Reading a brief summary of Delz's life, one is immediately struck by the fact that he died of Aids in September 1993 at the relatively young age of 43. Born in Basle in January 1950, Christoph Delz was, from a young age, oriented towards the piano. As a young student, he interrupted his time at grammar school to get his piano diploma and after he took his A-levels, went to Cologne to continue his studies there with Aloys Kontrasky. During this stay, which lasted from 1974 to 1981, he also took lessons in composition with Stockhausen and conducting with Wagenheim. He also experimented in the electronic studio with Humpert. After completing his studies, he remained in Cologne until 1989 when he returned to Switzerland to spend his last suffering years in his native country.
The pieces on this disc are fascinating and profound, but the Schubert apart, they do not make easy listening, particularly the 'Three Scores from Istanbul' which was composed during the last months of Delz's life and is full of foreboding sounds. 'Sils' is Delz's very first composition (obviously for the piano) and in the composer's own words, was written from ideas for sound during a walk across the frozen lake Sils in the Upper Engadine. The music here is decidedly descriptive, but in an abstract garb. The Schubert Sonata, which is the second work recorded here, is very welcome, and makes an ideal relief from the other two dissonant and mysterious pieces full of tormented utterances. Incidentally, this Schubert 'completion' also dates from the very last weeks of Delz's life.
The Georgian pianist Tamriko Kordzaia manages to bring out all the anguish and pain of the composer, and yet is delicately delightful in the Schubert. A disc with different polarities, portraying the beauties of a bygone age and the stark realities of ours.
Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech