Franz Liszt appreciation thread.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/03/12 07:15 PM

Even after the great mans bicentenary year, he is still hit by the same prejudices and criticisms that have pervaded him both his whole life, and since his death.

Because of this, I have decided to make a thread dedicated to him. (Obviously this has been done with the e-cital, but I want to make a broader sort of thread). This is a thread for discussing Liszt, posting his music, and basically celebrating him. The thread is for everyone, but aimed at people who are particularly enthusiastic about the man and his music.

I'll start the thread by posting some rare-ish works of his that I have been listening to a fair bit lately...


















Posted by: AldenH

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/03/12 09:21 PM

Glad to see some of his "off the beaten [stabbed, shoved, forced, attacked] track" works celebrated! What an incredible figure he was, too...
Posted by: Psychic Ravel

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/03/12 09:30 PM

I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/03/12 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


Ravel owes a lot to Liszt's late works, especially Jeux d'eaux de la Villa d'Este, which to me is the first Impressionistic piano piece.
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/03/12 10:19 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


Ravel owes a lot to Liszt's late works, especially Jeux d'eaux de la Villa d'Este, which to me is the first Impressionistic piano piece.


Actually, isn't his much earlier "Au bord d'une source" just as impressionistic? but yes, I think Liszt was first in this regard.

Sophia
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 12:59 AM

Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


Ravel owes a lot to Liszt's late works, especially Jeux d'eaux de la Villa d'Este, which to me is the first Impressionistic piano piece.


Actually, isn't his much earlier "Au bord d'une source" just as impressionistic? but yes, I think Liszt was first in this regard.

Sophia


Not as much, but still, yes. I've never heard this particular recording before. It is much slower than the recording I have on CD, but it is very charming, nonetheless.

Posted by: didyougethathing

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 01:04 AM

I consider this one of his masterworks:



What a journey!
Posted by: Dachshund

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 01:16 AM

I always thought this piece was beautiful.



It's bummer people don't play it very often compared to the other consolations.

-Will

Posted by: PaulaPiano34

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 01:16 AM

Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
I consider this one of his masterworks:



What a journey!


Ahhh....F# Major, Liszt's Key for the Divine...
Posted by: didyougethathing

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 01:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Dachshund
I always thought this piece was beautiful.



It's bummer people don't play it very often compared to the other consolations.

-Will



I've also loved this piece for quite some time.
Posted by: didyougethathing

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 01:44 AM

I also love Totentanz (the version with orchestra)! Sure, there's some flash, but there are great moments in there.





The part from 4:48-4:58 in the 2nd part just takes my breath away. So "movie score" for its time!
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 04:33 AM

Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


Ravel owes a lot to Liszt's late works, especially Jeux d'eaux de la Villa d'Este, which to me is the first Impressionistic piano piece.


Actually, isn't his much earlier "Au bord d'une source" just as impressionistic? but yes, I think Liszt was first in this regard.

Sophia


Well, yes and no. I always thought of Au bord as more of a Romantic nature study, or otherwise Schumann's Waldscenen would handily predate it. There's no doubt that somewhere in there the seed was planted, but Jeux d'eaux I think is more along the lines of the subject matter that Debussy and Ravel used. He becomes less of a cantor and more of a painter.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 06:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


I never got it either. He did write a lot of stuff merely to show off his unsurpassed technical equipment (like the opera fantasies), but even most of them are void of empty virtuosity, which he would be excused for anyway seeing as that's more or less what he wrote them for. Some of these works are really terrific too, like the inspired Norma fantasy. People always say there is a good deal of trash in his oeuvre, but there is actually very little void of interest, even when he was writing for show off purposes (which is not really a bad thing in the end, seeing as he wrote so much music for musical purposes). Like all composers, he wrote masterpieces, good pieces, and average-'bad' pieces. I do think that a lot of Liszt can be an acquired taste though, as it is often in his best stuff a unique style of writing, and very virtuosic which can put people, especially those with a prejudiced mind, off despite how good the music is.



Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
I consider this one of his masterworks:



What a journey!


Yes! I agree, absolutely a masterwork. Always one of my very favourites! Thankyou!

Originally Posted By: Dachshund
I always thought this piece was beautiful.



It's bummer people don't play it very often compared to the other consolations.

-Will



Agreed. All of the consolations are very beautiful pieces, but 3 (and to a lesser extent, 2) seems to be the only one that's played. It's a shame, because they are all little gems.

Originally Posted By: didyougethathing
I also love Totentanz (the version with orchestra)! Sure, there's some flash, but there are great moments in there.





The part from 4:48-4:58 in the 2nd part just takes my breath away. So "movie score" for its time!


Yes I love the Totentanz too! Terrific piece. My favourite recording is from Zimerman, who to me gets it pretty much perfect. (In fact Zimerman in both Liszt's concerti and the Totentanz is pretty much perfect IMO, transforming these oft-critisized works into the masterpieces they deserve to be).

Here he is in the Totentanz:






Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


Ravel owes a lot to Liszt's late works, especially Jeux d'eaux de la Villa d'Este, which to me is the first Impressionistic piano piece.


Actually, isn't his much earlier "Au bord d'une source" just as impressionistic? but yes, I think Liszt was first in this regard.

Sophia


Well, yes and no. I always thought of Au bord as more of a Romantic nature study, or otherwise Schumann's Waldscenen would handily predate it. There's no doubt that somewhere in there the seed was planted, but Jeux d'eaux I think is more along the lines of the subject matter that Debussy and Ravel used. He becomes less of a cantor and more of a painter.


I agree with you there. I also think however that the first Légende is very impressionistic, and it was written a fair bit before the Jeux d'éaux. Then again while I have an idea, i'm not 100% sure of what impressionistic fully entails - what the 'requirements' are, especially when dealing with a piece firmly in the time of the romantic era. Maybe this is more a romantic nature study too? It always struck me as very impressionistic, however.

Posted by: DBC

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 02:32 PM

A masterpiece played by one of my favourite pianists Dinu Lipatti.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRt8txTphY8
Posted by: Tararex

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 03:08 PM

Like so many of his works these are absolutely transcendental.

The beauty of Beethoven can be so overwhelming that my bones ache and I forget to breath. Chopin seems to willfully destroy my emotions leaving behind a blubbering mess. But only Liszt's compositions are banned from my work hours as nothing else becomes possible when captured in his enchantment.

Liszt alone steals my soul and returns it transformed for the better.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 05:19 PM

I've been listening to the Faust Symphony a lot lately...Love love love this work! One of my favourite symphonies by anyone...It's better in context with all the transformations and all that, but this movement takes my breath away every time...It has to be one of the greatest movements in any symphony IMO.

Conducted by Bernstein who called the symphony 'Liszt's only authentic masterpiece.' Obviously a load of rubbish when there is the Sonata, the Christus Oratorio, Benediction, and more, but still that's high praise of this work by a great conductor.



Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 05:30 PM

I'm an admirer of Liszt, the man and the music, I dare to say that I know how important he has been, historically, musically, pianistically, but, BUT: he tends to be a vehicle for some pianists to show off their own musical shallowness in such a way that it has an effect, unfortunately, on his reputation. Liszt at his best deserves pianists at their best, as do Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann and all the others.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 08:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Dachshund

It's bummer people don't play it very often compared to the other consolations.


The other consolations are often overlooked and sometimes it takes just a certain touch. This was posted in the members recording subforum and I was quite taken by it.

Consolation #1

Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 08:40 PM

I like the first Liebestraum from the set of three Liebestraums more than the second and third.
Posted by: emmov

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 08:47 PM

I've always had a soft spot for Sonetto 104 del Petrarca...
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 10:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I like the first Liebestraum from the set of three Liebestraums more than the second and third.


I agree with you! In fact I like the first AND second better than the third, and the first is my favourite. However I do think this is simply because i've heard the third a minimum of a million times rather than the other two being better - I do think the third is the more attractive work despite how numb i've become to it. But all three are beautiful.

Originally Posted By: emmov
I've always had a soft spot for Sonetto 104 del Petrarca...


Me too...I think this extended miniature contains the essence of Romanticism. It is one of my favourite piano works by anyone.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Psychic Ravel
I'm always confused by people who think that Liszt's music is somehow just flashy, ostentatious show-off pieces that forsake any kind of depth. I always find delicate, passionate harmonies in Liszt's pieces, which are buttressed by his imaginative, visceral pianistic effects.

I was just reading a new biography of Ravel (my favorite piano composer) and apparently his library included a whole ton of Liszt, and you can tell by Ravel's piano music that he encountered a fair amount of Liszt.


Ravel owes a lot to Liszt's late works, especially Jeux d'eaux de la Villa d'Este, which to me is the first Impressionistic piano piece.



Actually, isn't his much earlier "Au bord d'une source" just as impressionistic? but yes, I think Liszt was first in this regard.

Sophia


Well, yes and no. I always thought of Au bord as more of a Romantic nature study, or otherwise Schumann's Waldscenen would handily predate it. There's no doubt that somewhere in there the seed was planted, but Jeux d'eaux I think is more along the lines of the subject matter that Debussy and Ravel used. He becomes less of a cantor and more of a painter.


I just realised, while I agree with you that Au bord d'une source is more a nature study, I disagree with Waldszenen predating it. Waldszenen was written in 1848 I believe, while Au bord d'une source was written in it's first form (in the Album D'un Voyageur suite) in around 1836, and then revised in the 50's into the version we know and love today.

Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 10:50 PM

I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.

*runs away so he doesn't get killed*
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/04/12 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.

*runs away so he doesn't get killed*


While I don't agree with you, i've said similar things many times. I personally believe that Liszt's 2nd is every bit as good as Chopin's masterful 4th Ballade (which I believe to be Chopin's greatest work, and my favourite work by him), and I like Liszt's better. I'm not, however, going to say that it is better laugh

So as OP, i'm more or less on your side. I will protect you from being killed laugh

It took me forever to find a good recording of this work - all the recordings on youtube just didn't do it for me...until I found this one by Stephen Hough, who pulls the work off pretty much perfectly IMO.

Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 03:17 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.

*runs away so he doesn't get killed*


While I don't agree with you, i've said similar things many times. I personally believe that Liszt's 2nd is every bit as good as Chopin's masterful 4th Ballade (which I believe to be Chopin's greatest work, and my favourite work by him), and I like Liszt's better. I'm not, however, going to say that it is better laugh

So as OP, i'm more or less on your side. I will protect you from being killed laugh

It took me forever to find a good recording of this work - all the recordings on youtube just didn't do it for me...until I found this one by Stephen Hough, who pulls the work off pretty much perfectly IMO.


A lot of folks seemed to like my interpretation of it, I recorded the Second Ballade for the Liszt e-cital. I don't think it is fair to compare it to the Chopin ballades. They're in different, equally distant and fantastic solar systems. The Liszt just gives the impression of being endlessly immense, generous and vivid, and the Chopin is so inward and intimate. There's no way to meaningfully compare them.
Posted by: stores

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 04:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.


Pffffffffft!

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

*runs away so he doesn't get killed*


Good idea that.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.

*runs away so he doesn't get killed*


While I don't agree with you, i've said similar things many times. I personally believe that Liszt's 2nd is every bit as good as Chopin's masterful 4th Ballade (which I believe to be Chopin's greatest work, and my favourite work by him), and I like Liszt's better. I'm not, however, going to say that it is better laugh

So as OP, i'm more or less on your side. I will protect you from being killed laugh

It took me forever to find a good recording of this work - all the recordings on youtube just didn't do it for me...until I found this one by Stephen Hough, who pulls the work off pretty much perfectly IMO.


A lot of folks seemed to like my interpretation of it, I recorded the Second Ballade for the Liszt e-cital. I don't think it is fair to compare it to the Chopin ballades. They're in different, equally distant and fantastic solar systems. The Liszt just gives the impression of being endlessly immense, generous and vivid, and the Chopin is so inward and intimate. There's no way to meaningfully compare them.


Well yes. I do agree with you.

On another note, i've been listening to his 1st Ballade lately as well. It is not in the same world of quality and is a much more light-hearted work, but I still love this piece. Anyone else for his first Ballade? Perhaps not first-rate Liszt, but some parts are absolutely magical.

Posted by: signa

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 09:25 PM

here's a beautiful Liszt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEkonOxis_k
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 10:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.


thumb Well, three of them, anyway.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 10:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I think his 2nd Ballade is much better than any of Chopin's 4 laugh.


thumb Well, three of them, anyway.


And I think y'all are nuts. smile

Or, at least, allowing overexposure to tarnish the Chopin. It's not his fault, or their fault, that they're overplayed.

Liszt was a very fine composer, and a musical genius. But Chopin occupies a different universe.

That's my take, anyway. (These forums wouldn't be very interesting if we all agreed on everything!)

-J
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: beet31425

Liszt was a very fine composer, and a musical genius. But Chopin occupies a different universe.


Yes, but not a better universe.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/05/12 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: beet31425

Liszt was a very fine composer, and a musical genius. But Chopin occupies a different universe.


Yes, but not a better universe.


This. I love them both dearly, but I think that with these two, saying one is greater than the other is purely subjective. For me personally, where they more or less cancel each other out in piano works, Liszt has so much great stuff away from the piano that Chopin obviously just does not have.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/06/12 12:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: beet31425

Liszt was a very fine composer, and a musical genius. But Chopin occupies a different universe.


Yes, but not a better universe.

Perhaps you could could back up for a moment and ask what exactly beet31425 meant by a 'different universe'?

I suspect I know what he means, and even more, where he is going with this, but far be it for me to give that away. wink
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/06/12 12:50 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Perhaps you could could back up for a moment and ask what exactly beet31425 meant by a 'different universe'?

I suspect I know what he means, and even more, where he is going with this, but far be it for me to give that away. wink


Oh, I think they know as well as you. smile Well, shame on me for crashing a Liszt appreciation thread.

Seriously, I used to hate Liszt. Let's say I used to give him a 2 and Chopin a 10. Then, a few years ago (partly from reading the posts of some folks here), I gave him a more careful listen, and came to completely reevaluate him. I saw that what I used to hear as bombast was just a part of his vocabulary, which indeed was rich, nuanced and expressive. Sonetto 104 and even the Dante Sonata are on my might-play-someday list.

So I think Liszt is quite good-- I'd give him something like a 7 or 8 now. But Chopin is still a 10. Almost every nuance, every little corner of his compositions, sparkles like a gem. It can sometimes be hard to hear it since some of his pieces are too popular for their own good, and ours. But, Liszt vs. Chopin is like the difference between a powerful, accomplished wise mortal... and a god.

All my opinion, of course, and I already know it's not shared by others. smile

-Jason
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/06/12 01:14 AM

Originally Posted By: beet31425
But, Liszt vs. Chopin is like the difference between a powerful, accomplished wise mortal... and a god.

-Jason


See for me, i'm the same, but the other way around laugh. And it's not just in the music, it's the persona too. Where I get put off by the person that was Chopin, Liszt was truly a godlike human being - and when I listen to his music, I hear not only the sublime music, but know it came from a person who was worthy of it. I just find Liszt a lot easier to love, and frankly his music touches me more. But to each his own! I love Chopin, i've been listening to him a lot lately. I've really re-evaluated his piano concerti, after not liking them that much initially I now am officially in love with them.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/06/12 01:19 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: beet31425

Liszt was a very fine composer, and a musical genius. But Chopin occupies a different universe.


Yes, but not a better universe.

Perhaps you could could back up for a moment and ask what exactly beet31425 meant by a 'different universe'?

I suspect I know what he means, and even more, where he is going with this, but far be it for me to give that away. wink


I'm not expecting a revelation. Do you think I missed something? I don't.



edit: I still don't.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/06/12 05:02 PM

Is it fair game to discuss his contribution to technique in this thread then? I'll start with this since I recently made the clips for another thread. Mazeppa has been brought up a few times for the seemingly odd use of 2-4, 2-4, 2-4, etc fingering on the thirds, generally explained as helping to achieve the sensation of a galloping horse. But digging around, I found a few more examples. The effect, to be sure, seems to result in a punchier sound. If I recall correctly, Horowitz also uses this fingering in the ascending thirds preceding the finale in his transcription of Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" achieving an extraordinary sound.


from Mazeppa

from the 6th Paganini etude-


from Hungarian Rhapsody #1



[/quote]
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 10:05 AM

Liszt Toccata

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 10:20 AM


Alexis Weissenberg plays Liszt (RIP Alexis, July 26, 1929 - January 8, 2012)

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 06:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Is it fair game to discuss his contribution to technique in this thread then? I'll start with this since I recently made the clips for another thread. Mazeppa has been brought up a few times for the seemingly odd use of 2-4, 2-4, 2-4, etc fingering on the thirds, generally explained as helping to achieve the sensation of a galloping horse. But digging around, I found a few more examples. The effect, to be sure, seems to result in a punchier sound. If I recall correctly, Horowitz also uses this fingering in the ascending thirds preceding the finale in his transcription of Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" achieving an extraordinary sound.


from Mazeppa

from the 6th Paganini etude-


from Hungarian Rhapsody #1



[/quote]

I don't have anything to add to this discussion, but that's very interesting! How he uses specific fingerings to achieve an effect in his music. Fiddling around on the piano right now, it does achieve that punchier sound. I don't know how he contributed to technique, other than using new figurations and writing virtuoso stuff that really had not been done before on the piano.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 06:43 PM

Speaking of Mazeppa...I'm currently listening to the symphonic poem version - it came with BBC Music Magazine. This work is often criticised, unjustly IMO. People say stuff like unimaginative orchestration and banal and all that stuff...I hate all those comments. This is terrific music - maybe not for everyone, but this is sexually charged music if there ever was any. And I don't even agree with the unimaginative orchestration - I think that is more to do with most performances, tbh. I have heard many recordings on youtube, but none of them bring out the galloping and neighing of the horse in the variant of the first subject, and numerous other things - very imaginative if you ask me, listening to this (surprisingly exemplary BBC Magazine recording). So this is why I will not post a video on here.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

I don't have anything to add to this discussion, but that's very interesting! How he uses specific fingerings to achieve an effect in his music. Fiddling around on the piano right now, it does achieve that punchier sound. I don't know how he contributed to technique, other than using new figurations and writing virtuoso stuff that really had not been done before on the piano.


One of the things for which Liszt is most criticized is IMO one of his more important contributions to the literature. "Too many notes" is something you will often hear, but they defined so many ornamental effects that had not yet been heard and have been used subsequently by other composers. He outlined what was possible to be done on the piano.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

I don't have anything to add to this discussion, but that's very interesting! How he uses specific fingerings to achieve an effect in his music. Fiddling around on the piano right now, it does achieve that punchier sound. I don't know how he contributed to technique, other than using new figurations and writing virtuoso stuff that really had not been done before on the piano.


One of the things for which Liszt is most criticized is IMO one of his more important contributions to the literature. "Too many notes" is something you will often hear, but they defined so many ornamental effects that had not yet been heard and have been used subsequently by other composers. He outlined what was possible to be done on the piano.


Yes, I agree. Where Chopin often gets continuous credit for being the first to truly making the piano sing, Liszt should get the same sort of credit for his innovations in keyboard technique, as you said showing what was possible to be done on the piano as he was IMO at least as important for it - but instead he just gets criticised for it.

And also it's such a narrow minded and stereotypical view. He wrote so much great music, some of it using a lot of virtuosity and some not. If both the stereotypes were gone, and the people understood his innovations in technique rather than criticising him for lots of notes he would be held in a much higher regard.

And besides...As much bad Liszt as there should be, I find very little without interest. Even his more 'empty,' less inspired virtuoso pieces have interest, can be fun, and have inspired sections. To me they are often much more preferable to the less inspired work of the other great keyboard composers.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 09:25 PM

Thanks to Bech for posting this in another thread. An astonishingly powerful rendition of the 2nd Ballade (the one that's better than Chopin's laugh .)

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 10:10 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Where Chopin often gets continuous credit for being the first to truly making the piano sing, Liszt should get the same sort of credit for his innovations in keyboard technique, as you said showing what was possible to be done on the piano as he was IMO at least as important for it - but instead he just gets criticised for it.


No knock to Chopin, but Beethoven was the first to make the piano sing. Also Chopin always sounds like Chopin, he never pushed the sonic boundaries. He found a niche and stayed there.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 10:13 PM

Actually, Haydn and Mozart did it before Beethoven! And Schubert did it around the same time as Beethoven, which was before Chopin.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/08/12 10:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Actually, Haydn and Mozart did it before Beethoven! And Schubert did it around the same time as Beethoven, which was before Chopin.


Haydn and Mozart didn't know what a piano was. smile
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 03:25 AM

Just read this joke of an article.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/dam...bothering-with/

I'm going to make a post of just the works I know and see how many are worth bothering with...(I have a LOT to explore, many piano works, most of his choral stuff, lieder, chamber and more, so this won't be a complete list).

Be back with you!
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 03:36 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Could the "Damion" who wrote this article be an alter ago for our own Damon? A sort of Jekyll/Hyde situation?

For a long time, before coming here, I would have agreed with this article. Some part of me can't help but still be sympathetic to its main point. It's been eye-opening to see how much respect and love Liszt gets around here.

-J
Posted by: stores

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 04:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Actually, Haydn and Mozart did it before Beethoven! And Schubert did it around the same time as Beethoven, which was before Chopin.


Haydn and Mozart didn't know what a piano was. smile


They absolutely did. Especially, Papa. Their pianos certainly weren't anything close to the one we know today, but rapid advancements were taking place during both their lifetimes and Haydn would have the opportunity to witness a GREAT deal of advancement.
Posted by: stores

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 04:29 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
(the one that's better than Chopin's...)


Except that it's not.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 04:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Where Chopin often gets continuous credit for being the first to truly making the piano sing, Liszt should get the same sort of credit for his innovations in keyboard technique, as you said showing what was possible to be done on the piano as he was IMO at least as important for it - but instead he just gets criticised for it.


No knock to Chopin, but Beethoven was the first to make the piano sing. Also Chopin always sounds like Chopin, he never pushed the sonic boundaries. He found a niche and stayed there.


