. Patiently toiling, she copied his illegibly scrawled compositions, and the copies were so beautiful that every note appeared as if engraved. For Tyberg, the death of his mother was a wound which never closed. Today, I believe that he suffered all blows of fate with that angelic patience because of his unbounded love of his mother and his piety.
‘Tyberg is Polish, and lived in Vienna for many years’, Enrico concluded his story. ‘By the way, he greatly resembles Beethoven, especially in his mouth and chin. lf you want, I will ask him next time to play for us from his compositions.’
A few days later I took the noon ferry to Laurana, together with Sergio,(4) a friend of Enrico and a rather critical music-lover. When we entered Manuel’s music room, with its magic view of the open sea, it seemed to me as if a wave of peace emanating from Tyberg’s quiet modest personality swept through the light chamber. At the time he must have been over forty years old and had just recently lost his mother. This terrible pain created a moving solitude around him which awakened in all of us the feeling that this strange spiritual man already walked a step further on this earth than was granted to most humans. We received the indescribable impression of a man who is not far from the end of his journey on earth and who, unknown perhaps to himself and us, has already raised his glance to that great unknowable which involuntarily frightens us. One felt that for this artist earthly goods and honours no longer had meaning.
‘Caro maestro,’ said Enrico, after the first conversation ended, ‘you know how much I am connected to Brahms and how much I love his music. It is that much more painful for me that I simply cannot come to grips with his Intermezzi. I am unhappy about this.’
Tyberg looked at him with a smile that seemed to return from a far distance; at the time, I could not comprehend his answer. He said quietly: ‘Be happy, dear fellow. I, at least, am happy that you cannot understand them yet. This time will come for you, too.’
It was Sergio who then asked the artist to play from his compositions. At the start a pitiful picture presented itself to us – that slight figure with disorderly clothes and unkempt hair, which, bending over the keys of the piano, called forth tones with an unusual voice was so strange that we could not suppress a smile. But the more he played and sang, the more seriously and carefully, finally breathlessly, did we listen. Already after the first few bars, the feeling overcame us that here sat one of those few endowed by heaven who created great and immortal works.
Tyberg’s improvisation was simply perfect As we got used to the peculiar ensemble of piano and voice, we truly felt as if we were listening to an orchestral performance. Through his incredible ability to modulate his voice he was able to imitate nearly all instruments of an orchestra. It was a performance in which every solo part sounded out to harmonise at each ‘tutti’ in a masterful fashion.
Often, he dropped his hands and called out discouraged: ‘Why don’t I have more hands? Ten fingers and one voice are not enough to play a symphony for you. You can’t understand anything!’ But we understood him anyway. We lived and felt his music. It is impossible to describe the beauty of his compositions. Later generations will perhaps see it revived and experience the same feelings which we felt at that time.
A cool evening breeze swept in from the sea as the artist ended. We had forgotten everything around us. Enrico sat, his head buried in his hands; Sergio the sceptic had become silent; and I leant wordless at the window, where the first stars twinkled over Cherso.(5)
When we begged Tyberg to publish his compositions, he only shook his head. He had refused several offers. He did not thirst after fame and honours. He stood clearly aside from all earthly tumult; human passions and ambitions were strange and incomprehensible to him. Satisfied with the little he owned, he lived happily unknown.
Tyberg was a believer filled with deepest piety. So, for instance, he has completed a Te Deum which was to have its first performance at the consecration of the enlarged Abbazian church. On the evening before, I attended the last rehearsal in the dimly lit church. The organ played, and a choir with a Russian-sounding baritone – a carpenter from Laurana – sang to God’s honour and praise. I listened, moved by the music as I had been moved only once before – listening to Mozart’s Requiem. In that night Italy ’s fate was decided for a long period to come. . It was 25 July 1943 .(6)
For Enrico’s birthday, Tyberg presented him with a Scherzo a scopo di divertimento composed by him. Enrico had once asked the Maestro whether he could also set words to music, for instance, ‘The lesson is up, dear Mr. Tyberg’, and now he had composed a scherzo on these words for his favourite student. The artist began to play; suddenly he stopped and said unhappily: ‘How can one write so illegibly! I can’t read it. Enrico, you play it!’ We all broke out in hearty laughter, and Enrico finished the charming piece.
