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Topic Options
#1974219 - 10/16/12 06:47 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6223
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
I have to confess I am not really a Lisztophile, (I overall prefer Chopin).

Strike one.
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

one 'perfect' interpreter of Liszt - Gyorgy Cziffra.

Strike two.
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

Abyss is part of a 7-piece set, the 5th. of which is very Chopinesque. Any help with editing would be much appreciated, for, as things stand, 7 out of 10 pianists have told me that Abyss is unplayable, or almost.

Strike three. Maybe the totally devoted to Chopin thread will be interested.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1974230 - 10/16/12 07:12 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19585
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
I have to confess I am not really a Lisztophile, (I overall prefer Chopin).
I think a significant majority would agree with you about Liszt vs. Chopin.

Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
And every instinct tells me there has only been one 'perfect' interpreter of Liszt - Gyorgy Cziffra.
Another good choice.

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#1974236 - 10/16/12 07:23 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think a significant majority would agree with you about Liszt vs. Chopin.


We've been here before, but I think a significant majority vastly underrate and underappreciate Liszt, for a variety of reasons. Chopin is a great composer, but so is Liszt. I would say they both deserve the same sort of respect.


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/16/12 07:23 PM)

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#1974250 - 10/16/12 07:53 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19585
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Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think a significant majority would agree with you about Liszt vs. Chopin.


We've been here before, but I think a significant majority vastly underrate and underappreciate Liszt, for a variety of reasons. Chopin is a great composer, but so is Liszt. I would say they both deserve the same sort of respect.
I think they're both very great, but a significant majority among both amateurs and professionals think Chopin is greater and would disagree with you.

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#1974253 - 10/16/12 07:56 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
pianojosh23 Offline
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Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think they're both very great, but a significant majority among both amateurs and professionals think Chopin is greater and would disagree with you.


I maintain my stance that Liszt is significantly underrated, and that also, for the most part, much commentary on Liszt - both amateur and professional - is not to be trusted.


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/16/12 07:59 PM)

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#1974256 - 10/16/12 08:03 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

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Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think they're both very great, but a significant majority among both amateurs and professionals think Chopin is greater and would disagree with you.


I maintain my stance that Liszt is significantly underrated, and that also, for the most part, much commentary on Liszt - both amateur and professional - is not to be trusted.
I wasn't trying to convince you to change your opinion, only to remind you and point out that many don't agree with you.

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#1974272 - 10/16/12 08:31 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

I wasn't trying to convince you to change your opinion, only to remind you and point out that many don't agree with you.


Fair enough, and yes, I do realise this and put the due stock into the opinions of others on the matter.

Anyway, it's not comparisons with Chopin that i'm concerned about, but rather the current status of Liszt - so I regret furthering any comparison with the Polish master.



Edited by pianojosh23 (10/16/12 08:43 PM)

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#1974282 - 10/16/12 09:17 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
Mark Nicol Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Yes,
sorry to start all of this Chopin v Liszt thing. I suppose, as a composer, one must make objective judgments about works and other composers who we will establish as models. There is, as I see it, more chaff in Liszt's output - but there are also the monumental masterpieces. Chopin just produced an extraordinary number of masterpieces.

I can understand that virtuosic pianists, in particular, can become intoxicated with the 'idiomatic superfluity' of Liszt's writing. This can lead to a lack of aesthetic and formal objectivity, so that we are left dwelling on sentiment and bravura, and such that we fail to focus on musical and artistic content.

Inversely, Cziffra does tend to butcher Chopin - primarily because the script does not offer the necessary challenge to his technical superfluity, and because the aesthetic does not cater to the extremes of his emotional temperament - much better suited to the most volcanic outpourings of Liszt.
I don't think I have found my ideal Chopin interpreter yet - but Sudbin may be coming very, very close.

Does anyone think they might be able to play my piece, Abyss?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x52fhz9QLo&feature=plcp


Edited by Mark Nicol (10/16/12 09:18 PM)

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#1974290 - 10/16/12 09:48 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6223
Loc: St. Louis area


_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1974316 - 10/16/12 10:59 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

Inversely, Cziffra does tend to butcher Chopin - primarily because the script does not offer the necessary challenge to his technical superfluity, and because the aesthetic does not cater to the extremes of his emotional temperament - much better suited to the most volcanic outpourings of Liszt.