I can't believe I'm disagreeing with a Damon post, but are you serious? Can you explain to me how the Preludes sound like the Mazurkas or how they sound like the Waltzes? The amazing thing to me is the innovation and variety of Chopin's work, and all with seemingly little outside influence - just a dash of Hummel and a pinch of Bellini. He found a way to use every chord under the sun, properly.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 05:53 AM

I'll be generous toward the 'opposition' and put the CD length at 75 minutes. I'll also be very generous toward the opposition in pieces that I pick, leaving many that I think are more than worthy and 'satisfying' out. I also won't include works that I have heard are more than worthy but I haven't heard, just to make it more ridiculous, and of course the hundreds of works I just don't know (and works that I do know but not well enough). I also won't include alternate versions of works I have already mentioned - even the works in different genres to the aforementioned. I also won't include any of his genius transcriptions...except for his of his own work.

So here it is, the works that reveal a 'truly satisfying creative artist.'

CD1: Christus Oratorio. (210 minutes approx).
CD2: Christus Oratorio.
CD3: Christus Oratorio. Psalm 137. (9 minutes approx).
CD4: Via Crucis (40 minutes approx). Psalm 13. (24 minutes approx). Ave Verum Corpus. (5 minutes approx.
CD5: Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo (21 minutes approx). Orpheus (12). Prometheus (12). Les Préludes (16). Mazeppa (16).
CD6: Héroïde funèbre (24). Hamlet (14). Hunnenschlacht (14). Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (16).
CD7: Eine Faust-Symphonie in drei Charakterbildern (70).
CD8: Eine Symphonie zu Dante's Divina Commedia (50). Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major. (22).
CD9: Piano Concerto No. 1. (20). Fantasie über ungarische Volksmelodien (14). Totentanz (15). Douze études d'exécution transcendante: 3 (4), 5 (4), 6 (5). 8 (5). 12 (6).
CD10: Douze études d'exécution transcendante: 9 (9), 10 (5), 11 (9). Grandes études de Paganini: 1 (5). 3 (5). Trois études de concert: (21). Zwei Konzertetüden: (7). Apparition No. 1. (7). Années de pèlerinage: Chapelle de Guillaume Tell (6).
CD11: Années de pèlerinage: Au lac de Wallenstadt (3). Au bord d'une source (4). Vallée d'Obermann (13). Le mal du pays (6). Les cloches de Genève: Nocturne (6). Sposalizio (8). Sonetto 47 del Petrarca (6). Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (7). Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (7). Gondoliera (5). Tarantella (9).
CD12: Après une lecture de Dante: Fantasia Quasi Sonata (18). Canzone (4). Angélus! Prière aux anges gardiens (9). Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este I: Thrénodie (7). Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este II: Thrénodie (9). Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este (8). Romance in E Minor (3). Ballade No. 2 in B minor (15).
CD13: Ballade No. 1 in D flat (8). Consolations (16). Hymne de la nuit (7). Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude (18). Pensée des morts (12). Funérailles (11).
CD14: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Miserere, d’après Palestrina (4). Andante lagrimoso (9). Cantique d’amour (6).
CD15: Berceuse (10). Deux légendes (16). Piano Sonata in B minor (30). Variations on a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (16).
CD16: Prelude after a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (5). Sarabande and Chaconne from Handel's opera Almira (13). In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi (2). Mosonyis Grabgeleit (6). Nuages gris (3). La lugubre gondola I (5). La lugubre gondola II (9). Receuillement (3). Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch (7). En rêve. Nocturne (2). Valse-impromptu (5). Valses oubliée No. 1. (3). Bagatelle sans tonalité (3). Polonaise No. 2. (9).
CD17: Hungarian Rhapsodies: 1 (13). 2 (10). 3 (5). 5. (9). 9 (10). 12 (10). 19 (10). Canzone Napolitana (5).
CD18: Glanes de Woronince: Ballade Ukraine (9). La romanesca (9). Rhapsodie espagnole (13). Concerto pathétique (two piano's) (18). Präludium und Fuge über das Thema BACH (Organ) (13). La Notte (Orchestra) (13).
CD19: Réminiscences de Norma (18). Réminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor (6). Les Adieux. Rêverie sur un motif de l'opéra Romeo et Juliette (11). Illustrations de l'Africaine No. 1 (8). Réminiscences de Don Juan (18). Soirée de Vienne No. 6 (7). Rigoletto Paraphrase de Concert (7).
CD20: Buch der Lieder Book 1 No. 2 (3). Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth (7). Liebesträume. Drei Notturnos (15). Mephisto Waltzes (36).
CD21: Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (30).

20 absolutely full length CD's, not 5. And I think if I didn't do all those things I said I would at the start...It would be at LEAST double that, probably a lot more. If I included transcriptions, triple, earlier/different versions would also add more. I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of his output.

I also found it funny that he said that there is pretty much nothing in his output that are as good as other romantic works such as the Schumann Fantasy, or Chopin Ballades. That's what happens when you pick the best works those composers wrote. But to list works that I think stand up to them: Ballade No. 2, Piano Sonata, Faust Symphony, Christus Oratorio, Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, at least, as well as many works that come close.

P.S. If you were wondering why I even bothered to do that, it's because i'm bored and have way too much time on my hands.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Where Chopin often gets continuous credit for being the first to truly making the piano sing, Liszt should get the same sort of credit for his innovations in keyboard technique, as you said showing what was possible to be done on the piano as he was IMO at least as important for it - but instead he just gets criticised for it.


No knock to Chopin, but Beethoven was the first to make the piano sing. Also Chopin always sounds like Chopin, he never pushed the sonic boundaries. He found a niche and stayed there.


I can't believe I'm disagreeing with a Damon post, but are you serious?


Okay, I was exaggerating a little. smile There has to be some balance to the Chopin gushing around here. laugh
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/12 09:28 AM

Your comments here brought to mind the comments of Charles Rosen, from an article several decades back. He suggested that, in the compositional arena, Liszt really should be thought of as a composer who created new sonic landscapes; who loved the sense of new sonic experiences utilizing the extreme registers of the keyboard, at all sorts of unprecedented tempi and complexities. Liszt's output has been more commonly associated with the vulgar 19th century melodrama, faux religiosity, and/or sickly-sweet sentimentality that quite frankly repulsed most 20th century listeners; but perhaps there is now (in the 21st) an opportunity to review his pianistic output more in the "revolutionary" sound sense than projecting the hyper-emotional implications. JUst a thought -- from one who's never liked Liszt very much for these reasons, certainly not enough to begin to deal with the daunting technical demands.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/10/12 02:45 AM

Hope ya'll don't mind me posting a lot of my Lisztening on here.

Currently listening to the mighty Christus Oratorio. The work is marvellous. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. Leslie Howard thinks it is Liszt's greatest work and 'far and away the greatest Romantic Oratorio.' Not easy listening but as I have realised, it rewards repeated listening. And IMO Part III has to be one of the greatest hours or so of music ever written.

For those who like choral music, listen to this colossal Stabat Mater Dolorosa movement. It is much better in context, but the work goes for 3.5 hours and this is near the end.

Here's the link to the playlist on youtube for those who are interested in the whole thing.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCF68DE9CCC61FD3D

For the rest of you, here is the Stabat Mater.




Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/10/12 04:22 AM

I think this is some interesting Liszt playing - caution and accuracy thrown to the winds, but a lot of high-spirited and colorful fun. And, by the way, I think this music demonstrates one reason some people don't handle Liszt very well - he's just not serious enough all the time and he knows how to have a good, raucous party on the keyboard.




It is somehow appropriate that Enrico Pace, one of the better Liszt players around, doesn't believe in recordings (an attitude I can easily imagine Liszt approving of), so mostly what we get of his solo work are some poor quality bootlegs. Here's one...

Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/10/12 04:34 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
I think this is some interesting Liszt playing - caution and accuracy thrown to the winds, but a lot of high-spirited and colorful fun. And, by the way, I think this music demonstrates one reason some people don't handle Liszt very well - he's just not serious enough all the time and he knows how to have a good, raucous party on the keyboard.



Would be better if he had more tricks to pull out of his hat beyond the first 30 seconds. Oh wow, he can go fast and loud and then immediately super slow and quiet.. impressive once or twice, not so much for 8 minutes. I often find that these "novelty" pianists are the ones with the least to say.
Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/10/12 04:49 AM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones

Would be better if he had more tricks to pull out of his hat beyond the first 30 seconds. Oh wow, he can go fast and loud and then immediately super slow and quiet.. impressive once or twice, not so much for 8 minutes. I often find that these "novelty" pianists are the ones with the least to say.


I think there's rather more going in that performance than you seem to have heard, but whatever...
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/10/12 10:44 AM

I agree with you here, wr -- THAT is how a Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody should be presented! For me, it was reminiscent of how a jazz pianist with "chops" would approach this -- semi-improvisatory, overtly showy, slick -- IMO, exactly as Liszt had conceived it. I wouldn't approach the "Funerailles", or the "Benediction to God in Solitude" in this manner, but this performance totally works for me.

Thanks for sharing this!
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/11/12 07:41 PM

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/12/12 12:35 AM

Not the way you're used to hearing it.

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/12/12 12:41 AM

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/12/12 08:12 AM

^I loved those Damon, thanks! I really need to get the complete Leslie Howard Liszt...


I've been listening to his De profundis for piano and orchestra lately. It his Liszt's longest work for piano and orchestra at around 34 minutes. It was written in 1834, and left unfinished. The piano part was pretty much finished, but the orchestration was still in draft form. It was discovered in 1992 and some minor finishing touches were made to make complete performance possible. Being written in 1834, when Liszt was firmly in his virtuoso years and had not yet developed into anything close to the composer we know today, it is a flawed work. However I have really taken a liking to it. Great as they are, I don't think either of Liszt's concerti are among his best stuff, although I do love the second. This work here is probably my second favourite piano and orchestra by him behind the gorgeous second piano concerto.

It is really a stunningly original for a work written at that time and at that age. Despite its flaws it is a remarkable and fascinating work with some great moments. A lot of the material would later be distilled and made into the remarkable solo piano work Pensée des morts.






Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/12/12 09:26 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
^I loved those Damon, thanks! I really need to get the complete Leslie Howard Liszt...



I highly recommend the set. Many may say that Howard doesn't give the most exciting performances but I think most are pretty solid. Being a (nearly) complete set, we get to compare early efforts with revisions made over the years. Liszt didn't hide his warts like others.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/13/12 07:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
^I loved those Damon, thanks! I really need to get the complete Leslie Howard Liszt...



I highly recommend the set. Many may say that Howard doesn't give the most exciting performances but I think most are pretty solid. Being a (nearly) complete set, we get to compare early efforts with revisions made over the years. Liszt didn't hide his warts like others.


Yes. I have heard many of his recordings and they are usually pretty good although some pieces I think he plays very poorly. I think the general consensus is that it is great as a reference and for being able to hear everything he wrote rather than absolute first class playing. But what a monumental achievement...

Now if only I had 300+ dollars to spare...
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/13/12 07:48 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23


Now if only I had 300+ dollars to spare...


You don't have to buy them all at once.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/13/12 08:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23


Now if only I had 300+ dollars to spare...


You don't have to buy them all at once.



Well yeah. But buying the big box set is a HUGE bargain. No point buying individual ones if i'm gonna get the big one soon enough.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/14/12 02:48 PM

Behold the awesome power of his music laugh :

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/14/12 02:49 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23


Now if only I had 300+ dollars to spare...


You don't have to buy them all at once.



Well yeah. But buying the big box set is a HUGE bargain. No point buying individual ones if i'm gonna get the big one soon enough.


Agree, and that is why I'm getting the new release of Rubinstein's box set.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/14/12 08:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Behold the awesome power of his music laugh :

Indeed. And for those less comfortable with organ music, here is Busoni's take on Liszt's Ad nos. At first I thought it too slow, but I have come to agree. This, along with the Norma Fantasy, might possibly be the only work to challenge the B minor sonata. (The Met broadcast today was Norma -vintage performance with Sutherland- and it gave me a renewed appreciation of Liszt's 'reminiscence' of the opera.)

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/15/12 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Damon
Behold the awesome power of his music laugh :

Indeed. And for those less comfortable with organ music, here is Busoni's take on Liszt's Ad nos. At first I thought it too slow, but I have come to agree. This, along with the Norma Fantasy, might possibly be the only work to challenge the B minor sonata. (The Met broadcast today was Norma -vintage performance with Sutherland- and it gave me a renewed appreciation of Liszt's 'reminiscence' of the opera.)





I have been listening to that piece, and that performance, repeatedly lately. I put it as Liszt's second greatest solo piano work behind the Sonata (if you count it as his work, being a transcription by Busoni). GREAT work...One of the most powerful pieces in the solo piano repertoire. Dorfman has a CD out with this work and a bunch of others on his site that I am interested in getting after hearing his amazing performance of the Ad Nos. I find it remarkable that piano skills is not and has not in fact been his primary ambition, but rather his core ambition seems to be visual art. Some people just got it!
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/15/12 11:05 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Damon
Behold the awesome power of his music laugh :

Indeed.


I thought you would enjoy that. smile
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/15/12 11:29 AM

I personally appreciate the ability to listen to Schubert songs expertly transcribed with the singing removed.



Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/15/12 03:05 PM

I'm afraid I prefer having the singer there, but of course, the transcriptions are expertly done.
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/15/12 03:40 PM


Nobody plays this study like askkenazy does

I have met Leslie! He is such a wonderful man, and he knows liszt's life so well its really scary!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/16/12 12:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
I personally appreciate the ability to listen to Schubert songs expertly transcribed with the singing removed.





Terrific! Thankyou.

Liszt's transcriptions of his own songs are very good too. Obviously there's the three Liebesträume, and the three Petrarch Sonnets, but there are also two lovely books of his own song transcriptions.

Here are a couple of my favourites.





Originally Posted By: EtudeBasher

Nobody plays this study like askkenazy does

I have met Leslie! He is such a wonderful man, and he knows liszt's life so well its really scary!


Thankyou! I hadn't heard Ashkenazy in that Etude before. Terrific.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/16/12 07:19 AM

Wow. I just heard 'Tristia' by Liszt for the first time. It was written in 1880 and is based on Valee d'Obermann. Unlike the second version for trio (Tristia is the third) the piece is very different from the original. It is very much like his other late pieces in that it is very dark...and hauntingly beautiful.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/22/12 04:18 PM

Yesterday I was randomly looking at solo piano recitals on youtube and I found this one by Kissin. I actually went to his playing of the same program in September, and watching it again brought back good memories. It is an all Liszt recital (in Verbia, July 23 2011) including, in order:

Ricordanza, Etudes D'exécution Transcendante No.9.
Piano Sonata in B minor.
Funérailles (Harmonies poétiques et religieuses No. 7)
Les années de pèlerinage 1ère Année (La Suisse) No.6 - Vallée d'Obermann.
Les années de pèlerinage 2ème Année (L'Italie supplément) Venezia e Napoli.

Encores:

Liebesträume No. 3 in A-flat.
Soirées de Vienne, valse caprice for piano No. 6 (after Schubert D. 969 & 779).
Widmung (Liebeslied), transcription for piano (after Schumann)



Enjoy!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/25/12 10:43 AM

I actually like Liszt's Ave Verum Corpus better than Mozart's.




Edit: So I just realised I have the last four posts in this thread. Hope ya'll don't mind laugh
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 11:28 AM

So what are everyones favourite works by Liszt? I was thinking about it today, and my absolute (extremely narrowed down) favourites are...(In no order)

Transcendetal Etude's 10-12.
Un Sospiro.
Vallée d'Obermann.
Les cloches de Genève: Nocturne.
Sonetto 104 del Petrarca.
Après une lecture de Dante: Fantasia Quasi Sonata.
Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este.
Ballade No. 2 in B minor.
Piano Sonata in B minor.
La lugubre gondola II.
Mephisto Waltz No. 1.
Réminiscences de Norma.
Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major.
Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (Both the organ version or Busoni's transcription for solo piano).
Les Préludes.
Eine Symphonie zu Dante's Divina Commedia.
Eine Faust-Symphonie.
Christus.


Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 12:14 PM

I started reading through the Dante Sonata today. It's actually really good!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 12:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I started reading through the Dante Sonata today. It's actually really good!

I didn't like it when I first made its acquaintance some years ago, but it is a work which has definitely grown on me!
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 01:00 PM

Pensees des morts is amazing
So are the variations on Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 01:02 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I started reading through the Dante Sonata today. It's actually really good!

I didn't like it when I first made its acquaintance some years ago, but it is a work which has definitely grown on me!


My feelings towards Mr. L. have dimmed a bit in recent months, but I've always loved this work, and I still do. It's the only "warhorse-ish" piece of his that I entertain fantasies of actually playing. Surprised that it has anything less than the most honored reputation among those who know.

-J
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 01:14 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (Both the organ version or Busoni's transcription for solo piano).

If you've never heard it live on the organ, you are in for a thrill. I remember hearing it live at St. Paul's Cathedral in London when I was a teen, and it was nothing short of a life-changing, transcendental experience!

Unfortunate to report, however, that last Sunday I went to a doctorate organ recital on the Flentrop organ at my local Episcopal cathedral. Excellent playing -as expected- but the programme ended with Liszt's other major organ work (besides the B.A.C.H.) the Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen.

Not sure what to make of that piece. I've never found it very interesting on the piano, though on the organ it certainly builds to a thrilling conclusion. Alas, until then, we're treated to a lot of meandering, tedious chromaticism. Yet august musicians such as Alfred Brendel have written very highly of it.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/08/12 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I started reading through the Dante Sonata today. It's actually really good!

I didn't like it when I first made its acquaintance some years ago, but it is a work which has definitely grown on me!


Terrific piece. NOT easy to pull off, however. I've been up and down on it for awhile because it's so easy to butcher. The first half of the piece, to me, is one of the best 10 or so minutes of any piano work. The rest of the piece i've been up and down on, but played well it can be worthy of the first half, played poorly it can ruin it.

Originally Posted By: sophial
Pensees des morts is amazing
So are the variations on Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen



I LOVE Pensees des morts too. Probably my favourite piece in that remarkable cycle. It only just missed out on my favourites from a few posts up laugh However, like Jason the Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen variations has never reached me. One of his few important works I don't like, and the praise heaped on it frankly baffles me. But when such esteemed musicians are so high on it, i'm probably the one in the wrong! I haven't heard it for organ, though. Another of Liszt's piano pieces in the rarified company of ones I don't like is the Fantasy and Fugue on BACH. However, I MUCH prefer and really like the organ version, so maybe i'll like the variations better on organ too, even if Jason didn't.

Maybe i'm just not getting something with the piece though. Maybe you can help me there Sophial? What do you like about this piece?

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (Both the organ version or Busoni's transcription for solo piano).

If you've never heard it live on the organ, you are in for a thrill. I remember hearing it live at St. Paul's Cathedral in London when I was a teen, and it was nothing short of a life-changing, transcendental experience!


I'm sure it was! I haven't heard it live on organ. I've actually never been to a solo organ recital! Something I have to look forward to in my future.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/09/12 06:01 PM

Another interesting transcription. Tchaikovsky this time.

Posted by: LegendsPiano

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/10/12 12:48 AM

Mephisto Waltz No 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2Cgr0eZ0rk
Posted by: Samuel1993

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/10/12 05:02 AM

I can defiantly see why some may be indifferent to Liszt, his music at times is very showy, but in my opinion, beneath all the virtuosity and showmanship, Liszt was extremely sensitive and VERY romantic. Here's some of my favorite pieces which show "the other side" of Liszt:-

http://youtu.be/3WereFdCsII
A little posthumously published piece "Romance in E minor S.196". One of my all time favorite Liszt pieces.

http://youtu.be/MepHSMl0NGs
"Klavierstucke in A flat" - absoloutley beautiful.

http://youtu.be/iCFn5agTjTE
The first of the three Liebstraum, my favorite one. The first two are often overlooked because of the popularity of the third one, this one is just stunning. The third one, despite its overexposure is absoloutley gorgeous though, the final section gives me chills everytime.

You've got to love Liszt, very difficult to play but an absoloute genius.

I almost forgot this:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inh-Jyd7UhY
Hungarian Rhapsody in E minor ""Héroïde élégiaque" this one speaks for itself.
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/10/12 11:35 AM

pianojosh23,

The Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen variations are an enormous outpouring of grief. My understanding is that they were written in the aftermath of the deaths of his daughter Blandine and son Daniel. Read Alan Walker on this piece in his biography of Liszt. This work holds tremendous emotional power-- you can hear at various points the piano weeping in downward minor seconds, and an absolutely overwhelming emotional climax of rage and questioning of God. Liszt writes a miraculous moment then as a fragile ray of grace and light breaks through, and a theme of a Bach cantata is used to form the coda (translated roughly as "What God does is well done"). It's a stunning piece.

Sophia
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/11/12 11:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
I can defiantly see why some may be indifferent to Liszt, his music at times is very showy, but in my opinion, beneath all the virtuosity and showmanship, Liszt was extremely sensitive and VERY romantic. Here's some of my favorite pieces which show "the other side" of Liszt:-

http://youtu.be/3WereFdCsII
A little posthumously published piece "Romance in E minor S.196". One of my all time favorite Liszt pieces.

http://youtu.be/MepHSMl0NGs
"Klavierstucke in A flat" - absoloutley beautiful.

http://youtu.be/iCFn5agTjTE
The first of the three Liebstraum, my favorite one. The first two are often overlooked because of the popularity of the third one, this one is just stunning. The third one, despite its overexposure is absoloutley gorgeous though, the final section gives me chills everytime.

You've got to love Liszt, very difficult to play but an absoloute genius.

I almost forgot this:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inh-Jyd7UhY
Hungarian Rhapsody in E minor ""Héroïde élégiaque" this one speaks for itself.



Amen to what you said! I myself have taken a very long hard look at his output, and while he WAS that virtuoso, sex symbol...He was also an absolute genius as a composer, i'm convinced.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/11/12 11:26 PM

Originally Posted By: sophial
pianojosh23,

The Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen variations are an enormous outpouring of grief. My understanding is that they were written in the aftermath of the deaths of his daughter Blandine and son Daniel. Read Alan Walker on this piece in his biography of Liszt. This work holds tremendous emotional power-- you can hear at various points the piano weeping in downward minor seconds, and an absolutely overwhelming emotional climax of rage and questioning of God. Liszt writes a miraculous moment then as a fragile ray of grace and light breaks through, and a theme of a Bach cantata is used to form the coda (translated roughly as "What God does is well done"). It's a stunning piece.

Sophia


Wow, thanks for that. After reading that and finding a good recording (by gooddog's piano teacher, no less), I now completely agree with you and see it for the masterpiece it is! What a remarkable piece. Thankyou!
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/11/12 11:48 PM

Loved me some Liszt this week: two concerts of his transcriptions.