I will never forget those hours in which Tyberg played his own compositions for us on the organ in the church of Volosca .(7) Shuddering and shivering, we listened to the uninterrupted flow of sounds which ranged from cheerful pastoral tunes to the greatest Beethoven-like outbursts. His face shone transfigured and happily smiling out of the dimness. There was a childlike joy and tenderness in him that is only seen in great souls shortly before their return home. The tears ran down my cheeks. We all had the feeling that he will not be with us much longer. Perhaps he felt it himself, too; he hardly knew any more where he was and who we were. It seemed as if he had to fulfil some final task – to play for his friends – and then to part and never to return.
As he ended, we silently embraced the completely exhausted artist and only hesitantly did words of thanks pass across our lips. It was as if our thanks could wipe out this his last gift. We shook his hand, one after the other. I was not able to utter a word. He, however, smiled, friendly and ingenuous, as if he wanted once more to let us take part in his unknown greatness. In that dark old church he stood like a saint in our midst – a strange ray of light the first moonlight – fell at this moment through the high arched window on his quiet face. It was the last time that I saw him.
During a night raid a few days later he was taken into custody by the Gestapo. All our attempts to get his freedom were unsuccessful. No one was permitted to visit him. Like so many others, he was never heard of again. The only thing we heard many months later was the news of his suicide.
He is one of the many nameless who suffered unknown and died. The memory of this quiet sufferer lives on in the hearts of his friends. His work remains. Perhaps some day, when the world turns toward the good, his work, faithfully preserved by Enrico’s parents, will take its place in musical circles, modest and unobtrusive as he was himself – mildly inflamed by love and beauty like the sea in Laurana when touched by the last rays of the sun....
(2) On the Quarnero Riviera, province of
Fiume – nowadays Opatija in Croatia . – ed.
(3) Henry Mihich – ed.
(4) Sergio Kociancich, retired Italian ambassador. – ed.
(5) An island located opposite Laurana and the Istria peninsula. – ed.
(6) The day on which Mussolini was forced to resign, whereupon the Germans provided the principal resistance to the Allied invasion of Italy . – ed.
(7) For an historical image of Volosca, crowned by the church on top of the hillside, go to www.ushistoricalarchive.com/photochroms/4762.html
|Marcel Tyberg||Piano Sonata #1
|Katya Grineva||Private label
Released by the foundation for jewish philanthropies, marcel tyberg fund
JoAnn Falletta is embarking on a multi-year recording project of the lost works of Marcel Tyberg, the brilliant Italian composer and Holocaust victim, whose manuscripts have been found in Buffalo.
In the years leading up to World War II, Marcel Tyberg was a promising young European composer whose Symphony No. 2 had already been premiered by one of Europe's most prestigious orchestras, the Czech Philharmonic, under the baton of the famed conductor Rafael Kubelik.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marcel Tyberg (1893-1944) was an accomplished composer, conductor and pianist. Notable conductors such as Rafael Kubelik and Rodolfo Lipizer premiered his pieces at venues in Prague and Italy. His eclectic composition style allowed him to compose popular dance music as well as enormous symphonies on the scale of Mahler. Unfortunately, due to the conditions of World War II, Tyberg, only 1/16 Jewish, was sent to his death and his musical career prematurely extinguished. For this reason, basic details about his life are still unknown.
In the Summer of 2005, Marcel Tyberg’s oeuvre, once remembered only in the hearts and minds of friends, emerged from Enrico Mihich’s Buffalo basement to be reintroduced to the musical community. Thus far, the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies, in conjunction with Dr. Mihich and JoAnn Falletta of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, has funded a performance of three lieder, two piano sonatas, and the copying of his Trio, Sextet and Third Symphony. These recent efforts make Marcel Tyberg the most recent rediscovered composer whose life and career was cut short by World War II.