I agree with you about Chopin re Cziffra, but some of the Liszt recordings I have heard seem equally 'butchered'. Cziffra was so awesomely gifted technically -truly astounding!- but sometimes he inadvertently (or not) let his fingers and musical judgement run helll-for-leather.

Those recordings cause me to cringe, and as such perfect fodder for those who think Liszt is all show and no substance. No surprise that Cziffra is more successful in Liszt's shallower music. I would never want to hear Cziffra in much beyond some of the Rhapsodies, selected etudes, or the Grand galop chromatique.

I highly doubt he would even bring off something such as the great Norma Fantasy. Cziffra's pianism is too self-absorbed, it exists it its own world. Hamelin's uncomprehending recording -to me- strikes me as someone who has possibly never heard Bellini's opera. Liszt knew it very well, and I adore that opera, but only Lewenthal (of recordings I have heard) seems to put the pieces together and give a convincing performance of Liszt's brilliant commentary.
_________________________
Jason

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#1974323 - 10/16/12 11:11 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6223
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

I agree with you about Chopin re Cziffra, but some of the Liszt recordings I have heard seem equally 'butchered'. Cziffra was so awesomely gifted technically -truly astounding!- but sometimes he inadvertently (or not) let his fingers and musical judgement run helll-for-leather.


Astounding as his abilities are, his Liszt is the worst. Possibly the only "great" pianist I wouldn't have walked across the street to hear, unless it was a recital of his transcriptions.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1974341 - 10/17/12 12:10 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
Yes,
sorry to start all of this Chopin v Liszt thing. I suppose, as a composer, one must make objective judgments about works and other composers who we will establish as models. There is, as I see it, more chaff in Liszt's output - but there are also the monumental masterpieces. Chopin just produced an extraordinary number of masterpieces.

I can understand that virtuosic pianists, in particular, can become intoxicated with the 'idiomatic superfluity' of Liszt's writing. This can lead to a lack of aesthetic and formal objectivity, so that we are left dwelling on sentiment and bravura, and such that we fail to focus on musical and artistic content.

Inversely, Cziffra does tend to butcher Chopin - primarily because the script does not offer the necessary challenge to his technical superfluity, and because the aesthetic does not cater to the extremes of his emotional temperament - much better suited to the most volcanic outpourings of Liszt.
I don't think I have found my ideal Chopin interpreter yet - but Sudbin may be coming very, very close.

Does anyone think they might be able to play my piece, Abyss?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x52fhz9QLo&feature=plcp


I think that, out of the works Liszt wrote for purely musical reasons, there is very little 'chaff,' and even the more 'chaffy' ones are very interesting in their own way, and enjoyable if you give them a chance.

I also don't think that, with the exception of some Hungarian Rhapsodies, the first Piano Concerto (perhaps), the works he wrote more to show off his virtuosity in performance, and a small amount of exceptions to the rule, that Liszt's writing contains any superfluity at all. The musical and artistic content is there as much as it is in any other composer, but just in Liszt's own language. I think that the view that this language is in any way superficial needs to change and, just like Debussy wouldn't be condemened in any way for his own, neither should Liszt. I think that listeners of his music should strive toward that mindset. To me, even works like the Transcendental Etudes and the first Mephisto Waltz don't contain superfluity in the slightest and every note contributes to Liszt's musical argument, an argument that is every bit as valid as the other great composers. It must also be said that you could listen to Liszt works for hours and hardly hear any virtuosity - there is also a more subdued side to him.

As for Cziffra...well I agree with Damon. I'm not fond of his Liszt, and would only listen if I wanted to him to hear Liszt as the composer that most people perceive him to be. I do like that composer in good performances of the more superficial Hungarian Rhapsodies, Galop's and Opera Fantasies, but not in his more serious works.

As for your piece - it was very interesting. I'm not the one who's going to be playing it - far beyond me - but I would like to hear it played by a human and I wish you luck in finding one.