I almost don't want to learn a new program for next year!
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/11/12 11:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I started reading through the Dante Sonata today. It's actually really good!


...and it's actually not that hard once you get it! It's just an endurance test.
Posted by: Dubious

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/12/12 08:15 AM

BTW, there is an interesting article by Charles Rosen, in the NY Review of Books,

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/feb/23/super-power-franz-liszt/

Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/12/12 09:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Brendan
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I started reading through the Dante Sonata today. It's actually really good!


...and it's actually not that hard once you get it! It's just an endurance test.


That's what it seemed like when I was reading through it... It seems like the hardest part is conceptualizing how you want it to really go.

By the way, if you are able to play the word "conceptualizing" in Scrabble, you could score over 1000 points:

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/20/12 10:15 PM

Lovely piece from the "Canticle of the Sun" (also sounds like it is playable by mortals.)

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/21/12 09:31 PM


Some songs are about love, others...spruce trees?

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/22/12 06:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Lovely piece from the "Canticle of the Sun" (also sounds like it is playable by mortals.)



I always loved that piece, and that is a terrific recording. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/22/12 09:48 AM

The Légendes. Two of Liszt's finest.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/02/12 06:21 PM

Three of my recent Liszt 'discoveries' need to be added to this thread.

As I made another thread about, but I might as well put it here too...His masterpiece, the Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen variations. Took me the longest time to understand, but I now consider it one of the most emotionally powerful and profound works in the literature.




His tone poem, Hamlet, which is a work I have known for a long time. However, it has only just clicked for me after not getting it at all, and i'm starting to see it as the masterpiece some commentators consider it to be.





The 'Benedictus' from the Hungarian Coronation Mass. I've only heard the Credo and this Benedictus from this mass, so i'm guessing the rest perhaps is not quite as inspired (i'll be finding out soon, with a Liszt collection i'm getting). But the Benedictus is absolutely gloriously inspired.




Posted by: babama

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 05:12 AM

Nice. I've been exploring a bit with the help of this thread. The amount of music he wrote is really intimidating.

In general I like his more gentle, subtle music far more than the loud, fast and showy music with endless streams of notes.

The problem arises with pieces that have both. It's hard for me to like them even though there may be a number of gorgeous quieter moments.

A piece like Totentanz, there are certain elements and moments I really like, but overall it's just too much. I need my music to have more breathing space.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 07:38 AM

Originally Posted By: babama
Nice. I've been exploring a bit with the help of this thread. The amount of music he wrote is really intimidating.

In general I like his more gentle, subtle music far more than the loud, fast and showy music with endless streams of notes.

The problem arises with pieces that have both. It's hard for me to like them even though there may be a number of gorgeous quieter moments.

A piece like Totentanz, there are certain elements and moments I really like, but overall it's just too much. I need my music to have more breathing space.


I think that the appreciation of the pieces that have both will come with time. In the best of Liszt, like the second Ballade, the Sonata, etc pretty much all of the notes are for a musical purpose, even if it seems like that isn't the case at first.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 07:54 AM

I posted this work earlier, although there is now a recording I like MUCH more at this point. It doesn't drag on nearly as much. His great Oratorio Christus. Liszt considered it the greatest work he wrote, as does Lesle Howard (who called it far and away the greatest Romantic era Oratorio). It is certainly a work that requires repeated listens and it does seem to drag on at first even in this recording, but the more I give those listens the more I agree with Mark Carpenter who said: ""Christus" is music-making on the very highest order -- this is a score which can stand comparison with Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" and Brahms' "German Requiem" and hold its head high along side these greatest of masterpieces."

For those who have 2.5 or so hours available...here it is.





My personal favourite movements are...
March of the Three Magi. (first vid, 45:40).
The Miracle. (Second vid, 24:34.)
Stabat Mater dolorosa. (Third vid, 14:12).

Posted by: apple*

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 08:10 AM

His larger works are too hard for me, but I am delighted to find that he is a very accessible working pianist and wrote sensibly.. his 'smaller' music really is easy to play.

I've explored his songs and organ works.. He was very diverse. My favorite?.. As a religious organist, i kind of like his dreary Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen variations.. they are so meaningful.. I would never perform them much - I certainly have dabble tho and they are really interesting pieces. .. and thanks to the link to the Bendictus pianojosh.!!!

since he wrote so fiendishly, works out of my skill scope ... I do like his Totentanz and other, wildly crazy works.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 10:01 PM

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 10:41 PM

Fantastic!
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/03/12 11:02 PM

Last night I attended the third Liszt recital given by my teacher, Mark Salman. This one covered Liszt's Weimer Period. I am new to Liszt so every piece is a surprise. He played:

Funerailles - what a beautiful but angry piece of music. The "bells" gave me goosebumps. Mark related that Liszt had great national pride and wrote the piece in anger at the Hungarian government for brutally executing a small group of revolutionaries. Mark's playing evoked fury and mourning and hope.

Seliger Tod - one of the lesser played Liebestraume

Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen - powerful piece.

Scherzo and March

and finished with the B minor sonata.

I enjoyed Funerailles and the Scherzo/march the best. The B minor sonata was a lot to absorb but I think I will grow to love it. I find Liszt to be one of those composers I have to listen to multiple times to appreciate. My admiration of his work is steadily growing.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/04/12 03:47 AM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
Last night I attended the third Liszt recital given by my teacher, Mark Salman. This one covered Liszt's Weimer Period. I am new to Liszt so every piece is a surprise. He played:

Funerailles - what a beautiful but angry piece of music. The "bells" gave me goosebumps. Mark related that Liszt had great national pride and wrote the piece in anger at the Hungarian government for brutally executing a small group of revolutionaries. Mark's playing evoked fury and mourning and hope.

Seliger Tod - one of the lesser played Liebestraume

Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen - powerful piece.

Scherzo and March

and finished with the B minor sonata.

I enjoyed Funerailles and the Scherzo/march the best. The B minor sonata was a lot to absorb but I think I will grow to love it. I find Liszt to be one of those composers I have to listen to multiple times to appreciate. My admiration of his work is steadily growing.


Sounds like you had a good time smile I'm very jealous! Of any of the recitals in the series that would have been the one I would want to have gone to. I actually found him playing Funerailles on youtube and it has quickly become on of my favourite performances, if not my favourite. From the limited amount i've heard Mark has quickly become one of my very favourite Liszt performers, by the way.

I also agree with you. Many of my favourite pieces by Liszt I didn't think much of at first. His music does take multiple listens and a certain understanding to appreciate in full, for sure. Thanks for the account!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/04/12 03:59 AM

Originally Posted By: apple*
His larger works are too hard for me, but I am delighted to find that he is a very accessible working pianist and wrote sensibly.. his 'smaller' music really is easy to play.

I've explored his songs and organ works.. He was very diverse. My favorite?.. As a religious organist, i kind of like his dreary Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen variations.. they are so meaningful.. I would never perform them much - I certainly have dabble tho and they are really interesting pieces. .. and thanks to the link to the Bendictus pianojosh.!!!

since he wrote so fiendishly, works out of my skill scope ... I do like his Totentanz and other, wildly crazy works.


You're welcome smile

And I think you hit it on the head. With Liszt there is always the stereotype that all his music is impossibly difficult, but he wrote a huge amount of very accessible music that late intermediate - early advanced students can play. Of course, he did write a lot of virtuoso music and many great works that require a virtuoso technique, but even they tend to be easier than you'd expect due to just how proficient he was at writing for the piano. Very pianistic.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/04/12 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog

Funerailles - what a beautiful but angry piece of music. The "bells" gave me goosebumps. Mark related that Liszt had great national pride and wrote the piece in anger at the Hungarian government for brutally executing a small group of revolutionaries. Mark's playing evoked fury and mourning and hope.

No doubt Deborah, and I am sure that Mark was awesome!

Funérailles to me has never been so much about anger, but all about a steady and progressive catharsis. Liszt has faced his anger and triumphed in another world. The final measures must rate as the spookiest in music, and he leaves the issue open.
Posted by: hawgdriver

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/04/12 09:28 PM

I'm particularly moved by this seldom-performed piece, Vexilla Regis Prodeunt, S.185.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/05/12 06:49 AM

Originally Posted By: hawgdriver
I'm particularly moved by this seldom-performed piece, Vexilla Regis Prodeunt, S.185.



Thanks for sharing! Not one i'm particular familar with myself although i'd heard it once or twice. Apart from that one, the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, Legendes, etc he wrote quite a few religious piano pieces that I really like. Some of my favourites among those i'm more familiar with are...



In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi.



Sancta Dorothea



Stabat Mater (Using the same 'Stabat Mater Dolorosa' theme as 'Via Crucis' and 'Christus').



Urbi et orbi. Bénédiction papale.



Hymne de la nuit.



Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/25/12 09:18 PM

Some more obscure solo piano favourites...All of these were written before his Weimar years - some in the 30's, some in the 40's.












Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/27/12 12:03 PM

Some more great works. Two beautiful new discoveries, and one old favourite.

Psalm 23.



Die heilige Cäcilia.



Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe.










Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/27/12 05:15 PM

Our 20th century fans can just click "play" on all five at once to enjoy! cool
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/27/12 11:56 PM

After listening to Katsaris, the tempo here seems glacial and yet I was totally mesmerized by this performance.

Posted by: Pangur Bán

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/28/12 02:13 AM

I've just got myself a piano and started playing again after a hiatus of 27 years (with a couple of periods in between when I did have access to the odd instrument or two of dubious provenance). I never did get Liszt, either as a player (too many technical challenges for me at that time probably) or as a listener. I did have a go at some of the pieces in the first book of the Années those many years ago, and reading through them again on the piano just now, I believe can quite comfortably learn Wallenstadt, Pastorale, and Eclogue. What other pieces would people here recommend, that are not too technically challenging, but are musically rewarding?
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/28/12 03:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Pangur Bán
I've just got myself a piano and started playing again after a hiatus of 27 years (with a couple of periods in between when I did have access to the odd instrument or two of dubious provenance). I never did get Liszt, either as a player (too many technical challenges for me at that time probably) or as a listener. I did have a go at some of the pieces in the first book of the Années those many years ago, and reading through them again on the piano just now, I believe can quite comfortably learn Wallenstadt, Pastorale, and Eclogue. What other pieces would people here recommend, that are not too technically challenging, but are musically rewarding?


First of all, it's great you're getting back on the piano! I wish you luck in your journey with the instrument.

And to answer your question, the pieces you mentioned from the Annees could be a good start. Some other musically rewarding pieces around the same difficulty would be..

Romance in E Minor.



Consolations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1Ye48y7mFU&feature=channel (That video contains 1 and 2, but 3, 4, 5, and 6 are found on the recommended videos on the side).

En rêve. Nocturne.



Tell me what you think of those.



Posted by: Pangur Bán

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 12:28 AM

En rêve sound a bit neither here nor there to me! I remember trying one of the Consolations once, a long time ago, and gave up because I found it a bit tedious, but I'm willing to give these miniatures another go. O pourquoi donc seems the most rewarding piece to me. I'd like to have a stab at Un Sospiro one day, in the distant future, and if I ever feel I'm ready, I'll bypass Liszt's Transcendental Etudes entirely and go straight for Lyapunov's!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 12:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Pangur Bán
...I'll bypass Liszt's Transcendental Etudes entirely and go straight for Lyapunov's!

Really? Explore the Lyapunov if you wish -certainly decent enough music (though I think they often look more interesting on the printed page than they do in performance)- but IMO they have none of the genius of Liszt's etudes.

But you can always save the Liszt for another day!
Posted by: Pangur Bán

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 12:52 AM

I haven't read through either of the two sets of Etudes, but from just listening, a couple of the Lyapunov ones stood out including one that I like very much. The Liszt set however, I didn't find memorable from a listener's point of view. I will of course, do a selective read through one day, if ever I feel I am ready.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 04:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Pangur Bán
I haven't read through either of the two sets of Etudes, but from just listening, a couple of the Lyapunov ones stood out including one that I like very much. The Liszt set however, I didn't find memorable from a listener's point of view. I will of course, do a selective read through one day, if ever I feel I am ready.


I consider the best Liszt TE's to be 3, and 9-12. I think that 10-12 especially reach heights rarely matched in the solo piano literature, as far as miniatures go. I'm not sure how familiar you are with them, but I might as well link them anyway. This thread is lacking most of the TE's!

Paysage



Ricordanza



Appassionato



Harmonies Du Soir



Chasse-Neige

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 07:40 AM

You left out the best one.


Posted by: Pangur Bán

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 08:19 AM

Listening to some of the Transcendental Etudes again, I'm even more acutely aware of the fact that I don't get it. And I think I now get why I don't get it, and I think I don't get it for the same reason I don't get it when I hear jazz (should I run and duck?). It's the performance aspects of a lot of Liszt that I am talking about. It's the flamboyance, the rhetorical gestures and flourishes which draw attention to themselves and to the performer.

I've been listening to Liszt in the wrong setting. I think I'd get it if I were to listen to him played live, especially by a flamboyant pianist (like Lang Lang? grin) I might still not not enjoy what I hear the way I'd enjoy Schumann, Brahms (yes I'm firmly in the Leipzig-Berlin rather than the Weimar camp), Chopin or Schubert, but I think I'd get it.

Incidentally, the one time I remember hearing Liszt played live was thanks to a pianist who got a lot of flak from reviewers for being 'reserved' in his interpretation of Liszt. When I interviewed him, he scoffed at his critics and said he wanted to bring out the 'spiritual' side of the composer and made it a point of putting stuff like the Petrarchan Sonnets (I didn't get those either!) on the programme.

Anyway, I intend to have a fair stab at the first book of the Années. They look rewarding enough. One day in the distant future, I might have a go at some of the more showy and technically demaqnding pieces and maybe then, I'd get it.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/29/12 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Pangur Bán
Listening to some of the Transcendental Etudes again, I'm even more acutely aware of the fact that I don't get it. And I think I now get why I don't get it, and I think I don't get it for the same reason I don't get it when I hear jazz (should I run and duck?). It's the performance aspects of a lot of Liszt that I am talking about. It's the flamboyance, the rhetorical gestures and flourishes which draw attention to themselves and to the performer.

I've been listening to Liszt in the wrong setting. I think I'd get it if I were to listen to him played live, especially by a flamboyant pianist (like Lang Lang? grin) I might still not not enjoy what I hear the way I'd enjoy Schumann, Brahms (yes I'm firmly in the Leipzig-Berlin rather than the Weimar camp), Chopin or Schubert, but I think I'd get it.

Incidentally, the one time I remember hearing Liszt played live was thanks to a pianist who got a lot of flak from reviewers for being 'reserved' in his interpretation of Liszt. When I interviewed him, he scoffed at his critics and said he wanted to bring out the 'spiritual' side of the composer and made it a point of putting stuff like the Petrarchan Sonnets (I didn't get those either!) on the programme.

Anyway, I intend to have a fair stab at the first book of the Années. They look rewarding enough. One day in the distant future, I might have a go at some of the more showy and technically demaqnding pieces and maybe then, I'd get it.


That's understandable smile However I do disagree with a couple of your points - i'm of the belief that in the best of Liszt, if you are listening to the 'rhetorical gestures and flourishes' and feel they are 'drawing attention to themselves and the performer,' you are listening wrong. There is a lot of Liszt where what you describe certainly applies, but I fail to see it in the Trans etudes I listed. They use a virtuosic language like a lot of Liszt - but for a musical rather than athletic purpose. That virtuosic language can be difficult to get used to and probably isn't for everyone, so I understand your analysis.

I don't mean to push too much on you, i'm just curious. What do you think of late Liszt? Say, this piece?



Incidentally, you could play that one.

Regardless, I hope you find joy in learning pieces from the Annees!






Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/30/12 07:38 AM



This is amazing!
Posted by: Verbum mirabilis

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/31/12 05:46 AM

I discovered this work yesterday. Does anyone know about it? I found some information about it, apparently it was composed for the 20th anniversary of Chopin's death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnjauJquWfw&feature=relmfu
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/31/12 06:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis
I discovered this work yesterday. Does anyone know about it? I found some information about it, apparently it was composed for the 20th anniversary of Chopin's death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnjauJquWfw&feature=relmfu


I've heard it twice before - and don't have much time to listen again at the moment. It struck me as a really interesting, if not wholly satisfying work back then. Then again, I never got close to understanding it (I didn't have any notes about the work, and Liszt as always is highly programmatic, symbolic, etc). Certainly a different side to Liszt than the music which he is usually associated with!

Thanks for the link - this is a work I need to revisit.
Posted by: Pangur Bán

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/02/12 04:30 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

I don't mean to push too much on you, i'm just curious. What do you think of late Liszt? Say, this piece?

Incidentally, you could play that one.

Regardless, I hope you find joy in learning pieces from the Annees!


Thanks, and no, I would not be able to play that one! The technical demands might be modest enough for me, but in order to be able to play it with any degree of conviction, I think I'd need to study more Liszt first. It is musically rather challenging.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/02/12 06:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Pangur Bán
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

I don't mean to push too much on you, i'm just curious. What do you think of late Liszt? Say, this piece?

Incidentally, you could play that one.

Regardless, I hope you find joy in learning pieces from the Annees!


Thanks, and no, I would not be able to play that one! The technical demands might be modest enough for me, but in order to be able to play it with any degree of conviction, I think I'd need to study more Liszt first. It is musically rather challenging.


Good response. smile
Posted by: Batuhan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/02/12 09:52 AM

Today I started to transcendental etude no. 1

such a nice piece Thank you Liszt.
Posted by: RachManiac

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/04/12 02:54 PM

I'd say that Liszt is quite possibly the best pianist to ever live. It's such a horrific shame that he didn't live into the age in which he could have been recorded...
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/06/12 12:22 AM

Three more discoveries...

Excelsior! Preludio to the Cantata "The Bells of Strasbourg Cathedral" (Personally, despite the praise by Alan Walker on the piece, the actual Cantata hasn't reached me. However, this prelude is glorious in that Mahlerian, mind-blowing sort of way).



Cantantibus Organis.



Der nächtliche Zug. (The first piece from the Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust - the other being the first Mephisto Waltz. This is one of his better orchestral works, written a little later than most of the tone poems and the symphonies. It employs superior, more imaginative orchestration. As does the Mephisto Waltz No. 1. in its orchestral form).




Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/06/12 05:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Pangur Bán
Listening to some of the Transcendental Etudes again, I'm even more acutely aware of the fact that I don't get it. And I think I now get why I don't get it, and I think I don't get it for the same reason I don't get it when I hear jazz (should I run and duck?). It's the performance aspects of a lot of Liszt that I am talking about. It's the flamboyance, the rhetorical gestures and flourishes which draw attention to themselves and to the performer.


I won't deny that they're attention drawing, but I like to think of a lot of these short Liszt pieces as being FUN for the audience and performer. Well, for the performer I guess it's not that fun performing if you don't have it 100% solid lol. Liszt is really great to listen to in my opinion, it's hard to grow tired of!

These are perhaps terrible oversimplifications and generalizations that aren't accurate but I think Chopin/Liszt write relatively simple music in the sense that you immediately connect with it. (I guess we can throw a lot of composers into this category) Chopin's I tend to think of as being "pretty", while Liszt's music is grander and often times embodies more emotion (sorry Chopin fans :P).

The reason I say this is when I play Chopin I find myself thinking about how to optimize the "pretty" factor. I think of it as trying to immerse myself in the music, it sounds so nice I want more. With Liszt, I feel like I'm pulled into it, and I feel all of it. Sorry this is terribly vague and possibly makes no sense, but with Liszt I feel like it's really easy to just let go, and do what you feel like is right. His flamboyant and grand passages are very intuitive for some reason.

I've performed the 10th Transcendental Etude a lot of times, and I think while the audience is wowed by the excessive arm movement, the intensity is something everyone can always feel. To throw more useless metaphors out there, Liszt has a certain strong flavor to his music. The spirit is sorta like Rachmaninoff (although Rachmaninoff usually has a lot of other stuff going on underneath the surface whereas Liszt doesn't), but more "focused".

Anyways, you can probably tell by now I'm not much good at this writing/language business, but it's been a while since I've touched any new Liszt, progress has been a bit slow this past year since I have been slacking. I casually learned Chasse neige about a year ago but I forgot how to play it, another really FUN piece, it just feels so good pounding out that melody with so much muscle power.

My favorite Liszt piece is probably the Sonata, I should learn it someday...I love the 2nd Ballade too, it's not that hard technically but it's so mature and absolutely priceless. Hopefully I'll get around to a few more Transcendental Etudes, Mazeppa looks like fun. Currently tied up with Scriabin, looking into killing myself via Medtner, hopefully I live to play some more Liszt smile

Oh I just remembered, I got a Guiseppe Andaloro CD with some Elegies, the Grosses Konzertsolo and the 4 Mephisto Valses. I think most people aren't aware that there's more than 1 Mephisto Valse, the other 3 are really great though! I like the Grosses Konzertsolo a lot, though I don't think I'd want to learn it for some reason.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/11/12 09:51 AM

Great interview, and simply sublime playing...

Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/12/12 06:48 PM

I can't stop thinking about Liszt! I think about him and I have the same kind of feelings as when I think about a woman with whom I have been in love. Is this normal? Am I the only one in love with Liszt?!



I was playing this one last night, and this music brought to mind direct images of this aforementioned woman, and now Liszt is just as real as her.
Posted by: cefinow

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/12/12 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon
I can't stop thinking about Liszt! I think about him and I have the same kind of feelings as when I think about a woman with whom I have been in love. Is this normal? Am I the only one in love with Liszt?! [youtube clip] I was playing this one last night, and this music brought to mind direct images of this aforementioned woman, and now Liszt is just as real as her.


I think you win the PC Liszt appreciation award for this post grin

Now I'm curious... although this isn't Psychology Corner and I am not sure if we discuss such things! Is this a case of sublimation or what? Transferral? Isn't transferral when you fall in love with someone closely associated with the person you are actually in love with? Can you fall in love with a composer who is not actually living? What about Jeremy Denk and his blog entry about Schumann as a living, metaphysical presence in his imagination? It was only the idea of Schumann though... (well yes, I suppose if Denk was seeing the real flesh-and-blood Schumann, that would make for a genuinely troubling blog entry...)