Friends described him as a brilliant musician with an “all-embracing musical knowledge.” His unique appearance made him easily recognizable in his home of Abbazia. His “large dark eyes radiated gentleness and childlike joy.” They gave life to his whole face and filled it with a “clear dreamy gravity.” “He greatly resembled Beethoven, especially in his mouth and chin,” let alone within his musical creations. He was a “strange spiritual man” who seemed to “walk a step further on this earth than was granted to most humans.”
Marcel Tyberg (Jr.) was born in Vienna, Austria on January 27, 1893. His farther, Marcell Tyberg (Sr.), born in Oswiecim, Poland , was a prominent violinist. His mother, Wanda Paltinger Tybergova, was a pianist and colleague of Arthur Schnabel in the Leschetisky school. Because Marcell was a well-known violinist in Vienna, Jan Kubelik, the famous violinist and musical patriarch, and his family became close to the Tybergs. Over the years, Marcel became close to the Kubelik daughters and even composed many lieder to their dedication. Although twenty years stood between Marcel and Rafael Kubelik, theirs was a friendship that would last to Tyberg’s death and beyond.
As of yet, little is known of Marcel’s education and musical training. It is assumed not only that Marcel received a musical education from his parents, but he also had formal training in the art of orchestration, counterpoint and harmony based on review of his works. His residence in Vienna and future friendship with violinist, conductor, and composition student Rodolfo Lipizner (1895-1974) at the Vienna Musical Academy of State suggests that Tyberg was a colleague at the Academy, however no evidence has surfaced leaving us to believe he was privately tutored.
In 1916, while Europe was in the midst of the “War to end all Wars,” the Tybergs moved from the crumbling Austrian Empire to a little resort town in, what was then, Italy named Abbazia. It was only after this move and time of turmoil that Marcel composed his First Piano Sonata (1920) and First Symphony (1924). Evidence found in his diaries suggests that Marcel was extremely anti-war, possibly stemming from his parent’s liberal upraising. This may have been the reason for leaving the cultural center of Vienna for the paradise that awaited them.
In 1927, the Abbazia Symphony Orchestra appointed Rodolfo as permanent conductor. Marcel(l) Tyberg (Sr and Jr) and Jan Kubelik were later listed as two of the young conductor’s preferred soloists; perhaps in the case of Marcell, a section member. Later that year, on November 27, Marcell Tyberg died in Fiume, or modern day Rijeka, a major sea port near Abbazia.. Upon the founding of the Gorizia Symphony Orchestra in 1930, Lipizer not only continued to invite Marcel Tyberg and Jan Kubelik to perform as soloists, but also handed the baton of the Abbazia Symphony Orchestra over to Marcel.
After the death of his father, Marcel and his mother remained in their villa on the Adriatic Sea. As an article by friend Marion Schiffler explains, for the remainder of his life Tyberg “hung on his mother with the greatest love and reverence. She was described by all as an unusually generous gentle woman.” In Abbazia, with the help of his mother’s love and impeccable copying abilities, Marcel completed his Scherzo and Finale for Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (1928), Second Symphony (1931), Sextet (1932), First Mass (1934), Second Piano Sonata (1935), Trio (1936), Second Mass (1941) and Third Symphony (1943).
For a living, Marcel played the organ in local churches, taught harmony to young students, composed dance music under the pseudonym Till Bergmar (rumbas, tangos, slow waltzes, etc.) and performed his music with his inherited orchestra. To supplement the expenses, his mother, a well-known pianist whose playing was “especially moving,” taught piano and gave local concerts. Toward the end of his life, Schiffler wrote that Tyberg contentedly lived in “indescribable poverty and supported himself and his mother only through lessons.”
Schiffler praised his improvisations and compositions as “simply perfect.” His unique improvisatory ensemble of piano and voice evoked the sound of a commanding solo orchestra. When begged to publish his compositions he would always demur. According to Schiffler he had refused several offers. He did not thirst for fame nor earthly possessions. Satisfied with the little he owned he lived happily unknown. However, he was not entirely secluded from the outside world. As mentioned above, he sporadically performed as a soloist with the Gorizia Symphony Orchestra, performed his dance compositions with a small orchestra, conducted his Masses and Chamber works with the Abbazia Symphony Orchestra, and even called on his childhood friend Rafael Kubelik to premier his Second Symphony with the Czech Philharmonic sometime in the 1930s.
