SINGLE REVIEW: Waltz by Niclas Tamas

Niclas Tamas is a composer and pianist from Scandinavia. Having begun learning piano at just four years old, this began a lifetime’s devotion to music though issues with stage fright ruled out musical performance as a career. He spent his teenage years composing and tried pursuing a career in IT, but the Millennium Bubble rendered him redundant and having to work as a taxi driver to make ends meet.

During this time he began working on a musical series called Music Landscapes, composed on the move using an IPhone. Unfortunately, he sadly suffered a stroke in 2014 but this led to working on Music Landscapes during his rehabilitation. This resulted in six hour long pieces which are available to listen to on Spotify. In 2017, he relocated to Budapest and began composing on the piano once again, inspired by Hungarian and Carpathian Basin folk melodies.

This piece, Waltz, is a composition in this style, written for piano and orchestra. In 3/4 time (naturally, for a waltz!), it immediately enchants the listener with a haunting melody that brings to mind the late Romantic composers such as Chopin, Saint Saens and Rachmaninov. Tamas’s gift for composition, in particular a gift for melody, is readily apparent and the way he takes the basic theme through some unexpected harmonic paths shows the influence of more modern composers like Bartok and Stravinsky, who were more inclined towards the unconventional and atonal at times.

With the right hand supplying the staccato melody, the left hand plays a rhythmic and harmonic role, augmented by subtle and sophisticated orchestration that again showcases his high degree of musical skill. The magical soundscape the music creates made me think of Tchaikovsky’s ballet music and the modern film composer Danny Elfman.

Overall, Waltz is a beautiful piece for piano and orchestra by a truly gifted Scandinavian composer. Skilfully balancing and combining the highly melodic style of late Romantic classical composers with the adventurous, sometimes dissonant harmonies of more modern ones, Niclas Tomas has managed to forge a unique musical style all of his own. For classical lovers, I can heartily recommend that you take the time to discover and enjoy his music.

VERDICT = 9.2 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

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