Or is this all about how *cute* Liszt was... 3hearts
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Jolteon
I can't stop thinking about Liszt! I think about him and I have the same kind of feelings as when I think about a woman with whom I have been in love. Is this normal? Am I the only one in love with Liszt?! [youtube clip] I was playing this one last night, and this music brought to mind direct images of this aforementioned woman, and now Liszt is just as real as her.


I think you win the PC Liszt appreciation award for this post grin

Now I'm curious... although this isn't Psychology Corner and I am not sure if we discuss such things! Is this a case of sublimation or what? Transferral? Isn't transferral when you fall in love with someone closely associated with the person you are actually in love with? Can you fall in love with a composer who is not actually living? What about Jeremy Denk and his blog entry about Schumann as a living, metaphysical presence in his imagination? It was only the idea of Schumann though... (well yes, I suppose if Denk was seeing the real flesh-and-blood Schumann, that would make for a genuinely troubling blog entry...)

Or is this all about how *cute* Liszt was... 3hearts


Interesting... Liszt is really cute! smile
Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 04:56 AM

Originally Posted By: trigalg693
I think most people aren't aware that there's more than 1 Mephisto Valse, the other 3 are really great though!


I really like the "other" Mephistos a great deal, but they are late works that sound like they were written by someone else than the person who wrote the first one. And that late Liszt stuff is pretty rough going for many people - I can well imagine the shocked bewilderment of someone encountering those late Mephisto waltzes for the first time, if all they knew was the first one and some of the more popular Liszt pieces. It's a whole different world.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 05:33 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: trigalg693
I think most people aren't aware that there's more than 1 Mephisto Valse, the other 3 are really great though!


I really like the "other" Mephistos a great deal, but they are late works that sound like they were written by someone else than the person who wrote the first one. And that late Liszt stuff is pretty rough going for many people - I can well imagine the shocked bewilderment of someone encountering those late Mephisto waltzes for the first time, if all they knew was the first one and some of the more popular Liszt pieces. It's a whole different world.




They are remarkable. The second is perhaps my favourite of the lot. The Mephisto's and the other diabolical works he wrote, like the Csardas Macabre, are among my favourite works by him. He has a terrific output of diabolical music.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
The second is perhaps my favourite of the lot. The Mephisto's and the other diabolical works he wrote, like the Csardas Macabre, are among my favourite works by him. He has a terrific output of diabolical music.

For a long time it was a tie between 1 and 2, but lately I've come to feel that the 1st is the more varied and overall best written. The 3rd has some great material, but with due respect, it seems ever so slightly stretched.

As for the Csardas Macabre, I wish I could love it. The piece starts out so promisingly with those open 5ths -and Liszt builds to a nice bloody climax- but the piece so utterly overstays its welcome and eventually falls victim to plain tedium. I realize that most of Liszt's late works are unedited and often little more than sketches, but it's all the more of a pity that Liszt didn't revisit the Csardas and prune it down to something far more cogent.

IMO of course.
Posted by: Tararex

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 01:22 PM

Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Jolteon
I can't stop thinking about Liszt! I think about him and I have the same kind of feelings as when I think about a woman with whom I have been in love. Is this normal? Am I the only one in love with Liszt?! [youtube clip] I was playing this one last night, and this music brought to mind direct images of this aforementioned woman, and now Liszt is just as real as her.


I think you win the PC Liszt appreciation award for this post grin

Now I'm curious... although this isn't Psychology Corner and I am not sure if we discuss such things! Is this a case of sublimation or what? Transferral? Isn't transferral when you fall in love with someone closely associated with the person you are actually in love with? Can you fall in love with a composer who is not actually living? What about Jeremy Denk and his blog entry about Schumann as a living, metaphysical presence in his imagination? It was only the idea of Schumann though... (well yes, I suppose if Denk was seeing the real flesh-and-blood Schumann, that would make for a genuinely troubling blog entry...)

Or is this all about how *cute* Liszt was... 3hearts


Why belittle honest feelings like this?

I also love Liszt. His willingness to open his soul into composition is unmatched. This alone makes it easy to fall in love with the spirit behind the work. Add in his lifelong charity, years of work improving musical education, technical innovations...need I go on?

Music transcends other art forms precisely due its brainwave carrier capability. Some composers purposely created pretty music - and that's fine. I appreciate them and their music but that's it. Those who wrote for more interesting reasons - aren't they whom we tend to love? (Even if we don't often admit so for fear of being accused of "cuteness" bias.) frown

P.S. How can anyone listen to the music posted on this thread and not fall in love with Liszt?

Maybe because love is the most subjective of emotions? 3hearts
Posted by: cefinow

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Tararex

Why belittle honest feelings like this?



Belittle?? No way! Good grief... Tongue in cheek, maybe, but it seemed like a rare & fascinating post and I didn't want it to slide into oblivion unanswered. Or maybe I misread the lack of answers-- maybe it was a respectful silence. Oh, who the heck knows what is going on out there in that vast cauldron of anonymity that is PC. Here was someone being very personal, and I answered, maybe should have left out the slew of questions. But I think the relationship between musicians, the music they play and the composers they love, is complex and fascinating and is quite sturdy enough to take some (well meaning) scrutinizing!!
Posted by: Tararex

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/13/12 11:47 PM

Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Tararex

Why belittle honest feelings like this?



Belittle?? No way! Good grief... Tongue in cheek, maybe, but it seemed like a rare & fascinating post and I didn't want it to slide into oblivion unanswered. Or maybe I misread the lack of answers-- maybe it was a respectful silence. Oh, who the heck knows what is going on out there in that vast cauldron of anonymity that is PC. Here was someone being very personal, and I answered, maybe should have left out the slew of questions. But I think the relationship between musicians, the music they play and the composers they love, is complex and fascinating and is quite sturdy enough to take some (well meaning) scrutinizing!!


I so agree! I find the Pianist Corner fascinating precisely because of the extremely personal opinions. Love and hate make perfect sense in an artistic context.

Don't you find it a tiny bit troublesome that so many of us have been taught to fear an honest emotional response? Why the need to deconstruct the magic of individuality into "the scientific answer"? .

I find the stereotypical "Bach* transcends Liszt because the former's resonant frequencies and complex enharmonic partials** reverberate in a superior manner" faction an oddly driven contingent. Their discussions seem as fundamentally eccentric as a Van Gogh connoisseur insisting his artist is superior to previous competitors due to his use of cobalt over Prussian blue. It may be an interesting point, but is it relevant to an appreciation of the art?

Bravo to the Franz Liszt appreciation thread! May he live on in our hearts forever. Bravo to all pianists, be they Liszt-maniacs or not!

*Insert any composer
**Insert any scientific "proof" of superiority
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/16/12 07:14 AM

I've pretty well learned Consolations 1-4, now... and my god; these works are absoloute gems - so much Liszt, and so much humanity in such a small package.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/16/12 02:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon
... these works are absoloute gems - so much Liszt, and so much humanity in such a small package.

I remember the first time my teacher played me the second of the Petrarch Sonnets. I think I went into a swoon. Here was music of such manly passion (I'm not being sexist, now), no mushy puppy-love!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/16/12 07:00 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Jolteon
... these works are absoloute gems - so much Liszt, and so much humanity in such a small package.

I remember the first time my teacher played me the second of the Petrarch Sonnets. I think I went into a swoon. Here was music of such manly passion (I'm not being sexist, now), no mushy puppy-love!


Indeed. One of the supreme romantic-era solo-piano miniatures.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/16/12 07:32 PM

According to Leslie Howard, the now famous Consolation #3 in D flat was put in place of another piece that was originally there, in C# minor. It apparently eventually found itself into the opening of the first Hungarian Rhapsody.



Interesting stuff! It's a very Chopin-esque melody, it reminds me of one of the Nocturnes. I wonder why Liszt changed it?
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/22/12 05:53 AM

Originally Posted By: wr

I really like the "other" Mephistos a great deal, but they are late works that sound like they were written by someone else than the person who wrote the first one. And that late Liszt stuff is pretty rough going for many people - I can well imagine the shocked bewilderment of someone encountering those late Mephisto waltzes for the first time, if all they knew was the first one and some of the more popular Liszt pieces. It's a whole different world.


Do you think? I can feel something consistent about Liszt in all of his works, I feel like the other Mephistos do share a similar flavor.

Got started on Mazeppa (waving arms around is super fun), going to order B minor Sonata sheet music! I see a Hal Leonard one that has the publisher marked as Editio Musica Budapest, does anyone know if this means it's just a reprint of Budapest or what?
Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/22/12 06:25 AM

Originally Posted By: trigalg693
Originally Posted By: wr

I really like the "other" Mephistos a great deal, but they are late works that sound like they were written by someone else than the person who wrote the first one. And that late Liszt stuff is pretty rough going for many people - I can well imagine the shocked bewilderment of someone encountering those late Mephisto waltzes for the first time, if all they knew was the first one and some of the more popular Liszt pieces. It's a whole different world.


Do you think? I can feel something consistent about Liszt in all of his works, I feel like the other Mephistos do share a similar flavor.



I exaggerated a bit - like you say, I can get something sort of "Lisztian" in all of his works. But I wonder how much of that is just because I know he wrote them, which enables me to find a commonality?
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/09/12 10:56 AM

A recent discovery for me has been one of Liszt's choral masterpieces, the Missa solennis zur Einweihung der Basilika in Gran (Gran Mass). Here are my two favourite movements, the Kyrie and Credo (the Credo being one of the greatest choral movements i've ever heard).





Another one is his Hungarian Coronation Mass. It is a very simple work - very little counterpoint, almost no harmonic experimentation, simple and clear choral/orchestral writing...But all that is also where its charm lies for me. Simple, light-hearted glory. Unfortunately there are no good performances on youtube.

I also got a recording of another of his better choral works - the Psalm XIII, but it didn't really reach me on first listens.
Posted by: Tararex

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/09/12 02:59 PM

My favorite Ave Maria of all.

Video and sound could both be better on this, but I can't think of anyone who does this better than Kocsis.

[video:youtube]http://youtu.be/J1gV2qtb71w[/video]
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/10/12 07:08 PM

I have to say I mostly disliked Liszt....until I listened to his Sonata in Bm. It's just fantastic. Then I fell in love with Mephisto's Waltz. And then I heard his Am Bach Organ fugue transcription. And then I just went off the deep end. :].
One of my friends is playing the Bm sonata at his senior recital next year, I can't wait! He's presenting three sonata's, the Waldenstein, the Liszt Bm, and one more 20th century sonata by a composer I hadn't heard of till he mentioned him, I forget right now.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/11/12 11:37 PM

Speaking of the B minor, I stumbled across an oddity - a two piano version by Saint Saens in my collection. Of course I had to search Youtube with little hope of finding a recording, but lo and behold:

Posted by: nocturne152

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/12/12 12:35 AM

What an insanely successful thread!

As for my appreciation -- this is my favorite piece by Liszt performed by my favorite young pianist.

"Maiden's Wish"

Why is this piece "Chopin-Liszt"? What did Chopin do to get some credit?

Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/12/12 10:17 AM

Originally Posted By: lostaccato


Why is this piece "Chopin-Liszt"? What did Chopin do to get some credit?



It's a song by Chopin that Liszt transcribed to the piano.
Posted by: nocturne152

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/12/12 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: lostaccato


Why is this piece "Chopin-Liszt"? What did Chopin do to get some credit?



It's a song by Chopin that Liszt transcribed to the piano.


Ahh I see. It is a rather charming little song if you ask me, though I prefer the transcription. grin
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 09:09 AM

Originally Posted By: lostaccato
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: lostaccato


Why is this piece "Chopin-Liszt"? What did Chopin do to get some credit?



It's a song by Chopin that Liszt transcribed to the piano.


Ahh I see. It is a rather charming little song if you ask me, though I prefer the transcription. grin


Chopin's songs, while nice, are not among his best works. Liszt's transcriptions greatly improved them and turned them into lovely, nocturne-esque piano pieces - that work very well as a cycle!
Posted by: nocturne152

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 01:09 PM

Nocturne-esque?? Not "Maiden's Wish"... which pieces are you talking about?
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: lostaccato
Nocturne-esque?? Not "Maiden's Wish"... which pieces are you talking about?


Oh sorry, my mistake. Yes, not Maiden's Wish, although that is part of the cycle. Yeah, they are six pieces in different styles. The one I know best is 'My Joys,' which is Nocturne-esque.

Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Chopin's songs, while nice, are not among his best works.

As Charles Rosen memorably observed: Chopin clearly didn't waste any time on them.

One of many instances wherein Liszt made improvements, cf 'Danse Macabre' and the 2nd Paganini etude.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 02:56 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Chopin's songs, while nice, are not among his best works. Liszt's transcriptions greatly improved them


I think all of Liszt's song transcriptions are an improvement over the source, including his own. That is of course, just my opinion. whistle
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 05:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon

I think all of Liszt's song transcriptions are an improvement over the source, including his own. That is of course, just my opinion.

Wow. How many of Liszt's songs do you know, and have you ever accompanied them with a singer?

I have, and almost all of those I played were beautifully written for both piano and singer.
Posted by: nocturne152

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Chopin's songs, while nice, are not among his best works.

As Charles Rosen memorably observed: Chopin clearly didn't waste any time on them.


I agree. Anyone who doubts Chopin's abilities as a song writer are either ignorant or stupid. He was a musical super-genius who happened to also love the opera. I'm SURE if he wanted to put out some great songs he could have -- I don't think he cared though.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 09:50 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Wow. How many of Liszt's songs do you know, and have you ever accompanied them with a singer?


I know a few but it doesn't matter, I wouldn't be able to tolerate playing them with a classically trained singer, which is why the transcriptions are an improvement. (to me)
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/13/12 10:21 PM

Originally Posted By: lostaccato
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Chopin's songs, while nice, are not among his best works.

As Charles Rosen memorably observed: Chopin clearly didn't waste any time on them.


I agree. Anyone who doubts Chopin's abilities as a song writer are either ignorant or stupid. He was a musical super-genius who happened to also love the opera. I'm SURE if he wanted to put out some great songs he could have -- I don't think he cared though.


No doubt. There's no reason why he couldn't have been a great song writer.
Posted by: stores

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/14/12 03:57 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

No doubt. There's no reason why he couldn't have been a great song writer.


But he wasn't. Nor was he much of an orchestrator.
Posted by: nocturne152

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/14/12 12:21 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

No doubt. There's no reason why he couldn't have been a great song writer.


But he wasn't. Nor was he much of an orchestrator.


*facepalm*
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/14/12 05:23 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

No doubt. There's no reason why he couldn't have been a great song writer.

With Chopin's talent he could have done anything.

A fuss is often made about Chopin's weak orchestrations in the piano concertos, but how else would the piano part be properly heard? Tausig and company attempted re-orchestrations, but then they found they had to re-write some of the piano writing so that it could project over a busier orchestration.

No solution there.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/14/12 05:34 PM

Hey now, the "gush over everything Chopin wrote thread" is in the ABF. Let's keep it there, please. laugh (I'm hoping this thread title will keep Mark and Beet from adding a couple of pages of Chopin defense)
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/19/12 11:40 AM

Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/20/12 10:26 AM

Since this great pianist passed away early this year, I figured it would be appropriate to share these.



Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/20/12 06:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Since this great pianist passed away early this year, I figured it would be appropriate to share these.


Interesting -and quite appropriate to share, thank-you!- but I just cannot love that recording. Weissenberg had a technique which must have been the envy of any pianist, but so often I get the impression of a sadistic brutality. Compared to Argerich's quick, silent, and efficient laser printer, Weissenberg sounds like a noisy ink jet printer, droplets of ink saturating the page.

IMO of course.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/20/12 06:25 PM

Of course, Argerich is my favorite Liszt B Minor, but she's not the only recording I'll love.

Ozan Marsh has a great one, actually.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/22/12 02:45 PM

I've discovered a new solo piano piece by Liszt.

Liszt's Oratorio 'Die Legende von der Heiligen Elisabeth' is generally considered to be one of Liszt's weaker large scale works, and i've found it quite dull the first couple times i've listened to it - despite some glorious moments. Of course, i'm going to withold judgement there because it is highly programmatic and i've not listened to it with that in mind, and I certainly haven't come close to digested all 2-3 hours of it.

The orchestral opening is surely one of the highlights of the Oratorio.



Liszt, in his typically masterful manner, transcribed this for the piano. To my ears, the result is a gorgeous solo piano piece that deserves to be performed with regularity.




Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/22/12 10:20 PM

Gorgeous transcription performed by the inimitable Cyprien Katsaris.

Posted by: Cheeto717

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/22/12 10:40 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

No doubt. There's no reason why he couldn't have been a great song writer.

With Chopin's talent he could have done anything.

A fuss is often made about Chopin's weak orchestrations in the piano concertos, but how else would the piano part be properly heard? Tausig and company attempted re-orchestrations, but then they found they had to re-write some of the piano writing so that it could project over a busier orchestration.

No solution there.


I've recently bought Krystian Zimerman's recording of him performing and conducting the Chopin piano concertos. His interpretation of the orchestra part turns it into a new piece for me. I'd reccomend you take a listen
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/25/12 09:20 PM

Browsing youtube, I ran across a midi version of Liszt's Toccata in Am that was accurate and....dreadful. Here is Mark Salman playing the piece. Much, much much better. (I believe this is Gooddogs teacher, is it not?)

Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/25/12 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Here is Mark Salman playing the piece. Much, much much better. (I believe this is Gooddog's teacher, is it not?)

Yes indeed. Mark Salman is often featured on our local classical station performing and talking about music. Not to be missed.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/25/12 11:43 PM

What in the



I'm not the biggest fan, but not because it's on a solo violin. I don't like how sometimes it gets so dense to try to match all the sonority in the piano, such as the grand D major section a few minutes in. I feel that could have been handled a bit better compositionally speaking, in my opinion.
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 12:22 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Browsing youtube, I ran across a midi version of Liszt's Toccata in Am that was accurate and....dreadful. Here is Mark Salman playing the piece. Much, much much better. (I believe this is Gooddogs teacher, is it not?)



wow, fantastic playing!!!
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 01:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
What in the



I'm not the biggest fan, but not because it's on a solo violin. I don't like how sometimes it gets so dense to try to match all the sonority in the piano, such as the grand D major section a few minutes in. I feel that could have been handled a bit better compositionally speaking, in my opinion.


I can't help but agree. It really loses something without the thunderous bass notes and stuff. It's very well played, but I think it should be left for the piano. It might work well for a huge orchestra...
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 12:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Browsing youtube, I ran across a midi version of Liszt's Toccata in Am that was accurate and....dreadful. Here is Mark Salman playing the piece. Much, much much better. (I believe this is Gooddogs teacher, is it not?)

Not only is Mark a fantastic pianist, he is also the best teacher I've ever had. He is extremely knowledgeable and is guiding me to develop my own musical ideas rather than dictating them. In addition, I have great admiration for the way he lives his life combining his professional/teaching career with a rich, principled life devoted to his wife and 3 amazing children.

If any of you have an opportunity to take lessons with a concert pianist, (who also happens to be a wonderful human being), you will find it is a most enriching experience. If you live in the Seattle area, don't be shy about asking to become a student! He is especially fond of enthusiastic adults. (He does not take beginners).

P.S. Apropos of the OP, right now he's helping me polish Sonetto del Petrarca 104.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 03:24 PM

My favorite Liszt Rhapsody is the 11th. Anyone else? Eh, eh? ..
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 08:23 PM

Originally Posted By: scherzojoe
My favorite Liszt Rhapsody is the 11th.

Interesting. Personally I love 2, 4, 5, 6 (which I have played) and 8, though my favourite will always be 9.

It is certainly the most elaborate, and IMO the most inventive of the series.

14 is problematic. Liszt's arrangement as the Hungarian Fantasia for piano and orchestra has always struck me as a rather perfunctory effort, as if Liszt had his mind elsewhere. It is not an awful piece of music -though some commentators have thought so, particularly Hutchinson- but IMO it could have been a lot better.

As a confirmed Lisztian, I find it rather tiresome. Since Liszt was so busy transcribing everything in sight -and several times he absent-mindedly re-transcribed music he had already done- I cannot blame this on his publisher.

Unlike Beethoven, who bowed to his publisher for a piano version of the violin concerto. Beethoven needed the money (and why not?), but there is no evidence (aside from the new cadenza) that Beethoven took it very seriously. 'Moments of piercing eloquence reduced to music box tinkling' as I read once, or something like that.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 08:41 PM

Originally Posted By: scherzojoe
My favorite Liszt Rhapsody is the 11th. Anyone else? Eh, eh? ..


My favorite bounces around between 2, 9, and 12. Others that I like are 6, 10, 14, and 15.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/26/12 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: scherzojoe
My favorite Liszt Rhapsody is the 11th. Anyone else? Eh, eh? ..


I really like the 11th, but not among my absolute favourites, which are 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 12. Unlike previous posters, I find 9 to be frustratingly tedious, despite the great pianistic invention. I recently heard an orchestrated version and found it even more tiresome. Of course, I really like the rhapsodies (although I wouldn't say any of them are among my favourite Liszt works) and the 9th is always held in such high esteem, so i'm sure I will find enjoyment in it in time.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/04/12 02:11 AM

Frederic Lamond, a pupil of Liszt.


Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/05/12 12:41 PM

Perhaps Liszt's most beautiful song among the 80-some that weren't made famous as a solo piano transcription (although there is a solo piano version, I believe I linked it earlier in this thread).


Posted by: WilliamByrd

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/06/12 12:37 PM

Learning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs5DRxiPq2c this today.
Would be great if there was a thread like this on Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert Schumann to.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/09/12 12:09 AM

Rather amazed at this:

Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/09/12 12:40 AM

That Kissin recording above me is INCREDIBLE.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/09/12 01:16 AM

I recommend clicking play on every video on this page. It makes quite an awesome sound! laugh
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/10/12 01:39 AM

Originally Posted By: WilliamByrd
Learning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs5DRxiPq2c this today.
Would be great if there was a thread like this on Johann Sebastian Bach and Robert Schumann to.


Lovely little piece. Incidentally it became one of the minor movements in Liszt's choral masterpiece, Christus.

From 11:04 - 18:57 in the video.




Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Rather amazed at this:



Indeed. Kissin is one of the very best in all the TE's I have by him - 5, 8, 10, 11, 12. 8 is certainly one of his more impressive recordings.
Posted by: Pathbreaker

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/11/12 06:22 AM

The 2nd piano concerto has been my favorite of all concertos for awhile now. I have the Zimmerman/Ozawa recording which is excellent. I've been looking for another great recording just for variety, any thoughts?
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/11/12 08:37 AM

Originally Posted By: tbuscuit
The 2nd piano concerto has been my favorite of all concertos for awhile now. I have the Zimmerman/Ozawa recording which is excellent. I've been looking for another great recording just for variety, any thoughts?


Spotify has recordings by (other than Zimmerman):
Lazar Berman, Sviatoslav Richter, Julius Katchen, Alfred Brendel, Claire-Marie Le Guay, Wilhelm Kempff, Yefim Bronfman, Claudio Arrau... and more.

A starting point? haha smile
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/11/12 11:58 AM

Simply incredible playing of this masterpiece. Makes me wonder how Liszt himself would have played his late pieces.


Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/13/12 06:15 AM

Not the most charming performance imaginable, perhaps, but it is still interesting to hear one of Liszt's own pianos. It appears to be in good shape for an old instrument, and has some marvelous qualities, especially in sustaining the sound.

Posted by: babama

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/14/12 04:11 PM

I just heard this for the first time and I'm very moved:



also many credits to Schumann of course...and Kissin!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/19/12 01:05 PM

Here's a work that has quickly become one of my favourites by the maestro. Unfortunately this is the only recording on youtube and it's sung in English rather than the usual German.







In fact all of Liszt's Psalm's are great pieces deserving of more attention. I posted 137 in the OP, but 18 and 23 are also very good.



Posted by: signa

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/19/12 10:39 PM

if you haven't watched this breathtaking Liszt, please do:

Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 06/29/12 07:49 AM



This is one heck of a recording! WOW!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 07/05/12 06:17 AM

Great article on Liszt.

http://publicdomainreview.org/2011/10/17/what-makes-franz-liszt-still-important/
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/05/12 03:41 PM

Here's a guy I would have liked to have heard in concert. Electrifying!

Posted by: UberB

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/07/12 01:29 AM

The B minor sonata. That is all. 3hearts
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/11/12 10:07 PM

Jesus, I was practicing Mazeppa with the music and I realized that the octaves are faster than 16th notes! They're triplets of triplets, if you get what I mean, so 18 a measure. I don't think anyone comes close to playing them that speed. Maybe Hamelin could do it if he tried.
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/11/12 10:34 PM

Originally Posted By: trigalg693
Jesus, I was practicing Mazeppa with the music and I realized that the octaves are faster than 16th notes! They're triplets of triplets, if you get what I mean, so 18 a measure. I don't think anyone comes close to playing them that speed. Maybe Hamelin could do it if he tried.

They're sorta cadenza-like passages, so I don't think they really need to be in time. That's one of the cases where I think you can be flexible with Liszt's rhythm - just hammer out those octaves at a speed which does service to the music without destroying your hands!
Posted by: Dachshund

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/11/12 10:57 PM

I'm not sure if anyone has posted this one yet, but it is definitely one of my favorites.

La Lugubre Gondola no. 2:


A very haunting piece of music, but also quite beautiful.
Posted by: evilpacman18

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/12/12 12:03 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Rather amazed at this:


Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/12/12 01:29 AM

Rubinstein plays Liszt
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/12/12 04:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

They're sorta cadenza-like passages, so I don't think they really need to be in time. That's one of the cases where I think you can be flexible with Liszt's rhythm - just hammer out those octaves at a speed which does service to the music without destroying your hands!


You think? Usually when that happens he writes a "quasi una cadenza" or something in there, but this is written out metrically correct, which is really disturbing because if I try really hard and deprioritize accuracy I can barely do it at what I consider slightly under tempo (granted, I've only really worked on it for maybe 1.5 months, not much practice done over the summer frown ). I end up missing quite a bit of notes, my arms get very sore, and I start sweating pretty bad lol. If you transplant Berezovsky's octaves, then it would almost be up to tempo for the tempo I like.

Of course no one ever plays it in tempo, and I don't plan on trying to do it for real, I just really wonder why Liszt would try to write it like that.
Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/12/12 07:11 AM

Originally Posted By: trigalg693
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

They're sorta cadenza-like passages, so I don't think they really need to be in time. That's one of the cases where I think you can be flexible with Liszt's rhythm - just hammer out those octaves at a speed which does service to the music without destroying your hands!


You think? Usually when that happens he writes a "quasi una cadenza" or something in there, but this is written out metrically correct, which is really disturbing because if I try really hard and deprioritize accuracy I can barely do it at what I consider slightly under tempo (granted, I've only really worked on it for maybe 1.5 months, not much practice done over the summer frown ). I end up missing quite a bit of notes, my arms get very sore, and I start sweating pretty bad lol. If you transplant Berezovsky's octaves, then it would almost be up to tempo for the tempo I like.

Of course no one ever plays it in tempo, and I don't plan on trying to do it for real, I just really wonder why Liszt would try to write it like that.


The overall tempo is just a plain old allegro, for one thing. Most people try to play the whole piece too fast for that spec, IMO. And too, Liszt was writing for pianos on which it was easier to play this kind of stuff. A key dip that's just a little bit shallower can make a huge difference in how effortful or effortless this kind of thing feels.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/12/12 06:35 PM

Yea I understand, I happened to get a chance to play a Bechstein that Liszt used, and the keys were extremely light. Completely takes the load off your fingers for Chasse neige, for example.

Today I noticed that the 2nd time those octaves come, he starts to disregard the meter and just writes everything into 3 bars. I guess that's enough evidence supporting the quasi cadenza idea that I shouldn't worry too much about playing it as written.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/14/12 09:42 AM

It is my opinion that Liszt is vastly underrated as a composer of orchestral music. The criticism of his orchestral music is remarkably persistent and, I have found, much of it is unfounded. Even the nicer critics will give this remarkable side of his output due credit for being extremely important in the development of program music, thematic transformation, harmony and, to a lesser extent, use of the orchestra - but only the very brave will give the music itself much credit - which is a shame. In my opinion it simply comes down to prejudices, which lead to misunderstanding, and the fact that much of Liszt's orchestral music is actually pretty complex program music and not the cheap thrills that people seem to link his name to. Even the most educated critics seem to be blind to this side of his music. I read recently Charles Rosen calling Liszt's orchestration 'dreadful,' and when esteemed critics like Rosen are making those judgements, what are others supposed to think?

I don't know why Rosen would have made that claim. Maybe it's because Liszt's orchestration isn't as colorful and immediately exciting as Berlioz or Strauss - who knows. Here's a summary by Michael Saffle on Liszt's orchestration:

"Instead of novelty or complexity, Liszt specialized as an orchestrator of transparency. Only when necessary did he double parts, and then most often to give his string parts more emphasis. Almost never did he produce muddy-sounding or poorly balanced passages, as Schumann and even Brahms sometimes did; certain murky effects in Tasso are an exception, introduced for programmatic purposes. Instead, Liszt's more heavily scored passages are forthright rather than merely exaggerated; his sectional scoring, especially for winds, is noteworthy for its clarity and logic, and his use of solo instruments is both infrequent and highly effective. Liszt also wrote well for percussion; consider the delightful and mostly understated military passages in Hungaria. On occasion he may have employed cymbals and other noise-makers a bit too enthusiastically - but as the years passed his orchestration, in general, grew more subdued."

I'm starting to consider Liszt as not only a composer with a first-rate orchestral output, but also a very good orchestrator - not at the level of, say, Berlioz, but a very good one regardless. I find even the worst his orchestral music to be at least good, very intersting, and certainly worthy of occasional listening - and the best is among my favourite orchestral music. His tone poems are, on the whole, among my favourites and his two symphonies are both tremendously innovative and novel masterpieces that are worthy of frequent recording and performance. Here's a good recording of the Dante (even though the treatment of Liszt's cymbals in the Inferno movement is dreadfully ugly and vulgar at times, and the Purgatorio movement too slow, it is still among the best in a un-competitive environment - perhaps second only to Barenboim, whose recording is also on youtube but in many parts).



Here's my favourite recording of the Faust Symphony:



And some of my favourite tone poems by him:



This recording of the Heroide Funebre is almost ridiculously slow and probably not going to endear itself to new listeners - but actually very compelling if you believe in the work itself beforehand. I only put it here because it's the only video on youtube containing the whole piece in one video - there are other, faster ones on youtube for those who are interested.



Ce qu'on is a flawed, yet remarkable and very innovative composition.





And of course, then there's the more famous (and brilliant) ones like Tasso, Les Preludes and Mazeppa, the other great ones like From the Cradle to the Grave, Der Nachtliche Zug, etc.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/14/12 12:14 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
I read recently Charles Rosen calling Liszt's orchestration 'dreadful,' [...]
I don't know why Rosen would have made that claim.

That's from 'The Romantic Generation'. I agree that Rosen's a bit excessive there (he is elsewhere patronizing about Mendelssohn), but his astute observations in the rest of the chapter more than make up for it. Certainly it gave me a renewed appreciation of some aspects of Liszt which I had formerly excused as 'guilty pleasures'!

Unfortunately Rosen isn't as enthusiastic about the Sonata, in fact he seems somewhat apologetic that it doesn't fully merit the praise bestowed upon it by the rest of us. He rightly points to the Faust Symphony in its more sophisticated use of thematic transformation, but then that occasions the 'dreadful' orchestration.

Otherwise I cannot recommend Rosen's book highly enough, though with the caveat that some of it makes for rather opaque reading. Especially in chapters dealing with music of less interest to me, I thought 'well now, Charles, you've lost me.'

Quote:
Here's my favourite recording of the Faust Symphony:

A fine one indeed. Also try to hear Beecham's early stereo recording from 1958. It has long been considered a classic, and EMI's sound is amazing for its age. Bernstein's early recording on CBS was predictably kinetic in its excitement, but is marred at the end by a tenor (remaining nameless in this post) who sounds like a wizened old queen.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 08/14/12 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
I read recently Charles Rosen calling Liszt's orchestration 'dreadful,' [...]
I don't know why Rosen would have made that claim.

That's from 'The Romantic Generation'. I agree that Rosen's a bit excessive there (he is elsewhere patronizing about Mendelssohn), but his astute observations in the rest of the chapter more than make up for it. Certainly it gave me a renewed appreciation of some aspects of Liszt which I had formerly excused as 'guilty pleasures'!

Unfortunately Rosen isn't as enthusiastic about the Sonata, in fact he seems somewhat apologetic that it doesn't fully merit the praise bestowed upon it by the rest of us. He rightly points to the Faust Symphony in its more sophisticated use of thematic transformation, but then that occasions the 'dreadful' orchestration.

Otherwise I cannot recommend Rosen's book highly enough, though with the caveat that some of it makes for rather opaque reading. Especially in chapters dealing with music of less interest to me, I thought 'well now, Charles, you've lost me.'

Quote:
Here's my favourite recording of the Faust Symphony:

A fine one indeed. Also try to hear Beecham's early stereo recording from 1958. It has long been considered a classic, and EMI's sound is amazing for its age. Bernstein's early recording on CBS was predictably kinetic in its excitement, but is marred at the end by a tenor (remaining nameless in this post) who sounds like a wizened old queen.




Absolutely. I also can't recommend the book enough and a good part of my confusion about him making that claim is that he is really such a terrific writer on music. It shows, to me, that despite how penetrating many of his insights are, he is still human like the rest of us - opinionated, has his own specific tastes, has his biases/prejudices, and is also agenda driven at times, and despite all the times he is highly agreeable there are many others where he's not and that's what's always going to happen when someones writes about music.

As far as the Liszt chapter goes I also can't agree with Rosen's dismissal of Liszt's choral music (perhaps the best part of his output not including his piano music), as well as the quality of his late piano music. His view on the Sonata not fully deserving the praise we heap on it seems to be a taste thing more than anything. He diverted the importance from one aspect of it to another, but as far as quality goes his main gripe was about the work containing "a good deal of bombast and sentimental posturings in between its finest passages." The sections of the piece that he feels deserve that description most of us revel in - and him calling the Liszt Sonata overrated based on that is purely an opinion based on peronal taste. I find Rosen too...'highbrow' in a sense to fully appreciate Liszt's music in the way he does Chopin and Schumann - despite, ironically, his defending of the Rhapsodies and Etudes. I find the negative sentimental posturings comment disagreeable when Rosen elsewhere stated that Chopin's music is fully free of sentimentality, but I digress...

As far as recordings for the Faust go, I have not heard Beecham which is a classic by all accounts. It's high on my to-buy list - and the two CD set i'm thinking of getting also includes a full blooded performance of the 13th Psalm (in English) and a good performance of Orpheus - as well as Silvestri in Tasso and Les Preludes. Looks like a great buy!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/20/12 10:41 PM



Beautiful!

Here's a beautiful piece that's almost never played:



Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/23/12 07:05 AM

Great stuff!



And a terrific performance of Les préludes.

Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/23/12 09:45 PM

Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/23/12 10:37 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.


Are you referring to Il Lamento? If so, my first reaction would be if that's the case why is this piece so infrequently(almost never) performed?
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/23/12 11:18 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.




A gorgeous piece which I once considered almost as highly as you do, but has lost some of it's charm for me. I still love it and still prefer Edith Farnadi's rendering.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/24/12 08:16 AM

@Damon: you have mentioned Farnadi before. Will try to check out some recordings on YT.

@pianoloverus: I've never heard Il lamento in recital, nor have I known anyone who has worked on it. I can only surmise that it's extreme difficulty -especially maintaining momentum over such a long span of time- may be discouraging, and that the piece doesn't have the obvious technical payoff of the other etudes.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/24/12 08:31 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
@Damon: you have mentioned Farnadi before. Will try to check out some recordings on YT.


Good luck. She wasn't a powerhouse but figured large for me because much of my Liszt was first heard through her. It may explain my preference for La leggierezza without the ossia in thirds.
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

@pianoloverus: I've never heard Il lamento in recital, nor have I known anyone who has worked on it. I can only surmise that it's extreme difficulty -especially maintaining momentum over such a long span of time- may be discouraging, and that the piece doesn't have the obvious technical payoff of the other etudes.


Although not unusual with Liszt, the theme isn't too varied in this piece as in others. For a 10 minute piece, this could get monotonous for some, despite the brilliant ornamentation.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/24/12 08:48 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
pianoloverus: I've never heard Il lamento in recital, nor have I known anyone who has worked on it. I can only surmise that it's extreme difficulty -especially maintaining momentum over such a long span of time- may be discouraging, and that the piece doesn't have the obvious technical payoff of the other etudes.
My question or observation was really something different.

Doesn't it seem strange to you that you consider this piece to be "probably the greatest piece Liszt wrote" but virtually no one plays it? In other words, it seems that most people have the opposite opinion of this piece.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/24/12 09:51 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Doesn't it seem strange to you that you consider this piece to be "probably the greatest piece Liszt wrote" but virtually no one plays it? In other words, it seems that most people have the opposite opinion of this piece.

So your point is?
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/25/12 07:07 PM

anyone ever tried the valse-imprompu? so very very charming and disarming! also Liszt, to be played by all of you!
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/25/12 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
anyone ever tried the valse-imprompu? so very very charming and disarming! also Liszt, to be played by all of you!


I'm working on it, but it will take me awhile. I love it!


Rubinstein owns this.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/25/12 08:25 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Doesn't it seem strange to you that you consider this piece to be "probably the greatest piece Liszt wrote" but virtually no one plays it? In other words, it seems that most people have the opposite opinion of this piece.

So your point is?
You love a piece that most don't seem to rate very highly. That's a little unusual, but more importantly you express your opinion as if it was a fact. You just say "probably the greatest piece he ever wrote." To me that's kind of like saying "Probably the earth is flat".
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/25/12 10:38 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
You love a piece that most don't seem to rate very highly. That's a little unusual, but more importantly you express your opinion as if it was a fact. You just say "probably the greatest piece he ever wrote." To me that's kind of like saying "Probably the earth is flat".

There you go again, so bloody tiresome with your constant whining about 'opinion as fact'. It's just an internet board, haven't you figured that out? Your 'earth is flat' analogy would be laughable if it were not so insulting.

If I happen to love that work of Liszt, I don't require anyone's approval, certainly not yours, and that is only my opinion. I think that should have been obvious, but if not, let me add an 'IMO' for your gratification.

I will no longer interact with you here, and would highly appreciate it if you did not read or respond to any of my posts in the future. You are now on IGNORE.




Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/28/12 07:47 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.




This, to me, is perhaps Liszt's most profound piano writing. (such that I've discovered, anyway.) smile


I think I might, possibly, have already posted this one here before, but I will do it again because I just love it so much!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/28/12 10:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon

This, to me, is perhaps Liszt's most profound piano writing. (such that I've discovered, anyway.) smile

Absolutely. I love that piece, and it made for some wonderful early morning listening!
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
You love a piece that most don't seem to rate very highly. That's a little unusual, but more importantly you express your opinion as if it was a fact. You just say "probably the greatest piece he ever wrote." To me that's kind of like saying "Probably the earth is flat".

There you go again, so bloody tiresome with your constant whining about 'opinion as fact'. ..



I read where Microsoft is adding a new feature to Word. Now it will have pianoloverus-check in addition to spell-check and grammar check. wink
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 03:01 PM

This is one of several videos where examples of Liszt by various artists are accompanied with some commentary by David Dubal.




Haha, Dubal doesn't share our love of Il Lamento, argerichfan. But coincidentally, he has an equally scratchy recording of Edith Farnadi performing it in this video.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 04:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
I read where Microsoft is adding a new feature to Word. Now it will have pianoloverus-check in addition to spell-check and [b]grammar check
Yes and my fee was one million which they happily paid. It's just called P-check due to my fame.

I don't think it's unreasonable to think it's desirable that opinions should be phrased as opinions whether on the internet or in person. To have a strong opinion about something, especially if it's not what most others think, and then phrase it as if it was purely factual seems somewhat arrogant.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 04:27 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

I don't think it's unreasonable to think it's desirable that opinions should be phrased as opinions whether on the internet or in person. To have a strong opinion about something, especially if it's not what most others think, and then phrase it as if it was purely factual seems somewhat arrogant.


It's unreasonable to constantly call people out for it when the fact that it's an opinion is obvious. Obviously you won't "get over it" but it's my opinion that you should. laugh
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
It's unreasonable to constantly call people out for it when the fact that it's an opinion is obvious.
I think when it's obvious it's an opinion, it's even more important/desirable to express it as one to avoid the appearance of arrogance. That's my whole point.(Just my opinion.)

Thanks for the Dubal programs. Quite fascinating to hear how he sounded 35 years ago which turns out to be almost exactly the way he sounds today. I used to listen to Dubal's radio program a lot but then got somewhat tired of his super enthusiasm and penchant for reading quotes from various books.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Thanks for the Dubal programs. Quite fascinating to hear how he sounded 35 years ago which turns out to be almost exactly the way he sounds today. I used to listen to Dubal's radio program a lot but then got somewhat tired of his super enthusiasm and penchant for reading quotes from various books.


I've never heard him before, so I've been enjoying his excerpts for now. I think I counted 48 Liszt related programs on this channel. Each one is roughly 50 minutes long, which is a good amount of material for a Liszt-fan.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

Thanks for the Dubal programs. Quite fascinating to hear how he sounded 35 years ago which turns out to be almost exactly the way he sounds today. I used to listen to Dubal's radio program a lot but then got somewhat tired of his super enthusiasm and penchant for reading quotes from various books.


I've never heard him before, so I've been enjoying his excerpts for now. I think I counted 48 Liszt related programs on this channel. Each one is roughly 50 minutes long, which is a good amount of material for a Liszt-fan.
If you google his website, I think they've archived most of his more recent programs. I think he had two programs in the last decade and the less recent one was called Reflections from the Keyboard: The Piano in Comparative Performance.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/29/12 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon

It's unreasonable to constantly call people out for it when the fact that it's an opinion is obvious. Obviously you won't "get over it" but it's my opinion that you should. laugh

I haven't read pianoloverus's posts here, though I think it odd that he continues to post in a thread which doesn't really concern him. It is not about Liszt after all, it is just about a tiny old man wanting to get his own way, the self-appointed constable of PW. How many threads wherein this member just seems to make a fetish of nitpicking?

Sorry that Josh's topic has been so damned by someone who spends far too much time here, and therefore unable to confine himself to topics wherein he might otherwise have something of relevance to tell us.

Once again: I personally feel Il lamento one of Liszt's GREATEST compositions, I don't care what anyone else thinks, it is miraculous -time literally seems to stand still- there is simply no way that I can convey here what it has meant to me.

But someone had to pisss on my parade, remove the mystery, paint me as a fool, and stupidly whine that I didn't specify that -after all- it was only an opinion.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 04:48 AM

I think that when it's obvious that a statement is an opinion, it's more important to explicitly state it's an opinion if one wants to avoid the appearance of arrogance. Even more so if the opinion is different from most others.
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 01:31 PM

You've made your point. Now please let it go. It's ok to "agree to disagree"-- and yes, that is my opinion.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 04:29 PM

Originally Posted By: sophial
You've made your point. Now please let it go. It's ok to "agree to disagree"-- and yes, that is my opinion.


I believe Sibelius and Mahler agreed to disagree on the nature of the symphony (Mahler: The symphony is like the world - it must encompass everything! Sibelius retorted: Nein, no, no! My symphonies are like pure spring water - they cleanse the human soul! grin OK, that wasn´t quite what they said, but you get the gist), and that´s why they´re among the greatest symphonists of all time, and certainly the 20th century´s greatest.

IMO of course grin grin.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 05:43 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis

I believe Sibelius and Mahler agreed to disagree on the nature of the symphony (Mahler: The symphony is like the world - it must encompass everything! Sibelius retorted: Nein, no, no! My symphonies are like pure spring water - they cleanse the human soul! grin

That is a well known -and wonderful- anecdote, if no one is really sure what was said. Interestingly, if I am not mistaken, when Mahler and Sibelius had that encounter they had both written their first three symphonies. (Their respective 3rds are terrific.)

I don't think Elgar ever heard any of the Mahler symphonies -they were never performed in England, though Mahler conducted the 'Enigma Variations' as did Rachmaninov- but his 2nd Symphony is far closer to the Mahler model than Sibelius.

Now I think we must get back to Liszt, or is that just my opinion? wink
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Now I think we must get back to Liszt, or is that just my opinion? wink
Using "I think" automatically makes it your opinion. Two simple words.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 07:21 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Now I think we must get back to Liszt, or is that just my opinion? wink
Using "I think" automatically makes it your opinion. Two simple words.