On July 25, 1943, Tyberg revealed his unrestrained piety in a performance of his Te Deum used to consecrate the enlarged Abbazian church. This historic date for Italy, on which the Italian Grand Council captured and dismissed Benito Mussolini as premier of Italy, occurred only weeks before Italy’s surrender to the Allies, an act that would seal Marcel and his mother’s fate.
In anticipation of the Italian surrender, the Germans reorganized their military command in southeast Europe early in the summer of 1943 so that it would be ready to take over the Italian-held areas and defend them in the event of a Western Allied invasion. After moving many troops into what is now Croatia, on September 7, 1943 Hitler issued Order No. 26, Improvement in the Defensive Power of Croatia. Its main objective was to bring about closer collaboration between the German and Croatian armed forces. In addition, Berlin assigned each German corps and divisional command a special Croatian delegate for civil affairs, whose German influence was necessary for the protection of military interests. Therefore, the Croatian government enforced all Nazi laws pertaining to Jews in the Croatian and German controlled territories. One such German controlled territory was Rijeka/Abbazia. Eleven days later, Marcel completed his finale work, the Third Symphony.
Although Article 6 of the Law Decree on Racial Belonging of April 30,1941, declared some selected Jews honorary Aryans and exempt from Croatian anti-Jewish measures, in the summer of 1943, Wanda Paltinger Tybergova went to the local German officials and registered that her great-grandfather was a Jew, thus making her one-eighth Jewish and Marcel one-sixteenth Jewish. A few months after this fateful decision that would alter Marcel’s life, she died from natural causes.
“For Tyberg,” wrote Schiffler, “the death of his mother was a wound which never closed.” He now gave those who encountered him the impression of “a man who is not far from the end of his journey on earth and who, unknown perhaps to himself and us, has already raised his glance to that great unknowable which involuntarily frightens us.” On the back of the Third Symphony’s manuscript, Tyberg stated that he completed the work with tremendous difficulty and grief. Because he was creatively and emotionally exhausted, this work marked his compositional mortality.
In anticipation of his capture and possible deportation, Marcel entrusted all compositions and personal writings to his friend Dr. Milan Mihich. In addition, he gave Dr. Mihich a document authorizing him to take any action deemed desirable to preserve his music. Only a few days before the Gestapo would take Tyberg in a night raid, he shared some of his compositions with his friends on the organ in the church of Volosca. Schiffler recalls:
Shuddering and shivering, we listened to the uninterrupted flow of sounds that ranged from cheerful pastoral tunes to the greatest Beethoven-like outbursts. His face shone transfigured and happily smiling out of the dimness. There was a childlike joy and tenderness in him that is only seen in great souls shortly before their return home. The tears ran down my cheeks. We all had the feeling that he will not be with us much longer. Perhaps he felt it himself, too; he hardly knew any more where he was and who we were. It seemed as if he had to fulfill some final task – to play for his friends – and then to part and never return. As he ended, we silently embraced the completely exhausted artist and only hesitantly did words of thanks pass across our lips. It was as if our thanks could wipe out this, his last gift. We shook his hand, one after the other. I was not able to utter a word. He, however, smiled, friendly and ingenuous, as if he wanted once more to let us take part in his unknown greatness. In that dark old church he stood like a saint in our midst – a strange ray of light – the first moonlight – fell at this moment through the high arched window on his quiet face.
Several months passed before rumors began to circulate of Tyberg’s suicide. They were, it seems, erroneous. Only recently has it been discovered that he was indeed sent to the extermination camps San Sabba and Auschwitz. His recorded date of death is December 31, 1944.
In 1945, following the end of the War and the occupation of Fiume by the Communist Yugoslavians, Dr. Milan Mihich and his family fled Fiume to Milan. With him, he took only precious family possessions, including the entirety of Tyberg’s catalogue. In 1948, Dr. Mihich died and the music and related responsibilities were left to his son, and Tyberg’s former harmony student, Enrico Mihich, then a medical student at the University of Milan. Dr. Enrico Mihich later came to Buffalo and became a member of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Mihich to this day keeps Marcel Tyberg’s music safely secured in his home in Buffalo.
