Like a Shakespearean sonnet that goes to the heart of the matter, pianist Markus Gottschlich crafts melodic sonnets that express what lies inside the human heart and mind. His piano melodies on his debut album When The Day Is Done unlock thoughts that burrow inside his subjects minds and emotions. The music speaks the words that hide behind his character’s silence. It seems as though Markus can translate human thoughts and feelings into music, and interpret human stories into songs similarly to the way that William Shakespeare was able to translate human stories into English literature. Recorded in Gottschlich’s native Vienna at the Austrian Society of Music from March 15-16, 2008, Markus shows his classical training and erudite skill to perceive the right value and rate for his notations, conveying to audiences the sentiment which he means to portray. He plays a Bosendorfer piano on the recording and dedicates the album to Cacilia Gottschlich.
Markus Gottschlich’s album has a selection of elegant after-dinner piano melodies that share the album with slow, strolling candlelight tunes and a number of upbeat tempos and jolly jaunts. The delicate piano rosettes of "Lament" and the comely twittering keys of "My Romance" have an affectionate after-dinner ambience that creates a nice balance between notes which stutter and ones that twinkle tenderly. Gottschlich’s melodic lines do not only move horizontally but also vertically producing notes that layer into palatial tiers like in "Here’s That Rainy Day," a tune which Markus tells in his notes, "I tried to employ lyrical, musical metaphors for rain and re-harmonized the whole thing." Sometimes, you feel like you are watching a play and the character you see on stage is a lone figure as Gottschlich’s piano provides the dialogue for the scene. The character wanders listlessly through "Brazilian Like" and walks with a slow stroll that crates a candlelight aura through "Morning Blues." Gottschlich expresses in his notes that both "Brazilian Like" and "Morning Blues" pay homage to someone who has influenced him tremendously Michel Petrucciani.
Gottschlich’s ability to create melodies that convey the pensive modulation which human emotions chime at is incredibly perceptive. One track, "Jack’s Theme," which was written by Dave Grusin and featured in the movie The Fabulous Baker Boys, is personal for Gottschlich. He explains, "The movie deals with life as a lounge player duo, the sh&*ty gigs, the weird work hours, the transient female encounters, and last but not least, one man’s ambition, Jack’s, to play jazz and not cheap pop or ‘dueling piano’ type music for meager tips." Profoundly, Gottschlich’s interpretation of "Jack’s Theme" has sprightly jumps in the piano keys and charming dynamics. Keeping to this upbeat vibe is "Giant Steps" which Markus wrote as an anthem to bebop players and his mentor Mike Gerber. The confident swagger of his keys and the optimistic spree in the melody’s strut makes this a feel-good tune. It makes you feel like everything is going your way. "Vienna Dreams" is a multi-faceted tune starting out like a weeping melody that builds into a bouncy happy romp. It dies down on the exodus and returns to a slouching tempo. It is so symbolic of a character falling on hard times, and in a flash transforms into a happy-go-lucky gallop which after the streak rides out, the character returns to the reality of hard times. Markus tells in his notes that the tune is a traditional Viennese waltz that he simply jazzed up a bit. "Miyako" is a Wayne Shorter ballad, which allows Gottschlich to experiment with somber bluesy moods, heated explosions, and warm strokes. It is a ballad that endures many temperature changes but stays connected with seamless transitions.
Markus Gottschlich was born on September 22, 1980, and grew up in Vienna, Austria where he received a classical music education, but after high school, he was recruited to play college basketball in the U.S. After graduation, he moved to Miami and rediscovered playing music. He studied under pianist Mike Gerber and plunged into a life of playing late-night gigs in Miami, hence the connection with The Baker Boys movie. Though Gottschlich sees his album, When the Day Is Done as being introspective, it feels like a reflection of the people he has met through his life. It is a bit like a diary as Gottschlich is looking inside others from a distance, or maybe he simply sees a little of himself in everyone he writes about in his music. Either way, his compositions and interpretations express thoughts and emotions that speak from a silent voice.