That's your opinion. Please use the prefix 'I think' when making such comments; it sounds like you're stating a fact, but it's merely your own opinion. kthxbai
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 07:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Now I think we must get back to Liszt, or is that just my opinion? wink
Using "I think" automatically makes it your opinion. Two simple words.


That's your opinion. Please use the prefix 'I think' when making such comments; it sounds like you're stating a fact, but it's merely your own opinion. kthxbai
Not really(unless you would debate the meaning of "is" a la Bill Clinton). I'm just using the standard meaning of the English words.

If you look at my posts, you'll see, not surprisingly, I make very frequent use of "IMO, I think" and similar phrases when stating my opinion.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 08:22 PM

This is rather ridiculous. Josh's thread ran beautifully -some terrific contributions from many members here- for 8 pages before pianoloverus even bothered to contribute, and that only because of a perceived transgression on my part.

Little did I know that an innocent love and enthusiasm for such an underrated piece of Liszt would generate such vitriol. I gave my reasons for why I feel it is not played as often as it should, but that seems to have been overlooked in an avalanche of accusations of opinion masquerading as fact. Then of course the member above had to make it personal, that was what really stung.

This thread was started for members here who admire Liszt's music, and I thought that my contributions would be understood in that context.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 09/30/12 08:34 PM

If we might get back on track, here is a fine performance of Liszt's BACH. When I was in Boston several weeks ago visiting with an old uni friend (and fellow organist), he -after many drinks- expressed disgust at this piece. Some things never change, we disagreed back then too!

Posted by: bennevis

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/01/12 04:25 AM

I haven´t looked at all the posts, but if it hasn´t been mentioned already, there´s a recent recording of Liszt´s B minor Sonata played on the organ: all the notes of the piano part, nothing added, nothing taken away as far as I could tell. And it sounds amazingly good.

Now, we need someone to play it on the harp, or marimba, or xylophone, or...
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/01/12 08:41 AM



France Clidat has become one of my favourite Liszt pianists. There aren't many of her recordings on YouTube, but for those who use it, she recorded quite a bit of Liszt's piano music, which is all available on Spotify:

http://open.spotify.com/album/7krfG6ayVyn18iXfUWRLcO

Apart from the occasional instance in which the piano is out of tune, these are some very great quality recordings indeed!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/01/12 08:55 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
I haven´t looked at all the posts, but if it hasn´t been mentioned already

It hasn't!
Quote:
there´s a recent recording of Liszt´s B minor Sonata played on the organ: all the notes of the piano part, nothing added, nothing taken away as far as I could tell. And it sounds amazingly good.

I have shied away from listening to that, but upon your recommendation perhaps I'll give it a try.

Never been a big fan of organ transcriptions (two major exceptions: the Walton coronation marches which feel tailor made for the organ ) partly because there is so much glorious music written expressly for the king of instruments.

Of course I can be inconsistent. I LOVE piano transcriptions, and the organ counterparts were frequently written for the same reason: to disseminate the music.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/02/12 12:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Probably the greatest piano work Liszt ever wrote. It speaks more profoundly to me than anything else, I dearly love this, it says everything to me.




This, to me, is perhaps Liszt's most profound piano writing. (such that I've discovered, anyway.) smile


I think I might, possibly, have already posted this one here before, but I will do it again because I just love it so much!


I love it too...it's a perfect conclusion to a great cycle of piano music.


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Gunnar Johansen is a great Liszt pianist i've discovered recently. He was one of the first pianists who attempted to record all of Liszt's piano music (he ended with 51 LP's worth), and this was when delving deep into Liszt's output was not exactly a common occurence. Not only did he play a lot of Liszt, i've found many of his recordings to be first rate, too. Here are some examples:







Ad Nos Fantasy and Fugue (start of video, but there are some delightful extras afterward too).





Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/05/12 07:06 PM

Liszt's Funeral Odes are some of his most profound works and some personal favourites of mine. They were written during one of the most remarkable compositional periods in his life (1860 - 1866), in which he wrote/completed final versions of such notable works as the Zwei Konzertetüden, Berceuse, Deux légendes, Variations on a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, Rhapsodie espagnole, Die Lorelei, fantasies on Gounod, Beethoven Symphony Transcrptions, Deux épisodes d'apres le Faust de Lenau (including the first Mephisto Waltz), the choral ending to the Faust Symphony, Psalm's 13, 23, 137, and perhaps his ultimate masterpiece, Christus (and more). This was also a very difficult time in his life; his two children died in a span of around 3 years (which is, I believe, the inspiration for the odes), he and his music were basically driven out of Weimar, and his desired marriage was thwarted by those darn things we call politics. Luckily for us these terrible times for him have resulted in great works of art for us to witness!





Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/12/12 03:45 AM



This is, I feel, a very 'Lisztian' performance. And so great! I imagine that this is almost exactly how Liszt would have played it!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 05:56 AM

Liszt combines Allegri's Miserere mei Deus, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, and some passages/elaborations of his own, to create a wonderful work.



Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon


This is, I feel, a very 'Lisztian' performance. And so great! I imagine that this is almost exactly how Liszt would have played it!


Beautiful performance! One of my favourite Rhapsodies.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 08:25 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Ad Nos Fantasy and Fugue (start of video, but there are some delightful extras afterward too).




What an INSANELY great piece of music, Liszt at his grandest! Johansen faithfully plays the Busoni transcription. (I followed with score.)

I have often wondered why Liszt never arranged it for solo piano; certainly he would have played through it on the piano. Liszt had no training as an organist and could not play the pedals, but all he managed was a rather perfunctory arrangement for piano four hands. Pace Leslie Howard, it is of little interest, and even less imagination.

Saint-Saëns -no slouch when it came to writing for the organ- proclaimed the Ad nos the most extraordinary work for the organ since Bach. Not true- that honour (and no IMO, thank-you) goes to Franck's greatest organ works. But S-S disliked Franck, surely a combination of personality conflict and misapprehension of the music.

How wrong he was. S-S, that most facile of composers, pales in comparison to Franck. Nothing he wrote matches the mature music of Franck, if he does come close on occasion.

For all that, nothing approaches a performance of the Ad nos on the organ. It is an unbelievably majestic experience, and when I first heard it played at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, I knew I wanted to be an organist.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 08:49 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Ad Nos Fantasy and Fugue (start of video, but there are some delightful extras afterward too).





Pace Leslie Howard, it is of little interest, and even less imagination.


I listened to this recently and agree. I found it rather bland, and it's certainly no match for the Busoni. It's unusual, too, Liszt usually being so good as a transcriber and there's no reason for him to not have given this work his best. Maybe he was just having a bad day?
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 09:19 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
It's unusual, too, Liszt usually being so good as a transcriber and there's no reason for him to not have given this work his best. Maybe he was just having a bad day?

Who knows, Josh. Considering Liszt's appetite for transcribing -and several times he made a transcription, only to later realize he had done it earlier- I have actually lost sleep wondering why he had so little interest in one of his greatest compositions.

The whole issue is not only incomprehensible, but totally ridiculous.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 09:32 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
he had so little interest in one of his greatest compositions.


At least as far as his resulting transcription goes. I believe in his later years he actually called the Ad Nos one of his "least bad" compositions, or something like that. Interestingly Leslie Howard in his liner notes wrote that "The score of the work shows how carefully Liszt sought to make an effective duet version." Puzzling, overall. Regardless, we shall be forever thankful for Busoni! I can't imagine it being done better.
Posted by: thaiguy20fromla

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/13/12 11:09 PM

I've spent last year exploring my fondness for Liszt. Before, he was ehh, but between Chopin and him, both are at the top of my list of composers for the piano.

To top it off, I get to see my teacher perform the complete first book of the Annees de Pelerinage tomorrow!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/14/12 01:23 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Interestingly Leslie Howard in his liner notes wrote that "The score of the work shows how carefully Liszt sought to make an effective duet version."

But then Howard goes on to write that there are many passages in which all the material is redistributed about the four hands... which seems to me a bit of an overstatement. The end result doesn't particularly illuminate anything new about the original, and without access to the score, one might indeed conclude that the 'secondo' is in fact merely doubling the pedal line, a rather uncomfortable issue for Howard.

At this point we could honestly enquire: well then, why didn't Liszt go all the way and arrange it for two pianos? He certainly wasn't adverse to doing so -very successfully- with his symphonic poems.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/14/12 10:13 PM

Had some further discussion re this composition with a fellow organist this afternoon. (London Calling indeed -that brings me back- two years before I was born. Good thing I saw Billy Elliot)

But we both agreed that the original organ work is rather frustrating, but not so the Busoni!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/14/12 10:37 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

But we both agreed that the original organ work is rather frustrating


In what way? I'm no expert on the work and don't know the ins and outs of the organ/organ composition so it would be interesting to hear both your opinions.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 09:29 AM

Some more neglected piano compositions that haven't been mentioned yet:









It's probably sacrilegious to say, but I prefer Liszt's Berceuse to Chopin's far better known work. Of course it's unlikely Liszt's would be how it is without Chopin's example.



Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 10:41 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Some more neglected piano compositions that haven't been mentioned yet:




While it's still full of Liszt's magic, I can't help but feel that his polonaises are all kind of "a la Chopin," and that he's just making fun. smile Great listening, nonetheless!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

But we both agreed that the original organ work is rather frustrating


In what way? I'm no expert on the work and don't know the ins and outs of the organ/organ composition so it would be interesting to hear both your opinions.

Frustrating in that as Liszt had no formal training on the organ, there are several passages wherein the writing for the instrument is less than idiomatic. In the manual parts, Liszt sometimes seems flummoxed by the lack of a sustaining pedal, and then some of the pedal parts border the impossible. (Most organists edit them in varying degrees.)

It is interesting to compare with the organ sonata by Liszt's student Julius Reubke. There the pedal writing is seamlessly integrated with the manuals, and the piece never sounds like piano music transferred to the organ. (I have also never seen it transcribed for piano.)

But as much as I love the Reubke sonata (and it is a favourite with all but the most snobbish organists), overall it doesn't quite climb that Lisztian Parnassus of kinetic energy, mysticism, and spellbinding grandeur.
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 06:27 PM

I have to confess I am not really a Lisztophile, (I overall prefer Chopin). But only Liszt could have created the Mephisto Waltz, and the Hungarian Rhapsodies. And every instinct tells me there has only been one 'perfect' interpreter of Liszt - Gyorgy Cziffra. His CDs take pride of place in my collection, along with Michelangeli's Debussy, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's Songs of Richard Strauss.

Apart from the phenomenal virtuosity Cziffra had at his command, he has, for me, the perfect blend of explosive bravura and melting lyricism that this music demands. Titanic!

I am not a performer, but a composer. But I have penned a very, very virtuosic work for piano, written in an impressionist/romantic style. For anyone interested you will find the work, Abyss, in the Composers Lounge Forum, and on youtube - marknicol7. 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.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 06:47 PM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 07:12 PM

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.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 07:23 PM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 07:53 PM

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.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 07:56 PM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 08:03 PM

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.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 08:31 PM

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.

Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 09:17 PM

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
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 09:48 PM



Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 10:59 PM

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.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/16/12 11:11 PM

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.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 12:10 AM

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.
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 02:52 AM

Thanks for a highly intelligent post, and I'll listen to the recordings you talk of.
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 02:59 AM

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.
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 03:04 AM

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?
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 03:23 AM

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.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 03:31 AM

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!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 06:05 AM

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.



Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 07:16 PM

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?)
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/17/12 07:31 PM

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
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 01:08 AM

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...
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 07:34 AM




Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 10:20 AM

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.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 12:06 PM

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.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 12:19 PM



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.
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 02:55 PM

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.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 07:56 PM

removed by argerichfan
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 08:44 PM

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.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 09:33 PM

removed by argerichfan
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 10:21 PM

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.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 10:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon





Hadn't heard this recording before. This is a work -one that used to be a favourite of mine- i'd learnt to find quite tedious and theatrical. After hearing Lewenthal I think I can blame the performances. That was amazing. Thanks for sharing!

I've found that with Liszt quite often. It's so easy for a performance to give Liszt a bad name. Liszt wrote much of his music with his performance capabilities in mind - it's almost as if every time you play Liszt you're measuring yourself up against his vision, which was perhaps exemplified by the way he played his music. A great performance like this one brings you close to Liszt's intentions, and you realise the sublime vision that he attempted to convey. I've found that very few performances do this in each of Liszt's finest works, but when you find one that does, everything comes together and any doubts about the music itself get eradicated.

P.S. Post #300!
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/18/12 11:39 PM

Hi Josh,

yes, I'm really attracted to extreme romanticism. Early on I was a Mahler fan, and his scores really reveal an untempered Romantic at work. On my youtube channel marknicol7 I have a work, Ulysses, the first movement of Symphony in Indigo, which I best describe as Super-Romanticism. It draws from the ethos of Mahler and Wagner.

I get what you mean about freedom, and freedom is the most dangerous thing. Mahler was obliquely critical of Brahms for 'not doing enough' with his themes: More likely, he didn't like Brahms' conservative nature.

Having dinner with a concert pianist, Gil Sullivan, tomorrow night - so I will bring up Liszt, which he plays quite a bit. Would be good to get Alexandre Dossin's views too. Any chance of hearing your playing?

I posted the current sketch for the Chopinesque piece on the site below:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=48442.0
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/19/12 10:07 AM


Busoni said of this passage: anyone who is not moved by this has not yet come to Liszt! (approximately)

Now you people should hear a good recording of the opera, perhaps the Callas recording on EMI. Interestingly, the most famous moment in the opera, Casta diva, is not included in Liszt's paraphrase, but as Lewenthal points out, it occurs at a static moment of the opera so was of no use to Liszt.

(Sorry for tangling with another member yesterday. I have removed those posts.)
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/19/12 11:28 AM

Hi Jason - I thought Busoni said that about the part where Liszt is imitating the timpani, you know - da da da DEE / da-da-da-da DA

Any case, thanks for this thread, dear thread-starter!
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/19/12 06:07 PM

So I fought it for a long, but I've finally caught the lizst bug. I've been listening to him non stop this week. The Bm Sonata and the 2nd Ballade are simply mind blowing.
Have any of you listened to Valentina Lisita's recording of the ballade? She uses a 97 key bosendorfe piano that is incredible. And she uses those extra low notes at a certain point. It just sounds so so good.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/20/12 01:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Hi Jason - I thought Busoni said that about the part where Liszt is imitating the timpani, you know - da da da DEE / da-da-da-da DA

You sure about that Ian? The 'timpani' imitation -and the Thalbergian three handed effects- has been commented on before, but I did not think that it was what Busoni went so crazy over.

But you do need to hear Bellini's original. His opera begins the same way as Liszt's paraphrase (after the opening flourishes) -such rich orchestration- and I was captivated.

Bellini, who passed on at 33, was an operatic genius who should be better known to piano aficionados. Chopin owed a lot to his example, and I well recall a performance of I Puritani several years ago. There was not one dull moment, his melodic inspiration could barely be contained, and I left the opera house in tears, took me a week to get over it.
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/20/12 05:17 AM

Dug up the Busoni quote:

"...anyone who has listened to or played the finale of Lucrezia, the middle section in B major in Norma or the slow movement in Sonnambula without being moved has not arrived at Liszt."

Both parts in question in are B major, but mine's a proper middle section so I'll be giving myself the laurel on this one, if there's no contention.

Bellini -- I'm familiar with the literature and've heard bits and bobs (fine Queen's English there) and it's very lovely -- never had to pleasure to experience one of his operas whole, though.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/20/12 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G

"...anyone who has listened to or played the finale of Lucrezia, the middle section in B major in Norma or the slow movement in Sonnambula without being moved has not arrived at Liszt."

Both parts in question in are B major, but mine's a proper middle section so I'll be giving myself the laurel on this one, if there's no contention.

Very nice going, Ian, and thanks for digging up the Busoni quote. (Probably in library somewhere, though sometimes searching these things out can be quite time consuming!)

I suppose no disagreement after all, but isn't the Liszt musical quote I posted above much more boldly dramatic in its technical address? One is moved not only by that, but its very appearance on the printed page.

This brings to mind Elgar's magnificent 'Introduction and Allegro' for strings. At the climax at rehearsal 12, Elgar marks it nobilmente, but how would a casual listener, not to mention a sophisticated one, really understand what is happening, much less hear anything different? It is only when one follows the score that the experience takes on a whole new dimension. It is nobilmente, now we perceive it differently, and exactly what the composer intended.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/20/12 08:39 PM

And one thing else to point out about Liszt's Norma: the right hand scales at the 'Meno Allegro' (so ingenious) may very well have inspired Busoni, because at the climax of his transcription of the 'Ad nos', there they are. It is the same concept.
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/20/12 08:43 PM

Seeing your Elgar and raising a Mahler (because who doesn't like a good dust-up), he was still more illustrative in his directions, z.B. in the scherzo to the 5th symphony, specifically asking for an implied rather than actual crescendo.

I agree the page you quoted is wonderfully dramatic for eye and ear. I think Schumann said about Thalberg in connection to the 3-hand effect that it sounded like the piano was giving birth to another piano.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/21/12 01:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Seeing your Elgar and raising a Mahler (because who doesn't like a good dust-up), he was still more illustrative in his directions, z.B. in the scherzo to the 5th symphony, specifically asking for an implied rather than actual crescendo.

Hola, Ian, it might even be suggested that following the score of a Mahler symphony gives one more insight into the music than listening to it in a concert venue. The Elgar symphonies are similar in this regard.

Pity those who cannot read an orchestral score. wink
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/21/12 03:41 PM

Hi Ian, Jason & Josh,

the really interesting Mahler scores to look at, for me, are the late period master-works: Das Lied von der Erde, the 1st. movement of the 9th., and the 1st. Movement of the 10th. For me, Das Lied is his only 'perfect work', there is no waste or excess on the canvas - the orchestration and finesse is actually exquisite (and it is certainly a great aesthetic relief from the 8th., which is rather overblown in every way). The 1st. movement of the 9th. is a rapturous work of 'lyrical polyphony', and, as well, a Teutonic drama. The 1st. Movement of the 10th. contains some of the most acrid harmonies in linear counterpoint ever written, whilst being totally lyrical and a perfect expose of Mahler's tortured feelings at the time. The opening Viola theme seems to be not just a script revealing Mahler's personal sense of utter desolation, dissolution, but is perhaps also a nod to the contemporaneous sway of atonality?

I always find that Elgar achieves something in music that is quite marvellous, in a quiet , quiet way - sublime subtlety. Also discovered a fantastic orchestral work by Frank Bridge the other day - there was a great school established in that little country, for a while.

Anyway, returning to Liszt - how about some discussion as to the more revolutionary harmonic and polyphonic constructions of his late works, and of his orchestral Tone Poems. I haven't done a lot of listening in either area, and would appreciate some seasoned thinking.

Mark
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/21/12 08:48 PM

An awful lot to comment on here, thank-you for your kind post, but a dinner engagement is nigh.
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
The 1st. Movement of the 10th. contains some of the most acrid harmonies in linear counterpoint ever written, whilst being totally lyrical and a perfect expose of Mahler's tortured feelings at the time.

That climax in Ab minor has always frightened me, there is nothing in music quite like that, and I admit I don't have the stomach for it.


Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/22/12 10:17 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANZ LISZT!
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/22/12 12:37 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANZ LISZT!


grin You beat me to it!
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/22/12 08:09 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANZ LISZT!


I SEE THAT YOU ARE ALSO CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANZ LISZT, AND HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/22/12 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANZ LISZT!


Thank you for so much great music and an amazing legacy, Franz!!
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/23/12 12:58 AM

I WILL PERFORM HIS 2ND BALLADE AND B MINOR SONATA THIS YEAR TO CELEBRATE!
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/23/12 07:26 PM

I've listened to it hundreds of times. Yes, there is so much dissonance, so much pain in that music that very few would actually be 'attracted to it'. I am one of the few, (but I suppose I've also written a piece 'over-burdened with dissonance and pain' - Ulysses, which you can hear on my youtube site marknicol7 )

What about the late Liszt works, and the orchestral Tone Poems? How about any ideas on great recordings, for a start.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/24/12 09:04 PM

I love some of the comments Yevgeny Sudbin makes in the notes of his new CD, Yevgeny Sudbin plays Liszt, Ravel & Saint-Saëns (BIS).

Discussing the 3 Sonetti del Petrarca:

"Il Canzoniere (Song Book)...is probably Petrarch’s most notable work. In it, and over a time span of around 40 years, he finds ample opportunity for self-torture over his burning, unrequited passion for Laura, a woman he is said to have met only once, briefly. Yet as we read, we realize that Petrarch’s internal struggle may not have been about Laura at all, but rather the eternal conflict between flesh and soul – an unwinnable battle only too familiar to the womanizer Liszt (although for him lack of reciprocation was not an issue, with divorces being filed en masse whenever he appeared in town)."

(Reminds me of another famous poet's unrequited love; Catullus's hopeless love for Lesbia.)

And, on the addictive nature of playing Liszt:

"In my youth, I shied away from Liszt as I was afraid that I hadn’t yet achieved the necessary humility and would join the long queue of young pianists contributing to a less than favourable image of the ‘piano-smashing’ Liszt. I was always
fascinated by the introverted and delicate Liszt, however. It’s not that I mind showmanship, as long as it doesn’t detract from the original musical thought. (Yet it is more difficult to forgive when showmanship is not backed up by an adequate technique!) Nevertheless I try to stay away from Liszt’s Greatest Virtuosic Hits because they leave me longing for more – as with Pringles, ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’".

On the CD:

Funérailles

TEs 10 & 11

3 Sonetti del Petrarca

Ravel Gaspard de la nuit

Saint-Saëns Danse macabre (Liszt-Horowitz-Sudbin version)


Mel
Posted by: Arghhh

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/24/12 09:15 PM

Apologies if this has been mentioned already in this thread, I don't have the patience anymore today to sift through the rest of it...

I was asked the other day who today's great Liszt performers are, and I couldn't come up with anyone. I have to admit that I could only think of ones from the previous generation like Arrau and Bolet.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/25/12 01:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Arghhh

I was asked the other day who today's great Liszt performers are, and I couldn't come up with anyone. I have to admit that I could only think of ones from the previous generation like Arrau and Bolet.


