This recording that Emilio Teubal has entitled Memorias de Otro Tiempo, is dedicated to his mother Norma Giarracca (1945-2015), who died in Argentina while the pianist was pursuing his career in music in the United States. This music forms the centrepiece of this disc. While essentially a lament fleshed out into a suite in four movements there is something elevating about the emotions conveyed by the music, and it would appear that in the profound melancholy of (especially) the third and fourth movements there is also a strangely uplifting quality to the finale of “April 4th” even as Mr. Teubal bids farewell to his mother’s blithe spirit, which even the mournful tones of the clarinet cannot destroy. It is impossible not to be moved.
This music is a revelation. I have rarely heard a requiem played like this. The music seems to come from a distant place and time, but it draws us in with the most heart-warming immediacy. It’s partly the singing line and the pearlised glow that Mr. Teubal puts on the notes, and partly the fact that he lets each variation unfold in a natural and unhurried way, as though we have all the time in the world. When the score calls for lyricism he finds a caressing tone, and when it demands assertiveness he’s absolutely there, but the drama is restrained. Most importantly there is a sense that the funerary tones turn ever so slightly uplifting by the end of movement four.
Still it seems to be an eternity before we hear a more ebullient Emilio Teubal, on “Playing”. Mr. Teubal’s playing is reflective here too. It is almost as if Robert Schumann has cast a deep glow on Mr. Teubal’s music for the rest of the repertoire is intensely poetic. The dallying nature of the melodic line also adds meaning to John Berger’s statement that appears to hover like a large portrait over the music: “The past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying,” he says in a brief and poignant booklet note. And Mr. Teubal, together with Ivan Barenboim and Federico Diaz have taken this to heart as the trio sounds unerringly eloquent, even in the eventual hopelessness of “En el Dia de los Muertos (An American Tragedy)” and finally “Orzuelo”. Hurrah for Emilio Teubal and his trio.
Track list – Suite Memorias de Otro Tiempo (A Suite in Four Parts) – Part One: Norma; Part Two: Guashington (La casita de mis viejos); Part Three: Memorias de Otro Tiempo; Part Four: April 7th. 5: Playing; 6: La Inquieta; 7: Un Ciego Desacuerdo; 8: En el Dia de los Muertos (An American Tragedy); 9: El Orzuelo
Personnel – Emilio Teubal: piano and compositions; Ivan Barenboim: clarinets; Federico Diaz: guitar
Released – 2018
Label – Not Yet Records
Runtime – 48:40