After nearly fifty years of ineffective attempts to have Buffalo Philharmonic conductors premiere the treasure trove of works and an aborted collaboration with Rafael Kubelik in the late 1980s, Mihich finally found the partner he sought in conductor JoAnn Falletta. In order to obtain the funds required to print the rough, hand written manuscripts for performance, Dr. Mihich and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies in Buffalo, New York organized the Tyberg Musical Legacy fund. Because of his persistence and respect for his former teacher, efforts are now underway to perform this forgotten oeuvre and reawaken the spirit of Marcel Tyberg so that all may be exposed to “great and immortal works” composed by a man “endowed by heaven.”
Ballarini, Almeto and Sobolevski, Mihael. Le vittime di nazionalita italiana
a Fiume e dintorni (1939-1947). Ministero per I beni e le attivita culturali.
Mihich, Enrico. Marcel Tyberg. Unpublished Article 2005
Schiffler, Marion. Tyberg Ein Musik Portrait, Der Standpunkt. January 30, 1948. Trans. Winters, Herbert. December 2005.
Tomasevich, Jozo. War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945. Standford University Press. 2001
Rudolfo Lipizner. http://www.seta.it/lipizer/en/lipizer_bio.htm.
Falletta, who has established a reputation for conducting artistically important but seldom-heard works, is embarking on a multi-year recording project of the lost works of Marcel Tyberg, the brilliant Italian composer and Holocaust victim. The first release in this series will be Tyberg’s Symphony No. 3.
Musical Work List
The Surviving Compositions of Marcel Tyberg
The list below records all the compositions of Marcel Tyberg known to have survived, along with dates of completion. Key signatures, opus numbers and other pertinent identifying data will be added as they become available.
First Piano Sonata 1914-1920
Larghetto (Tema con variationi)
Allegro molto January 21, 1922
Scherzo December 31, 1922
Finale (Allegro, non troppo) April 12, 1924
Scherzo and Finale for Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony 1927-1928
The date of these two movements – 1928 – strongly suggests they were intended as an entry for the competition announced by the Columbia Graphophone Competition in 1927 for a completion of the ‘Unfinished’ Symphony. The outcry against the idea was so strong that the rules were altered also to admit works composed ‘in the spirit of Schubert’. The eventual winner was Kurt Atterberg’s Sixth Symphony, which was nicknamed ‘The Dollar Symphony’ because of the generous prize it won – no less than $10,000, which in 1928 was a substantial sum. The other two finalists were Franz Schmidt’s Third Symphony and Czesław Marek’s Sinfonia, which won ‘highest recognition’; other works in the last rounds included Havergal Brian’s Symphony No. 1, TheGothic, and Ludvig Irgens Jensen’s Passacaglia. The jury included Carl Nielsen and Donald Tovey. – ed.
Allegro appassionato 1927
Sextet 2 violin, 2 viola, cello, contrabass 1931-1932
Allegro non troppo
Adagio molto sostenuto (Tema con variationi)
First Mass Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Basso and organ 1933-1934
Second Piano Sonata 1934-1935
Allegro con fuoco
Trio Piano, violin and cello 1935-1936
Adagio non troppo
Second Mass Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Basso and organ 1941
Andante Maestoso November 4, 1938
Scherzo September 5, 1939
Adagio September 26, 1939
Rondo September 18, 1943
21 Lieder on Heine’s lyric Intermezzo
1 Lieder “Rache” on words by Poridzky
5 Lieder on words by Daisy von Adelsfeld-Salghetti
1 Ave Maria
6 Lieder “Austrian” for small orchestra - 3 of them transcribed out of the Heine cycle
4 Lieder in English on words by Moore and others
4 Lieder without words
Written Work List
Dr. Mihich also possesses many of Tyberg’s copy books filled with thoughts on a variety of topics.
1) My political and social creed: Thoughts about the world war and the revolution, as well as about various contemporary prolems. A war paper. Motto: “Less freedom for the masses – more freedom for the individual!”
2) The modern women’s movement in the frame of the war and the revolution: A well-meant important warning.
3) A book review with subsequent personal thoughts