Few anymore make Liszt their specialty. Lang Lang claims Liszt to be his pianistic hero but I found his Liszt mostly dull. Hamelin has recorded quite a bit of Liszt and he's still alive.
smile

Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/25/12 04:54 PM

I will be buying this CD. I listened to Sudbin playing Gaspard de La Nuit on the tube. A level of fluid poetry and sensitivity that I have not hear before. A little limp, but marvelous. To me he is the real deal, like a Cziffra, or a Michelangeli - a genuine artist. His paraphrase on the Chopin Minute Waltz is very good, very artistic. Will be hanging to hear the Liszt.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/25/12 05:19 PM

Wasn't around during Liszt's birthday, but i'll add to the CELEBRATIONS OF LISZT AND CAPS LOCK.

Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

What about the late Liszt works, and the orchestral Tone Poems? How about any ideas on great recordings, for a start.


Well, unfortunately most cycles of the tone poems are very uneven. A list of the best recordings would look something like (IMO) (I put a star next to the works that are, IMO, among Liszt's best orchestral works):

Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne: Masur/Gewandhaus-Orchester Leipzig (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G-OmiUPIN0).

Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo*: Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Les Preludes*: Karajan.

Orpheus*: Haitink/London Philharmonic Orchestra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=budSyYjt5cw).

Prometheus: Solti/London Phil.

Mazeppa: Karajan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFYMDZPTfk).

Festklänge: No idea - ask Jason!

Héroïde funèbre: Haitink (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K3kt_Ax7DM).

Hungaria: Joo/Budapest Symphony Orchestra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD0mh7K4gPk).

Hamlet: Haitink (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVXu8QBY6CU).

Hunnenschlacht: No idea.

Die Ideale: Haitink.

Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe: Haitink.

Other orchestral works:

Deux épisodes d'apres le Faust de Lenau

- Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke: Karajan.

- Der nächtliche Zug*: Masur (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo1s-vjo3rI).

- Eine Faust-Symphonie*: Bernstein/Boston Symphony Orchestra (DVD version is better) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag-02u6eqZA), Muti/Philadelphia Orchestra or Beecham/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

- Eine Symphonie zu Dante's Divina Commedia*: Barenboim/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBITTCjsFY4) is great except he, unfortunately, underplays the great climax in the Magnificat, which almost ruins the work for me and leaves it somewhat inconclusive (a common criticism of the work, ever since Wagner supposedly talked Liszt out of depicting Paridoso). I think the other great one is Sinopoli/Staatskapelle Dresden (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8huOjLi2YE), although this one might be difficult for first time listeners, with its chaotic cymbals in the first movement, and very slow Purgatorio movement. It's not perfect, but overall it gives a 'full' reading of the work - it's the only Magnificat i've found truly convincing to end the work - and the rest will probably grow on you, as it did on me.

Some recommended CD's to start off with:

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Orchestral-W...s=liszt+karajan

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Faust-Sympho...s=liszt+beecham (unfortunately the Psalm -one of Liszt's finest works- isn't given a very good recording).

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Dante-Sympho...dante+barenboim

I'm unsure as to what complete tone poem set to get. Contenders are:

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Complete-Sym...s=liszt+haitink (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Pnoy-VgURo) (Great musicianship, despite underplaying quite badly at times. Still, the most dependable and probably my first choice as the one to start off with).

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Complete-Sym...words=liszt+joo (Very good, but the sound quality is pretty poor).

Masur has a reputation as, perhaps, the best -and he is pretty good- but he's more uneven than most. The good thing here is that it includes the most Liszt orchestral works out of any set.

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Orchestral-O...rds=liszt+masur

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the late works...well i'm not sure. Zimerman does well with Nuages Gris (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6objDnNYGCQ), the La Lugubre Gondola II (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YYCg2Bhh1Y), La Notte (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ayBbpkDPbA) (which isn't particularly late, but it sounds like it), and pretty well with Funérailles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a0KbFJe_Dg) (again, not late, but sounds somewhat like it), here (includes the Sonata):

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Sonata-lugubre-gondola-Fun%C3%A9railles/dp/B000001GF5/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1351198545&sr=1-2&keywords=liszt+zimerman

The best for the third (and late) year of the Années de pèlerinage is, IMO, Berman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm6uQ23NkHI):

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Ann%C3%A9es-p%C3%A8lerinage-Complete-Recording/dp/B000069KJ0/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1351198756&sr=1-1&keywords=liszt+berman

He also wrote some late choral works of interest. I'm not good with recordings in this area, but here are some youtube clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnVVYu0vOlo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX3mbbQlbWk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXgqpdXUrdE (organ version) or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oMJctA-g60 (piano version).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh0WTwPbdNU&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiRV0lRlB48&feature=related

As for the rest of Liszt's late works...well i'm really not sure. Leslie Howard, of course, did a complete traversal of them (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WquhK-R7T_M) but I think he's pretty poor here:

http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Late-Pieces-...iszt+late+works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b29qCN3rFIE

Pollini also did some late Liszt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO-xLyYPzTo.

Here's the wikipedia article on his late works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_works_of_Franz_Liszt

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally Posted By: Arghhh
Apologies if this has been mentioned already in this thread, I don't have the patience anymore today to sift through the rest of it...

I was asked the other day who today's great Liszt performers are, and I couldn't come up with anyone. I have to admit that I could only think of ones from the previous generation like Arrau and Bolet.


Hamelin is pretty good. His recent CD with the Sonata, B-A-C-H, and the Benediction is tremendous.

Of course, there's Howard. However most would say that's more due to quantity rather than quality.

One of my very favourite Liszt pianists, though, is Stephen Hough. In fact I find Liszt is his best composer. Here are some examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xDN_m6v_78

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12M0dwfCppI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhHVTeuW5zI



Posted by: Arghhh

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/26/12 11:57 PM

Thanks for the replies to my question on current performers. It's actually the first time I've entered the thread and it gave me an opportunity to hear some non-standard Liszt. It hasn't yet grown on me though - maybe I'll try for a bit more.
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/27/12 04:37 PM

Thanks Josh,

I am going to print this list out, and listen to it all, bit by bit. Haitink, Karajan, Barenboim - I trust all of them. Jarvi is currently doing a great job on Shos. Did Horowitz play much Liszt? I was talking with Gil Sullivan the other day, and he said he has played on Horowitz's famous 'private Steinway'. Gil said it is no ordinary instrument, that it has a phenomenal capacity for colouring not normally found on your standard Steinways. Still, I'm not mad on Horowitz's interpretation of 'substance works', so technique and tone, even poetry and colour don"t count for everything.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/29/12 05:37 AM

Finally cracked open the B minor Sonata today, played a few pages. Such fun! I'm becoming quite conflicted over what to learn...
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/29/12 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

Did Horowitz play much Liszt? I was talking with Gil Sullivan the other day, and he said he has played on Horowitz's famous 'private Steinway'. Gil said it is no ordinary instrument, that it has a phenomenal capacity for colouring not normally found on your standard Steinways. Still, I'm not mad on Horowitz's interpretation of 'substance works', so technique and tone, even poetry and colour don"t count for everything.


He played a fair bit of Liszt, but personally i've never cared for it very much. I think i'm in the minority here -and there are some exceptions- but some of his playing I find to be quite dreadful (see the first Mephisto Waltz). He also made some changes to Liszt's scores at times and most of the time I find them to show a misunderstanding of the music.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/29/12 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol

Did Horowitz play much Liszt? I was talking with Gil Sullivan the other day, and he said he has played on Horowitz's famous 'private Steinway'. Gil said it is no ordinary instrument, that it has a phenomenal capacity for colouring not normally found on your standard Steinways. Still, I'm not mad on Horowitz's interpretation of 'substance works', so technique and tone, even poetry and colour don"t count for everything.


He played a fair bit of Liszt, but personally i've never cared for it very much. I think i'm in the minority here -and there are some exceptions- but some of his playing I find to be quite dreadful (see the first Mephisto Waltz). He also made some changes to Liszt's scores at times and most of the time I find them to show a misunderstanding of the music.


Horowitz made a horrific recording of Liszt for RCA in the 70's which included the first Mephisto Waltz and the Bm Sonata. It was very sloppy and harsh sounding.

The best of his Liszt can be found on Phillips great pianist series, volume 48. I would ignore the rest.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/29/12 08:52 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
He also made some changes to Liszt's scores at times and most of the time I find them to show a misunderstanding of the music.

Some changes? In the later RCA recordings, the music is almost completely re-written, IMO to no advantage, and making Liszt sound just plain vulgar. They are unlistenable for me.

A much earlier recording on RCA of the 6th Rhapsody is more successful, the moderate re-writing towards the end highly effective.

Earlier in his career, Arrau recorded several of the Rhapsodies. I don't know that they ever made it to CD (perhaps Damon will locate them on YT, I'm a bit pressed for time right now.) I do recall his 9th Rhapsody as an absolutely superb rendition, and methinks that's my favourite of all the Rhapsodies, though I do have a soft spot for 2, 4, 5 and 8.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/29/12 09:05 PM

Arrau on the 9th


Gilels on the 9th (personal favorite) smile
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/29/12 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Some changes? In the later RCA recordings, the music is almost completely re-written, IMO to no advantage, and making Liszt sound just plain vulgar.


Some of that stuff he did on the Mephisto Waltz he pulled from Busoni's transcription of the orchestral version. It might have worked if it wasn't so sloppy.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/30/12 01:01 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Some changes? In the later RCA recordings, the music is almost completely re-written, IMO to no advantage, and making Liszt sound just plain vulgar. They are unlistenable for me.

though I do have a soft spot for 8.


Well yes, I was being a bit mild.

Isn't 8 just so much fun! My favourite recording:


Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 10/30/12 01:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Damon


Mephisto Waltz orchestral version.


It's little known that, in its orchestral guise, the first Mephisto Waltz is paired with one of his finest orchestral works: Der nächtliche Zug (some say one of his finest in general: "a masterpiece of musical picture painting") as part as the Deux épisodes d'apres le Faust de Lenau. He also wrote a solo piano transcription of the latter, and Liszt intended them to be played together (in the orchestral from, but I don't see why it would be any different for the piano versions). Unfortunately (IMO) the Mephisto Waltz is better in the piano version, and the Midnight Procession in its orchestral one (the piano transcription strikes me as a rather perfunctory effort). Still, it would be nice to see Liszt's intentions honored from time to time, in either form.







Or



Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 01:02 AM

Wow. I've always been somewhat frustrated with Liszt's Dante Sonata. Its first ten minutes are perhaps my very favourite ten minutes in all of piano music but I usually find after that it gets somewhat tedious. Just now, for the first time I heard a performance that convinces me of the whole thing. I don't know why I hadn't heard this before, given the pianist!





Arrau once again confirms his place as my favourite Liszt pianist (Bolet is close). He takes Liszt as seriously as any other composer (as it should be) and plays every note with a purely musical intention - and Arrau's musicianship is as distinguished as any.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 01:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark Nicol
Hi Josh,

yes, I'm really attracted to extreme romanticism. Early on I was a Mahler fan, and his scores really reveal an untempered Romantic at work. On my youtube channel marknicol7 I have a work, Ulysses, the first movement of Symphony in Indigo, which I best describe as Super-Romanticism. It draws from the ethos of Mahler and Wagner.

I get what you mean about freedom, and freedom is the most dangerous thing. Mahler was obliquely critical of Brahms for 'not doing enough' with his themes: More likely, he didn't like Brahms' conservative nature.

Having dinner with a concert pianist, Gil Sullivan, tomorrow night - so I will bring up Liszt, which he plays quite a bit. Would be good to get Alexandre Dossin's views too. Any chance of hearing your playing?

I posted the current sketch for the Chopinesque piece on the site below:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=48442.0


I missed this post! Sorry!

Did you get much out of Sullivan re Liszt (and others)?

Not at this point, no. I've been out of action for a couple years now as far as actually playing the piano goes. There are a few reasons for this, none that I will detail here...I'm in more of a listening stage at the moment.

Thanks for the link to the piece - you've obviously noticed you'll get more of a reception here than on pianostreet. Why did you put it there, might I ask? Regardless, I enjoyed listening to it. I'm not the one to offer much insight but it was certainly enjoyable - higher quality than most of the stuff linked to piano forums! You're obviously a rather accomplished composer, when did you start composing? What's your background in the area?

As for the symphony, well I will be sure to listen to it when I have the time.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 01:40 AM

Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
So I fought it for a long, but I've finally caught the lizst bug. I've been listening to him non stop this week. The Bm Sonata and the 2nd Ballade are simply mind blowing.
Have any of you listened to Valentina Lisita's recording of the ballade? She uses a 97 key bosendorfe piano that is incredible. And she uses those extra low notes at a certain point. It just sounds so so good.


Only just saw this too - good to hear! I hope his music continues to gives you much pleasure, as it has all of us here.

I have heard the Lisitsa. I'm not completely rapt about the performance itself (although I do like it) but the effect of the extra low notes is stupendous indeed.
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 02:15 AM

Now that I've listened to a few other recordings (lisitsa's was the first I heard) hers is no longer my favorite but it's still up there for me. I do love her cadenza though. It's marvelous.

I'm considering playing one of the Années de pèlerinage soon just as a way into liszt.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 11:55 AM



This is a marvellous little gem, along with the other Valse oubliée. The moment when the main melody first comes in is just so glorious!

I LOVE FRANZ LISZT! smile
Posted by: Mark Nicol

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 03:00 PM

Hi Josh,
serious composition started only about 7 years ago, and is very slow, but I have written three books on environmentalism in that period - and have to earn a crust too.

Didn't get the opportunity to talk much Liszt with Gil, although he said Chopin is actually harder to play, because his writing is less idiomatically pianistic. This kind of ties in with my feeling that Liszt tends to let his fingers do a lot of the writing, compared to Chopin, i.e. sheer facility starts to take a hand over cogitated aesthetics. I would liken this, in the jazz field, say, to the essential difference between Miles Davis and James Morrison - although here the difference is far greater - one is largely all about aesthetics, art, and the other is just unbridled facility.

As a composer one must be critical of oneself, and of one's models too. Superfluity, as an artist, was also a hallmark of Liszt's super-romantic nature - and for it, he paid a price. A more judicious artist would have written less, and aimed for more perfected works - (note the previous comments upon the Dante Sonata). But one cannot temper a volcanic outpouring, and so excess and flaws must become part of the flux. I think this, perhaps, indicates also how Liszt is best played. Hence my love of Cziffra. As for Arrau, I find his Chopin was too affected - excessively feminine. He can't nearly match Cziffra, in a work such as the Mephisto. He is not in the same technical league, not, for me, at all in the right aesthetic place. Still, I don't like Cziffra playing anything else, much, but Liszt.
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 04:26 PM

About the Dante Sonata -- anyone else have favorite recordings of this piece? I'm performing it right now, and the thing is really a peach to play -- nothing too unfriendly. Although, the tremolos in the paradise bit strike me as uninspired, and I have to seriously resist the urge to rewrite those bars.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/01/12 04:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Although, the tremolos in the paradise bit strike me as uninspired, and I have to seriously resist the urge to rewrite those bars.


I agree with this. It's somewhat banal in retrospect. That being said, done well (like Arrau) they can sound lovely in the context of the music, despite this perceived banality.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/08/12 05:21 AM

Originally Posted By: TrueMusic

I'm considering playing one of the Années de pèlerinage soon just as a way into liszt.


A good place to start! What are you thinking of starting with?
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/08/12 06:07 AM

Arrau plays Liszt:

Transcendental Etudes.
Concert Etudes: Il Lamento, La Leggierezza, Un Sospiro, Waldesrauschen, Gnomenreigen.
Valse Oubilee No. 1.
Chant Polonais No. 5 (My Darling).
Liebestraume No. 3.
Hungarian Rhapsodies: 8, 9, 10, 13.
Mephisto Waltz No. 1.
Verdi Paraphrases: Ernani, I Lombardi, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Don Carlos, Aida, Simon Boccanegra.
Ballade No. 2.
Harmonies poetiques et religiuses: Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude, Funerailles.
Années de Pèlerinage: Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, Vallee d'Obermann, Sonetto 104, Sonetto 123, Dante Sonata, Les jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este.
Piano Sonata.

All sublime. For one who's looking to change their view of Liszt from an empty virtuoso to a great composer, these recordings are the ideal place to start.

Posted by: im@me

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/08/12 11:49 AM

Where is a good place to start with Liszt? Can anyone suggest a piece of reasonable length, but not massively difficult. If it helps I am currently studying: Beethoven op.14 no.1,op.51 no.1. Debussy: Danses le Duelph (prelude book 1 no.1) and dr Gradus and parnassum, Chopin Scherzo no.2, and Polonaise op.44 and op.55 nocturne
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/08/12 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: im@me
Where is a good place to start with Liszt? Can anyone suggest a piece of reasonable length, but not massively difficult. If it helps I am currently studying: Beethoven op.14 no.1,op.51 no.1. Debussy: Danses le Duelph (prelude book 1 no.1) and dr Gradus and parnassum, Chopin Scherzo no.2, and Polonaise op.44 and op.55 nocturne


What does reasonable length mean? 5 minutes? 8 minutes? 10? 15? And what does studying mean? How are you going with the pieces? I'm particularly interested in the Op. 44 Polonaise and the Scherzo No. 2. Lastly, have you asked your teacher?

Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/08/12 02:25 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic

I'm considering playing one of the Années de pèlerinage soon just as a way into liszt.


A good place to start! What are you thinking of starting with?


Not sure. I adore the jeux d'eaux from the third book, but I don't know if that's the one I want to start with. Getting the right touch on that piece will be difficult at best. There was one that I stumbled across last week in the car, just had my spotify going through some liszt album on there, and it was glorious but for the life of me I can't find it right now. :[.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/08/12 03:05 PM

Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic

I'm considering playing one of the Années de pèlerinage soon just as a way into liszt.


A good place to start! What are you thinking of starting with?


Not sure. I adore the jeux d'eaux from the third book, but I don't know if that's the one I want to start with. Getting the right touch on that piece will be difficult at best. There was one that I stumbled across last week in the car, just had my spotify going through some liszt album on there, and it was glorious but for the life of me I can't find it right now. :[.


Here i'll try to help, when I think of "glorious" in the Annees de Pelerinage firstly I think of...

Vallee d'Obermann (the glorious bit is the ending, from 10:30 on).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBglBGW-AWc

Or

Sposalizio (Mainly from 5:00 on).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdzaMUw98pc

Next i'd think of...

Les cloches de Geneve (Mainly from 2:04 on).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q04f-tZaGAo

Or

Sonetto 104

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnkVjsvdyoM

Next i'd think of

Chapelle de Guillaume Tell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2gOIQsH5GY

Or...

Sursum Corda

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zQqOMfXZNM

If you feel like it, tell me if it's one of those. If not I can keep recommending.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/10/12 08:28 PM



I'll go with Ian on the 5th, but the 4th is really something to contend with.

Magnificent!

Edit: I'm having BIG issues at the moment with Percy Whitlock (and pity my Facebook friends), a British organ and church music composer which should have had a far greater career than he did.

And thus I don't really understand why Liszt's 4th Rhapsody is so neglected. Funny how it goes.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 03:48 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan


I'll go with Ian on the 5th, but the 4th is really something to contend with.

Magnificent!

Edit: I'm having BIG issues at the moment with Percy Whitlock (and pity my Facebook friends), a British organ and church music composer which should have had a far greater career than he did.

And thus I don't really understand why Liszt's 4th Rhapsody is so neglected. Funny how it goes.


Thanks, Jason. I'm not as intimately familar with Liszt's HR's as I am most of his collections (quite a few of them I wouldn't be able to hum without hearing part of it first), and the 4th is one I haven't given much attention...but it is terrific.

I think Liszt's Rhapsodies are underrated in general. So often they're used as examples to trash Liszt, but they form such an important part of his output. They're just so fun, pianistically brilliant and innovative, colourful, dancey, with that wonderful Hungarian tang... and at times profoundly moving (like the 5th, some of the lassan sections). I only think it's a problem when people hear some of the more extroverted ones without being well-versed in Liszt's other music and get this impression of Liszt as a fun, brilliant but not particularly profound composer. When seen as just another side to him they should only magnify his status.

A favourite of mine that hasn't been listed is 1. One of the most charming pieces I know.



I used to disregard Liszt's HR's as being a weak, unimportant, hollow part of Liszt's output, but not anymore. I now realise just how much I like them, how enjoyable each and every one is.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 01:18 PM

Litanies de Marie is a work that Liszt included in the 1847 cycle of the Harmonies poetiques et religiueses, but didn't revise into the later one (despite a thematic relation with the Invocation, although that relationship was evident with the earlier version of the Invocation too) because of his broken relationship with the Countess 'Marie' d'agoult. It's unfortunate because, despite some lesser passages and perhaps going on for too long, it is certainly a work that's worthy of more frequent hearing and it being revised and inserted into the later cycle would have assured that. IMO it could have been a worthy addition to the large works in the later cycle, Benediction, Funerailles, and Pensees if it had that last bit of editoral shrewdness.



Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 06:28 PM

Currently, my favorite HR is No. 12!
Posted by: sophial

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 06:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Currently, my favorite HR is No. 12!


mine too!!
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 06:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Currently, my favorite HR is No. 12!
When Van Cliburn was entering the kind of competitions where he got to choose the first piece he played he usually performed the HR 12 as his first piece. Even though most would think this is not a good or appropriate piece to perform as your choice to start, the thinking was that he played it so well that it would create a terrific impression.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 07:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Currently, my favorite HR is No. 12!


That one used to be my favorite. It is the first one I learned. Artur Rubinstein made the only good recording of this in existence. wink
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Damon
Artur Rubinstein made the only good recording of this in existence. wink

Hmmm...

Here's a nice rib-snorting/ball-busting performance. The lady Gina must have been one powerful player. (Check out her Petrushka also!)
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/13/12 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Although, the tremolos in the paradise bit strike me as uninspired, and I have to seriously resist the urge to rewrite those bars.