And lastly, before I get condemned for my post only being my opinion and that Mark's is every bit as valid as mine, I KNOW that. I just wanted to discuss our respective views on Liszt, is all.


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/17/12 01:41 AM)

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#1974372 - 10/17/12 02:52 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Mark Nicol Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Thanks for a highly intelligent post, and I'll listen to the recordings you talk of.

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#1974374 - 10/17/12 02:59 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
I have some more serious Liszt listening to do, obviously. I don't see anything shallow, at all, though, in Cziffra's interpretations. I think he actually suffers from the same sort of hysterical commentary, as is applied to Liszt himself. I suppose, in the more serious works you refer to, I find that Liszt is less than concise - that's all. One has to keep in mind the enormous volume that he wrote - and, inevitably, the price that is paid re quality versus quantity.

Nonetheless, I will listen again - and try to enter the world.

Thanks.

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#1974375 - 10/17/12 03:04 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Damon]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Ah Richter,

I love him, in ignorance obviously, only for his astounding performance of Rach. 2 with the Warsaw. So Slav! As Debussy said, (in derogatory terms there) of Mahler's 2nd.

But Richter's Rach.2 sits right up there, for me, with the best of the best. Very unreliable , though?


Edited by Mark Nicol (10/17/12 03:04 AM)

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#1974383 - 10/17/12 03:23 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
I have some more serious Liszt listening to do, obviously. I don't see anything shallow, at all, though, in Cziffra's interpretations. I think he actually suffers from the same sort of hysterical commentary, as is applied to Liszt himself. I suppose, in the more serious works you refer to, I find that Liszt is less than concise - that's all. One has to keep in mind the enormous volume that he wrote - and, inevitably, the price that is paid re quality versus quantity.

Nonetheless, I will listen again - and try to enter the world.

Thanks.


In this thread i've been all over the place with what i've listed. I'll give you some examples of the works I consider to be among Liszt's more serious creations, and again while they are virtuosic, it's all for the sake of the music. You've probably heard them, but try them again with this in mind.













I'll give you more if you like. I hope you enjoy them.

Also, re Cziffra - you may just be right. I think with him been guilty of the same things I think lead to the misappreciation of Liszt. I need to give him another go.


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/17/12 04:08 AM)

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#1974386 - 10/17/12 03:31 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
Ah Richter,

I love him, in ignorance obviously, only for his astounding performance of Rach. 2 with the Warsaw. So Slav! As Debussy said, (in derogatory terms there) of Mahler's 2nd.

But Richter's Rach.2 sits right up there, for me, with the best of the best. Very unreliable , though?


I'm not sure what you mean by unreliable. I'd say Richter is among the most reliable. His repetoire was simply enormous - whenever I look up a work almost without exception I find a Richter performance - and almost always they are first class. Certainly one of the greatest 20th century pianists!


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/17/12 04:40 AM)

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#1974417 - 10/17/12 06:05 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Great perfomance of one of Liszt's most neglected masterworks, Pensées des morts. Some prominent Liszt scholars have claimed that both the first and second versions of this work are better than the final version i'm talking about here, although they concede this one fits better into the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses cycle than the other two would. I completely disagree with this assessment and feel that this version is the best, and I think that it's a worthy final form of that extraordinarily avante-garde first version he wrote in 1833. Brendel agreeably cuts out two measures just before the 'descent into madness,' and I have to say it works better for it.





Edited by pianojosh23 (10/17/12 07:10 AM)

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#1974811 - 10/17/12 07:16 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
Mark Nicol Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
Hi Josh,

listened to much of this. I certainly prefer Arrau playing Liszt to Chopin, where his playing to me seems way too affected. Certainly the Jeaux piece either points to, or is affected by Debussy. Liszt dwells on effects even more than Debussy, though, and the canvas is rather swollen, given the content. But then, Liszt seems always to be trying to achieve more than can be realised on the page, on terra firma so to speak. And this may explain his excesses, his certain 'teleological' vent, and the ultimate gravitation towards religion.

