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#424785 - 03/09/06 12:35 AM Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
ChopinLives81 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 1476
Loc: New York City
I bought both cd's of leslie howard playing the complete Etudes by liszt including the 1837 grande etudes and the earlier trancendental etudes after Paganini. All i can say is WOW!!!. These pieces are really something else. the shear difficulty is clear and I can understand why no one would dare take a crack at them. I also have the sheet music to follow along. Its also interesting to see how different the first version of La Campanella is compared to the final version.

As for Leslie Howard, he gives a valiant performance. It could be better, but what more can you ask of a guy who's taken the time to do what no one else has done. I'm pleased with the performacnes, but overlly satisfied with the new view on these etudes.
_________________________
"A Sorceror of tonality; the piano is my cauldron and the music is my spell, let those who cannot hear my calling die and burn in He11."

Check my videos @:
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#424786 - 03/09/06 12:58 AM Re: Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
Appassionata Sonata Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 118
As for Leslie Howard, he gives a valiant performance. It could be better, but what more can you ask of a guy who's taken the time to do what no one else has done.

There are no more recordings of these?
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#424787 - 03/09/06 01:35 AM Re: Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
ChopinLives81 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 1476
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Appassionata Sonata:
As for Leslie Howard, he gives a valiant performance. It could be better, but what more can you ask of a guy who's taken the time to do what no one else has done.

There are no more recordings of these? [/b]
To my knowledge no....As far as i'm concerned, no other pianist has ever recorded, let alone played/performed the Grande Etudes, or the First set of the Paganini etudes. Today we only hear the final versions of Liszt's etudes.
_________________________
"A Sorceror of tonality; the piano is my cauldron and the music is my spell, let those who cannot hear my calling die and burn in He11."

Check my videos @:
http://www.youtube.com/user/chopinlives81

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#424788 - 03/09/06 04:34 AM Re: Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
A few pianists *have* recorded one or two of the earlier etudes, but that's all I'm aware of, apart from Howard's recordings (and possibly some woman's, I would recall, who reportedly didn't manage very well at all; and I can't recall whether it was the Paganini Etudes or the Grande Etudes)...

I'm still waiting/hoping Naxos to find some pianist to record the 1837 Grande Etudes for their series of complete piano music of Liszt...

BTW, here's a somewhat relevant and interesting quote from the preface of the Urtext edition of Liszt's final version of the Transcendental Etudes (the preface was written in 2004):

"It was not the object of this second large-scale revision to introduce fundamental compositional changes altering the overall character of the music, although Liszt managed to polish most of the pieces to such an extent that lenghty sections and even entire pieces (nos. 4 and 10) had to be written out afresh. Generally, besides a good many cuts, and in one case an expansion of the form, his reworking involved the piano writing in the interest of obtaining a more subtle and refined sonority and ease of execution. Difficulties for their own sake were expunged, and the style of notation was again simplified so that, for instance, most of his special rubato signs disappeared.
"(...) This third version represents a culmination point in nineteenth-century piano music, not only in the genre of the etude but also as a musical cycle. Liszt regarded it as definitive and never again attempted to revise it."

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#424789 - 03/09/06 01:54 PM Re: Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
Goldberg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 1235
Loc: U.S.
I have an incredibly beautiful live recital recording of Nikolai Petrov playing the first edition of the Paganini etudes, along with the similarly underplayed (and virtually unknown, it seems) Schumann Paganini Etudes (both opuses, I believe, although my CD is unfortunately damaged and I haven't managed to get it replaced yet), the Brahms-Paganini variations, and a contemporary piece based on the 24th Caprice whose composer I can't recall (might be Finissy, or however you spell it). I've also heard Howard's recording and I must say, Petrov's is infinitely removed from Howard's in its pianistic excellence (incidentally, I also must say in Howard's defence that his recording of the Douze Grandes Etudes is amazing).

Janice Weber MIGHT have also recorded the early Paganini etudes (Antonius mentioned a woman), but I'm not sure about that. If I remember correctly, she is known as the first person to have recorded the Douze Grandes Etudes (don't quote me on the "first" part; I know she plays them extremely well). In fact, if you're interested in the Grandes Etudes as well (the second version of what became the Transcendental Etudes) there's a rare video of Alexander Paley playing them in a live recital...that's pretty cool too, if you can imagine.

Finally, are you familiar with the...pardon the butchering of this name...Grand Fantasie de Bravoura sur themes l'Campanella (the name is terribly off, I know)? It's one of Liszt's earliest published attempts at writing Paganini themes for piano, and is of course the first in the series of La Campanella transformations. However, at about 17 minutes, it is at least twice as long as it should be, including the fairly inventive (imo) introduction section. Still, it's a fascinating look at Liszt's technical and compositional development, I think, especially if you compare it to the later Etude versions of La Campanella. My personal favorite is the 2nd version in Ab minor, though.

Actually, on the whole, I find that I prefer the Grand Paganini Etudes to the Transcendental Paganini Etudes, whereas in the case of the Transcendental Etudes, I prefer the popular revisions to the Douze Grandes Etudes, whose additional and unnecessary difficulties often get too much in the way of the music to make it enjoyable...that hardly seems to be the problem for the first set of the Paganini Etudes.

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#424790 - 03/09/06 03:25 PM Re: Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
ChopinLives81 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 1476
Loc: New York City
Goldberg i am indeed familiar with the Grande Fantaisie di Bravura sur la Clochette de Paganini. I have the sheet music for it and have wanted to play it for a long time now.

Do you know where i can find that video of Paley?
_________________________
"A Sorceror of tonality; the piano is my cauldron and the music is my spell, let those who cannot hear my calling die and burn in He11."

Check my videos @:
http://www.youtube.com/user/chopinlives81

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#424791 - 03/10/06 05:21 PM Re: Liszt's Grande etudes and transcendental after paganini!!!!
Contrapunctus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 808
Loc: Whittier, California
Andre Watts recorded the later version of the Paganini etudes. Very good, but a little too much pedal. I don't know why more people haven't recorded #5. It's my favorite. It's the classic Paganini theme song!
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