Pan, Tobias Borsboom

Young daredevil Tobias Borsboom deserves full halls with beautiful Pan

For a pianist who has graduated from the conservatory, it is obvious to go the way of accepted masterpieces. The result is that everyone plays roughly the same pieces, by composers whose names we all know. You might think there’s something sad about this.

An alternative route takes you past the pieces of lesser-known composers. This is the path of the audacious, because with unknown names you don’t draw full houses.

Tobias Borsboom is such a daring pianist. For the Piano Classics label, he recorded the 56-minute, five-part work Pan, written by the Czech Vítezslav Novák (1870-1949).

Novák was a pupil of Dvořák. In the Czech Republic he made a name for himself with well-received piano and orchestral works. From 1906, after hearing Richard Strauss’ Salome in Prague, he developed in the direction of colorful tone paintings, but was sidetracked by conservative forces in his homeland.

Pan is his most extensive piano work, based on a theme that immediately recalls Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie. Ultimately, Novák writes less associatively than the Frenchman, but that is not criticism. Pan is a beautiful work, which holds the attention from start to finish. And that is also a great compliment to the fantastic playing Tobias Borsboom, who will hopefully attract full houses with this piece.

Source: Het Parool