Am very familiar with the Sonata B-moll, as I was enraptured, 30 years ago, hearing one of our Adelaide lecturers, Frangcon Davies, play this. He was a phenomenal artist, little known. Time has made me less rapt with the piece itself, mainly for intellectual reasons. But, when a dramatic and lyrical Titan, (sorry - Cziffra) gets the piece in his hands - then some of the intellectual insufficiencies are glossed over.

The Weinen piece, obviously a Passacaglia or Chaconne of sorts, recalls the Bach masterpiece - and my memories of Frangcon Davies again. As a composer, I am very wary and rather wearied by the Passacaglia form. Liszt creates so much imagery, sonority, and effect here - but once again I feel content is rather lacking. Listen to the Bach Chaconne, (although no-one on any instrument really plays it well) and I feel you will find a truly masterful artistic production utilising the Ground Bass form. Moreover, the moral odyssey in this piece is truly achieved - not just affected. That is not to say that Liszt's is not a masterful piece, or that 'normal' audiences are ever really 'rapt with the Bach' Chaconne'. (ha).

What is dawning to me, now, thanks to your illuminations, is the actual nature of Liszt the artist, the man, which, after all - is the important thing here. And once again, in the other pieces here, the Ballade and Anne's ... I sense a deep teleological grasping, a ruminating mind searching, searching. In a way this make Liszt more a true Romantic than Chopin, and, what's more, ever more likely to fail. For all of his overt Romaticism, Chopin is yet very much a classicist in a way - concise, elegant, never too forced, too cogitative. It seems to me that Liszt is, and does all of these things - the music is oft actually more interesting, but also disfigured, alarming, sometimes morbid, sometimes truly ethereal.

All power to Liszt, and to Chopin too. And many thanks for the real stimulation. Now back to composing. (Would you like me to post the audio to the 'Chopinesque' work I am writing in the Composer's Lounge?)


Edited by Mark Nicol (10/17/12 07:17 PM)

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#1974822 - 10/17/12 07:31 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
I see you are an Agerich fan,

but I haven't heard any playing by her that sounds totally convincing to me, (and often quite messy). Can't agree about Cziffra at all, he is actually a very, very controlled player. Have a listen to his pedalling - cleaner than anyone (except Michelangeli - who is more subtle). I think many cannot stand Cziffra's aesthetics, his sheer explosiveness, his sudden shifts into searing lyricism. Moreover, I think many, many players, absolutely intimidated by Cziffra's sheer prowess, kind of have to find fault with him. Amongst composers we have the same sort of thing - don't set Shostakovich or Richard Strauss up as your heroes, your models - just suffice with Reich and Glass, (then you'll be safe).

Sorry to be playing the devil's advocate here. If I have time I'll look up Lewenthal's playing - I know the name but not the sound/world. Remember, the faint hearted are never ready for revolutions - most especially, when they actually happen!

Best wishes,

Mark Nicol

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#1974964 - 10/18/12 01:08 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

... but I haven't heard any playing by [Argerich] that sounds totally convincing to me, (and often quite messy).

But surely you don't find her B minor Sonata messy? Perhaps a bit fast for some tastes. (And not to mention her concerto recordings of Liszt, Chopin, Beethoven, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Strauss's Burleske?)
Quote:
Amongst composers we have the same sort of thing - don't set Shostakovich or Richard Strauss up as your heroes, your models - just suffice with Reich and Glass, (then you'll be safe).

laugh , Strauss, and to a lesser extent Shostakovich are heroes of mine! Especially after I 'discovered' opera, Strauss has always been a very important part of my musical experience. After Wagner he is my favourite opera composer.

Josh has certainly made some very valuable contributions to this thread and introduced me to some works I was not familiar with.
Quote:
If I have time I'll look up Lewenthal's playing - I know the name but not the sound/world.

Very, very underrated pianist, and, alas, one of his greatest recordings -the Liszt Norma Fantasy- has not made it to CD. (A friend of mine loaned me the old RCA LP.)

There are rumours that Lewenthal recorded much, much more Alkan, but they supposedly collect dust in some vault in New Jersey. Cheers...
_________________________
Jason

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#1975050 - 10/18/12 07:34 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6223
Loc: St. Louis area



_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#1975107 - 10/18/12 10:20 AM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19585
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
... but I haven't heard any playing by [Argerich] that sounds totally convincing to me, (and often quite messy).
But surely you don't find her B minor Sonata messy? Perhaps a bit fast for some tastes.
There are some who don't find Argerich's Liszt Sonata so good. (Of course, there are some who like it also)

"Her Liszt Sonata is shapeless, too fast, with the left often murky."
-David Dubal in his The Art of the Piano

"Martha Argerich's 1971 recording spotlights her phenomenal technique and hair-raising pyrotechnics. But sometimes less is more. Her high-energy approach often obscures details, and it can also trample on the structural lines of the work. Her playing seems to scream look at me at times, and I don't think this is a version I could live with for the longer term. Sound quality is quite good, dynamics are strong, but there is little warmth in the piano tone itself. Don't get me wrong, I think very highly of Argerich, but I don't think this recording shows her at her best."
-Phil Gold

The 1999 International Piano Quarterly review, while praising Argerich's recording, does not list it among their top 10 recordings of that work.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/18/12 10:40 AM)

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#1975147 - 10/18/12 12:06 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Thanks, Damon, for posting the Lewenthal on YT. The sound is no match from what I remember on the RCA LP, but what a galvanizing performance. This is top notch Liszt interpretation. Lewenthal plays as if he had just come home from attending a well-sung, dramatic staging of Bellini's masterpiece, and anxious to recreate the experience at the piano.
_________________________
Jason

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#1975153 - 10/18/12 12:19 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
Jolteon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Perth, Australia


I've been rather enamoured with this work recently, and this fantastic recording by Brendel. I've probably listened to it 10 or 15 times today. There's just something about that damned melody! laugh

This wonderfully mellifluous (translation of the) poem by Petrarch is equally as enchanting. I hope that not too much of the original language is lost: smile

Sonnet 47

Blest be the day, and blest the month, the year,
The spring, the hour, the very moment blest,
The lovely scene, the spot, where first oppress'd
I sunk, of two bright eyes the prisoner:
And blest the first soft pang, to me most dear,
Which thrill'd my heart, when Love became its guest;
And blest the bow, the shafts which pierced my breast,
And even the wounds, which bosom'd thence I bear.
Blest too the strains which, pour'd through glade and grove,
Have made the woodlands echo with her name;
The sighs, the tears, the languishment, the love:
And blest those sonnets, sources of my fame;
And blest that thought—Oh! never to remove!
Which turns to her alone, from her alone which came.
_________________________

Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.

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#1975243 - 10/18/12 02:55 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
Mark Nicol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 34
Loc: South Australia
I have a few Agerich CDs. I'll definitely listen some more. Haven't heard her B Minor, but I can't imagine that, for me, it would possibly compare with Cziffra - either technically, or musically.(Yes, I know that some hate his playing).

Incidentally, I have recently been corresponding with Alexandre Dossin, re him possibly coming to Australia and playing some works of mine. He was the 2005? winner of the Agerich competition, (she apparently thinks very highly of his playing) and is Secretary or President of the American Liszt Society? Have you heard his playing? Very distinctive, intimate. Still hoping to get him to Australia, but too busy writing music to spend time on sales pitches.


Edited by Mark Nicol (10/18/12 02:57 PM)

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#1975391 - 10/18/12 07:56 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
removed by argerichfan
_________________________
Jason

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#1975401 - 10/18/12 08:44 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

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Posts: 19585
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

The 1999 International Piano Quarterly review, while praising Argerich's recording, does not list it among their top 10 recordings of that work.

You are self-satisfactorily well read, and a genuine New York sophisticate. Awesome.
I'm sophisticated enough not to write "surely" next to my opinions as if my opinion must be the correct one. Even worse if you knew others found Argerich's Liszt Sonata lacking.

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#1975418 - 10/18/12 09:33 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
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#1975432 - 10/18/12 10:21 PM Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol]
pianojosh23 Offline
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Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 606
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
Hi Josh,

listened to much of this. I certainly prefer Arrau playing Liszt to Chopin, where his playing to me seems way too affected. Certainly the Jeaux piece either points to, or is affected by Debussy. Liszt dwells on effects even more than Debussy, though, and the canvas is rather swollen, given the content. But then, Liszt seems always to be trying to achieve more than can be realised on the page, on terra firma so to speak. And this may explain his excesses, his certain 'teleological' vent, and the ultimate gravitation towards religion.

Am very familiar with the Sonata B-moll, as I was enraptured, 30 years ago, hearing one of our Adelaide lecturers, Frangcon Davies, play this. He was a phenomenal artist, little known. Time has made me less rapt with the piece itself, mainly for intellectual reasons. But, when a dramatic and lyrical Titan, (sorry - Cziffra) gets the piece in his hands - then some of the intellectual insufficiencies are glossed over.

The Weinen piece, obviously a Passacaglia or Chaconne of sorts, recalls the Bach masterpiece - and my memories of Frangcon Davies again. As a composer, I am very wary and rather wearied by the Passacaglia form. Liszt creates so much imagery, sonority, and effect here - but once again I feel content is rather lacking. Listen to the Bach Chaconne, (although no-one on any instrument really plays it well) and I feel you will find a truly masterful artistic production utilising the Ground Bass form. Moreover, the moral odyssey in this piece is truly achieved - not just affected. That is not to say that Liszt's is not a masterful piece, or that 'normal' audiences are ever really 'rapt with the Bach' Chaconne'. (ha).

What is dawning to me, now, thanks to your illuminations, is the actual nature of Liszt the artist, the man, which, after all - is the important thing here. And once again, in the other pieces here, the Ballade and Anne's ... I sense a deep teleological grasping, a ruminating mind searching, searching. In a way this make Liszt more a true Romantic than Chopin, and, what's more, ever more likely to fail. For all of his overt Romaticism, Chopin is yet very much a classicist in a way - concise, elegant, never too forced, too cogitative. It seems to me that Liszt is, and does all of these things - the music is oft actually more interesting, but also disfigured, alarming, sometimes morbid, sometimes truly ethereal.

All power to Liszt, and to Chopin too. And many thanks for the real stimulation. Now back to composing. (Would you like me to post the audio to the 'Chopinesque' work I am writing in the Composer's Lounge?)


Great post - some terrific observations here.

Especially liked this paragraph:

"What is dawning to me, now, thanks to your illuminations, is the actual nature of Liszt the artist, the man, which, after all - is the important thing here. And once again, in the other pieces here, the Ballade and Anne's ... I sense a deep teleological grasping, a ruminating mind searching, searching. In a way this make Liszt more a true Romantic than Chopin, and, what's more, ever more likely to fail. For all of his overt Romaticism, Chopin is yet very much a classicist in a way - concise, elegant, never too forced, too cogitative. It seems to me that Liszt is, and does all of these things - the music is oft actually more interesting, but also disfigured, alarming, sometimes morbid, sometimes truly ethereal."

It's those qualities you listed that really make me love Liszt, moreso than I do Chopin (except I don't agree with disfigured one). Another thing I love about Liszt is, as Busoni said, he is the "master of freedom." His music uses such freedom in expressing the poetic, philosophical, the profoundly human, the transcendent to the morbid and everything in between. This freedom and limitless range of expression (in the piano works, at least) holds great appeal to me.

My opinion is that effect, sonority, imagery are all part of the content - to the point where I find the 'moral odyssey to be truly achieved, rather than affected' in Liszt, too. He does it in a different way to Bach, but I feel that Liszt's keyboard language is to the Romantic era as Bach's is to the Baroque - it pretty much defines the yearnings, interests, and spirit of the Romantic era. As far as keyboard writing goes I find Liszt to be the truest Romantic there is, and it is the Romantic era and its vision that most attracts me.

Thankyou for your post and effort, and yes I would love it if you posted the 'Chopinesque' work, and i'll gladly listen.


Edited by pianojosh23 (10/18/12 10:22 PM)

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