I agree with this. It's somewhat banal in retrospect. That being said, done well (like Arrau) they can sound lovely in the context of the music, despite this perceived banality.
I disagree. I think it's one of those situations where the written music actually works, but ultimately the performer fails to deliver. Not that it's easy by any means. The tragic example I always fall back to is the Rondo of Beethoven's Waldstein - I think one of the greatest sonatas committed to paper, and most often disappointing when played... I can hear in my head what it's supposed to be, and no one (my unfortunate amateur self included) comes close to getting it right. I remain amazed at the glories of listening to a magical Beethoven performance: Gilels @ Op 57, Arrau @ 111, many I've enjoyed @ the fiendishly difficult Op 109, yet, everyone seems to fall flat on his/her face when it comes to Op 53. There's an Argerich performance that floated around YouTube a couple years back that I greatly enjoyed, but even my darling Argerich couldn't deliver a performance of the Rondo that left me completely satisfied.

On the Dante - there's a Lise de la Salle performance getting a lot of playtime on Sirius Classical/Pops. I've heard it like 3 times in the last month alone. A fine performance, if anything can actually come close to satisfactory for this incredibly difficult (and I mean musically difficult!) masterpiece. I think part of what captivates me about this performance is that although she's mid-20s now and I'm sure she's physically grown and matured, in my head I still picture a petite 16-year old blonde haired prodigy pounding out such powerful music. I heard her perform Ravel and Prokofiev live back in 2008 at barely 20 years old, and oh my, what a mature musician she was even back then.

There's also a live recording by Kemal Gekic that I greatly enjoy (parts of.) He's a bit quirky (check out photos of his often wild mane, he would almost look like Liszt were he blonde) but MAN, does he bring the house down with those final chords and that thundering closing tremolo. I'm surprised he didn't break a string (or his wrist!) Or maybe he did...

-Daniel
Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/14/12 12:18 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Although, the tremolos in the paradise bit strike me as uninspired, and I have to seriously resist the urge to rewrite those bars.


I agree with this. It's somewhat banal in retrospect. That being said, done well (like Arrau) they can sound lovely in the context of the music, despite this perceived banality.
I'm curious to know what you guys think of the opening of The Benediction. Now THERE are some lousy tremolos. Cringeworthy. I rolled my eyes the first time I listened to the work, and probably let out an "Oh God..." but in a different tone than Liszt intended. But if you get past the first 1/3 of banality, oh what a glorious work. Every great composer had his duds (though I'm starting to wonder if Bach had any) but for all the $|#% that Liszt gets, it really doesn't matter, because I am so grateful that he left us such gorgeous music as the second and third "thirds" of the Benediction.

-Daniel
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/14/12 12:23 AM

Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Although, the tremolos in the paradise bit strike me as uninspired, and I have to seriously resist the urge to rewrite those bars.


I agree with this. It's somewhat banal in retrospect. That being said, done well (like Arrau) they can sound lovely in the context of the music, despite this perceived banality.
I'm curious to know what you guys think of the opening of The Benediction. Now THERE are some lousy tremolos. Cringeworthy. I rolled my eyes the first time I listened to the work, and probably let out an "Oh God..." but in a different tone than Liszt intended. But if you get past the first 1/3 of banality, oh what a glorious work. Every great composer had his duds (though I'm starting to wonder if Bach had any) but for all the $|#% that Liszt gets, it really doesn't matter, because I am so grateful that he left us such gorgeous music as the second and third "thirds" of the Benediction.

-Daniel


Now I love the tremolos you're talking about. They are the utmost in sheer religious serenity and calm beauty (and I don't think banal is a word you can describe it as, considering when it was written!). It's the sheer simplicity of religious faith that I think is so effective, and it logically progresses from this simplicity to the parts you find so glorious. I think it's one of his finest piano works.

I have to give a comment in regards to the Poetic and Religious Harmonies as a whole...what a remarkable cycle of music! Perhaps a little bit uneven if you look at the single works, but taken as a whole it's an irresistable, glorious outpouring of the highest and lowest points of spiritual experience, and everything in between. Liszt intended it to be played as a cycle, and while at first glance it seems somewhat incongruous, I think it works superbly. Liszt, in this case, wasn't interested in the little details in order to connect the work like, say, Chopin in his Preludes, but more just a general, conceptual connection. Again I have to recommend Johansen (perhaps only because hé's one of the only full recording in one video and youtube, but he does do very well):



As for your comments on the Dante, well I actually think I agree with you (after hearing Arrau's sublime performance). I haven't heard De Salle and Gekic, I shall make a note of doing so.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/14/12 06:28 AM

If endless tremolos bother you, it may be because they aren't played on the right piano: I've been listening to Liszt's Piano Concerto No.1 and his transcription of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony played on Erards of the period, and they sound great - tremolos and all.....
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/14/12 03:34 PM

I posted this work a few pages ago, but it has since become my favourite of the Funeral Odes and is becoming one of my favourite Liszt solo piano works overall, despite being almost completely unknown, so i'll put it here again. In its original version it's an orchestral postlude to one of his finest tone poems: Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo, and this is the piano transcription (which I prefer).

Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 11/18/12 07:48 AM



It's not often I say this, but I believe this performance is almost genius. He brings out all these lines which just aren't there in other recordings!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 12/03/12 11:34 PM

The third (and last) piece from one of Liszt's neglected little cycles, Glanes de Woronince (1847-48). It's my favourite of the three...Very simple, but very beautiful.



I don't like the other two pieces as much as some others seem to, but they are still nice; especially the Ballade Ukraine which is probably equal in quality with the contemporaneous 1st Ballade, but even more neglected.





Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/13 07:16 AM

Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works? A masterful tone poem about the inevitability and relentlessness of death, a work that ought to be taken very seriously indeed. Pianistic writing that is as ingenious as any in the entire 19th century, masterful counterpoint in both the most traditional 'canonic' style as well as the most forward-looking (the fugue), wonderfully vivid, novel orchestration, and overall one of his most original and forward-looking works.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/13 11:25 AM

I just finished reading Amy Fay's book. She had nothing but positive things to say about Liszt as a pianist, composer and teacher. She felt he was far above any other pianist of the day. His teaching style was affirming and positive as opposed to Tausig and Kullak who belittled their students.

Sounds like he was quite a man.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/09/13 11:55 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works? A masterful tone poem about the inevitability and relentlessness of death, a work that ought to be taken very seriously indeed. Pianistic writing that is as ingenious as any in the entire 19th century, masterful counterpoint in both the most traditional 'canonic' style as well as the most forward-looking (the fugue), wonderfully vivid, novel orchestration, and overall one of his most original and forward-looking works.


You're not the only one. smile It is one of my favourite works of all... The piano writing is transcendental in every sense of the word, it is genius! And what he does with the Dies Irae is very imaginative.

My favourite recording which I've come across, with respect to both the piano and orchestra, is Joseph Banowetz with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra under Oliver Dohnanyi (on Naxos label). Many of the recordings I've heard of it are really rather meek in comparison.

______________



While I'm here, I thought I'd share this. I recently stumbled upon a beautifully presented box-set CD of Berman's recording of the complete Annees de pelerinage. I've listened through it all several times now and am in awe. He makes a lot of these works, especially in the third book, really come alive like nobody else.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 03:24 AM

One of the best recordings i've heard of his Grosses Konzertsolo, a work that has so many wonderful things in it, but unfortunately I find some of the repeated chords and tremolos to be a little tiresome (a vice that Liszt occasionally falls prey to). It is, however, a good and highly original work that I really enjoy.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 03:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon



While I'm here, I thought I'd share this. I recently stumbled upon a beautifully presented box-set CD of Berman's recording of the complete Annees de pelerinage. I've listened through it all several times now and am in awe. He makes a lot of these works, especially in the third book, really come alive like nobody else.


Berman's is a great complete Annees, among my favourites for sure, and I agree that he is as good as it gets in the third book. I find he's so good throughout...except in the Dante Sonata where he is quite uneven. He is great for the first ten minutes or so (especially the presto agitato assai, which is just breathtaking), but -imo- he makes the rest sound quite discursive and disjointed through use of an unforgiveably slow tempo in some sections. Still, for a complete set he is essential.
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 06:07 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
One of the best recordings i've heard of his Grosses Konzertsolo, a work that has so many wonderful things in it, but unfortunately I find some of the repeated chords and tremolos to be a little tiresome (a vice that Liszt occasionally falls prey to). It is, however, a good and highly original work that I really enjoy.



A long time ago I got a Guiseppe Andaloro CD with the 4 Mephisto Valses, Grosses Konzertsolo, and 2 other pieces I can't remember off the top of my head.

It's been a while since I've listened to the Grosses Konzertsolo, but the grandeur always moves me.
Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 08:35 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works?


No, you aren't the only one (I see that Jolteon is also saying you aren't the only one). But that's not to say it's an altogether easy work to appreciate - there's something about it that can seem almost cruel and heartless, when done right, and that puts some people off. It's funny how that hard and steely tone almost completely disappeared out of his music for a long time, but it reappeared in full force towards the end of his life. At least that is the way it seems to me.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 08:51 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works?


there's something about it that can seem almost cruel and heartless, when done right, and that puts some people off.


I don't even think it's necessarily that. A recent amazon.com comment I read accused it as "offering such empty bombast it just blows the lid off of vulgarity." Obviously this is a bit extreme, but I see comments along similar lines often, denigrating it to the realm of a superficial showpiece of no true musical merit. This sort of thing isn't exclusive to the Totentanz in his output, mind you.

As for that hard and steely tone disappearing, what years are you thinking of here? It's an interesting observation.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 10:06 AM

I think TaterTotz - I mean, Totentanz ( laugh ) - is a good piece!!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 10:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon

The piano writing is transcendental in every sense of the word, it is genius! And what he does with the Dies Irae is very imaginative.

Would very much tend to agree. And yet I've always felt the ending to be curiously unsatisfying. There's something rather perfunctory about it, as if Liszt all of sudden got distracted, then said 'oh yes, I need to finish this!'

Lewenthal's recording very effectively integrates passages from an earlier version of the work.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 10:34 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
One of the best recordings i've heard of his Grosses Konzertsolo, a work that has so many wonderful things in it, but unfortunately I find some of the repeated chords and tremolos to be a little tiresome (a vice that Liszt occasionally falls prey to). It is, however, a good and highly original work that I really enjoy.

That is a very fine recording. Thank-you for sharing it! Like most people I know (both in person and in cyberspace), I'm not the biggest fan of Leslie Howard, though his recording of the Grosses Konzertsolo is one of his best. (At several points, if you listen carefully, you can hear birds chirping outside the studio.)

In spite of any perceived weaknesses, Liszt's honest, outsized, over-the-top essay has alternately thrilled and caressed me. Alas, it is more of a work for a true Lisztian, but not the best example to gain any new converts to Liszt. (That's why he wrote the B minor Sonata. wink )
Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works?


there's something about it that can seem almost cruel and heartless, when done right, and that puts some people off.


I don't even think it's necessarily that. A recent amazon.com comment I read accused it as "offering such empty bombast it just blows the lid off of vulgarity." Obviously this is a bit extreme, but I see comments along similar lines often, denigrating it to the realm of a superficial showpiece of no true musical merit. This sort of thing isn't exclusive to the Totentanz in his output, mind you.

As for that hard and steely tone disappearing, what years are you thinking of here? It's an interesting observation.



I guess I meant "in addition to the usual nonsense about empty bombast in Lizst", it can have a certain quality that puts people off. After all, a dance of death isn't "nice".

About that hard and steely thing - I meant it was more or less gone until it showed up in late pieces like the last Mephisto waltzes and the late Hungarian rhapsodies, which seem that way to me. But that's just my personal response - I realize others may not hear the music that way.
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 10:57 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works?


there's something about it that can seem almost cruel and heartless, when done right, and that puts some people off.


I don't even think it's necessarily that. A recent amazon.com comment I read accused it as "offering such empty bombast it just blows the lid off of vulgarity." Obviously this is a bit extreme, but I see comments along similar lines often, denigrating it to the realm of a superficial showpiece of no true musical merit. This sort of thing isn't exclusive to the Totentanz in his output, mind you.

As for that hard and steely tone disappearing, what years are you thinking of here? It's an interesting observation.



I guess I meant "in addition to the usual nonsense about empty bombast in Lizst", it can have a certain quality that puts people off. After all, a dance of death isn't "nice".

About that hard and steely thing - I meant it was more or less gone until it showed up in late pieces like the last Mephisto waltzes and the late Hungarian rhapsodies, which seem that way to me. But that's just my personal response - I realize others may not hear the music that way.



By 'hard and steely,' are you referring to this, sort of, darker music with a fixation on death and themes of this kind? I think he probably stopped once he became involved with religious activities in the way that he did. It then returned later, if the Wikipedia article is anything to go by, because:

"Liszt fell down the stairs of the Hotel in Weimar on July 2, 1881. Though friends and colleagues had noted swelling in his feet and legs when he had arrived in Weimar the previous month (an indication of possible congestive heart failure), he had been in good health up to that point and was still fit and active. He was left immobilized for eight weeks after the accident and never fully recovered from it. A number of ailments manifested—dropsy, asthma, insomnia, a cataract of the left eye and heart disease. The last-mentioned eventually contributed to Liszt's death. He became increasingly plagued by feelings of desolation, despair and preoccupation with death—feelings which he expressed in his works from this period. As he told Lina Ramann, "I carry a deep sadness of the heart which must now and then break out in sound."

He was given several religious duties in 1865, by which time he had already finished the Totentanz (1859). But in the earlier period, I can't really think of many pieces, off the top of my head, that really had this fixation anyway; even though he is quite famous for this now. Apart from the Totentanz, there's, really, only the first Mephisto Waltz, and the Dante Sonata and Funerailles (unless I am missing something) - but maybe his fame for music of this nature can stem from the fact that these some of his most popular works; despite most of his (pianistic) output from the early period being etudes, transcriptions and the rhapsodies.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/17/13 11:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Jolteon
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Am I the only one that thinks his oft-criticized Totentanz is one of his greatest works?


there's something about it that can seem almost cruel and heartless, when done right, and that puts some people off.


I don't even think it's necessarily that. A recent amazon.com comment I read accused it as "offering such empty bombast it just blows the lid off of vulgarity." Obviously this is a bit extreme, but I see comments along similar lines often, denigrating it to the realm of a superficial showpiece of no true musical merit. This sort of thing isn't exclusive to the Totentanz in his output, mind you.

As for that hard and steely tone disappearing, what years are you thinking of here? It's an interesting observation.



I guess I meant "in addition to the usual nonsense about empty bombast in Lizst", it can have a certain quality that puts people off. After all, a dance of death isn't "nice".

About that hard and steely thing - I meant it was more or less gone until it showed up in late pieces like the last Mephisto waltzes and the late Hungarian rhapsodies, which seem that way to me. But that's just my personal response - I realize others may not hear the music that way.



By 'hard and steely,' are you referring to this, sort of, darker music with a fixation on death and themes of this kind? I think he probably stopped once he became involved with religious activities in the way that he did. It then returned later, if the Wikipedia article is anything to go by, because:

"Liszt fell down the stairs of the Hotel in Weimar on July 2, 1881. Though friends and colleagues had noted swelling in his feet and legs when he had arrived in Weimar the previous month (an indication of possible congestive heart failure), he had been in good health up to that point and was still fit and active. He was left immobilized for eight weeks after the accident and never fully recovered from it. A number of ailments manifested—dropsy, asthma, insomnia, a cataract of the left eye and heart disease. The last-mentioned eventually contributed to Liszt's death. He became increasingly plagued by feelings of desolation, despair and preoccupation with death—feelings which he expressed in his works from this period. As he told Lina Ramann, "I carry a deep sadness of the heart which must now and then break out in sound."

He was given several religious duties in 1865, by which time he had already finished the Totentanz (1859). But in the earlier period, I can't really think of many pieces, off the top of my head, that really had this fixation anyway; even though he is quite famous for this now. Apart from the Totentanz, there's, really, only the first Mephisto Waltz, and the Dante Sonata and Funerailles (unless I am missing something) - but maybe his fame for music of this nature can stem from the fact that these some of his most popular works; despite most of his (pianistic) output from the early period being etudes, transcriptions and the rhapsodies.


Before his late period (say, before 1863?) I can think of many works that are 'hard and steely.' Some examples:





^^Right on the threshold.





^That performance is, IMO, too slow (Pletnev is the only one who I feel does justice to the piece, one that's so easy to butcher), but he does do the climax pretty well (18:25 - 23:55), and that's the hardest/steeliest part smile.



There are some more, but i'm in a bit of a rush.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/18/13 12:17 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

There are some more...

As in this perhaps? (From 1855)
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/18/13 12:21 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

There are some more...

As in this perhaps?


Yes! Of course.

Another one is a lesser work, his early Malediction. It, along with the first version of Pensee des Morts, show I think the first fruits of this style (both written in around 1834).



Posted by: wr

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/18/13 01:11 AM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Before his late period (say, before 1863?) I can think of many works that are 'hard and steely.' Some examples:



But, to my sensibility, the examples you give are mostly displaying a somewhat different sort of hard and steely, perhaps just a degree or two warmer or maybe somehow a bit more human. But, like I said, it's just my individual response, and I don't really expect that others would necessarily hear the music in the same way.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/26/13 03:34 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan

That is a very fine recording. Thank-you for sharing it! Like most people I know (both in person and in cyberspace), I'm not the biggest fan of Leslie Howard, though his recording of the Grosses Konzertsolo is one of his best. (At several points, if you listen carefully, you can hear birds chirping outside the studio.)



Quite agree on the Howard performance. It is probably my favourite along with the recording by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet on his wonderful CD Hymne à la Nuit.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/28/13 03:45 PM

I've always enjoyed this piece from his Trois morceaux suisses: Un soir dans la montague, with its tranquil, meditative outer sections and the orage-esque storm in the middle (actually a more effective storm than in orage, I think).



And, from the first book of the same collection (well, before the previous piece was revised), the over-the-top, probably un-endearing to most, but actually (almost) appropriate for the subject, one of his most striking early (1835) works, Lyon.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 01/29/13 04:55 AM



Wonderful piece! Based on his symphonic poem Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe.




Another overshadowed, but good, late piece.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/16/13 08:23 PM

Do listen to this!

In an operatic performance it benefits from being just a tad slower, but in a piano arrangement it seems appropriate at a slightly faster tempo.

This is one of Wagner's most divine moments, for years this has always haunted me. Wagner's primal undulation has caused me to wake up in the middle of the night, sweating profusely, and shivering.

Posted by: bengera

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 02/19/13 01:24 AM

Try the "au bord d'une source". I saw a facsimile of the original. In the margin the master wrote "creation".
It is a wonderful water piece.
Also his Faust.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/12/13 07:43 AM

Here's a great performance of his Concerto Pathetique, a revised version of the Grosses Konzertsolo, for two pianos. I always preferred the Konzertsolo, but after hearing this great recording by Richter and Anton Ginzburg, I now think it the most fully worked out, and best, version of the work. One of his great Weimar works.





He also wrote versions for piano and orchestra, but I find them to be rather dull.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/12/13 10:57 AM

I think this thread has covered just about everything he wrote...
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/12/13 11:07 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
I think this thread has covered just about everything he wrote...

Yeah right... crazy

Have you ever checked Groves' catalogue? It's a mystery to me where Liszt even found the time to notate all that music, let alone conceive it. This in addition to voluminous amounts of correspondence and teaching. He wrote more choral music than Chopin wrote piano music.
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/12/13 11:17 AM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I think this thread has covered just about everything he wrote...

Yeah right... crazy

Have you ever checked Groves' catalogue? It's a mystery to me where Liszt even found the time to notate all that music, let alone conceive it. This in addition to voluminous amounts of correspondence and teaching. He wrote more choral music than Chopin wrote piano music.


If you do the math you get that he must have lived thousands of years to do it all. ha
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/12/13 12:11 PM

He must have never put the pen down.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/12/13 09:22 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I think this thread has covered just about everything he wrote...

Yeah right... crazy

Have you ever checked Groves' catalogue? It's a mystery to me where Liszt even found the time to notate all that music, let alone conceive it. This in addition to voluminous amounts of correspondence and teaching. He wrote more choral music than Chopin wrote piano music.


As well as being the virtuoso he was early in his career, and the fact that he conducted several seasons of opera in Weimar, as well as other works. His Weimar output is truly absurd given the amount of teaching, conducting, correspondence, as well as the fact that he was learning as an orchestrator after neglecting it for all those years. Still, he completed literally hundreds of works despite all this, most of it of a high - very high quality.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 07:59 AM

Let's get this thread to 400.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 08:05 AM

Eight more.
Posted by: JimF

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 04:49 PM

I'm reading his biography right now and enjoying the heck out of it.


This popped up yesterday in my ipod in shuffle mode as I was driving to my piano lesson. Transported... is the word that comes to mind.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 11:57 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Let's get this thread to 400.


Alright, and, considering your previous post, posting high quality works that I don't remember having made appearences yet in this thread for each post grin

Starting with...





Not as distinguished as his finest efforts in the genre (Norma and Donn Giovanni), but one of his best and most 'musical' operatic paraphrases. A neglected work.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 11:57 PM

Scherzo Und Marsch.



Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 11:57 PM

Les Morts (for orchestra, narrator, choir) (starts at 3:15).



Considered one of Liszt's most important works by Liszt writer Paul Merrick, who states that it "captures the extraordinary atmosphere of the poem exactly...Les Morts isn't just a piece of music, but a psychological document, a key to the understanding of Liszt, the man and the musician."

Unfortunately I haven't been able to come by the text...
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 11:57 PM

Salve Polonia.





Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 11:58 PM

Fantaisie sur des motifs favoris de l'opéra La Sonnambula.



Another of the more 'musical' operatic paraphrases.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/13/13 11:58 PM

Sarabande and Chaconne from Handel's opera Almira



Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/14/13 12:00 AM

Liszt's piano transcription of his own Die Lorelei. More pianists should play this!

Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/14/13 01:35 AM

Woohoo! To 500. Anyone? lol
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/04/13 10:34 PM

Earl Wild about Liszt (short documentary).





And two of the three recitals that came with the DVD (Liszt the Transcriber isn't on youtube).

Liszt the Poet.



Liszt the Virtuoso.



Terrible sound quality, but great Liszt playing. Wild adds some of his own touches here and there, but in an agreeable way, like I imagine Liszt himself would have done when he played these pieces.
Posted by: AldenH

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/05/13 01:44 AM

Caveats ahead: I tend to be somewhat limited in my lis(z)tening: the great German composers up to Stockhausen and - und - Rihm; Josquin, Gombert, Ockhegem, Dufay, Gesualdo; some Chopin is too frivolous for me. Generally speaking, I am not yet a Lisztian, but I have been moving that way lately, spurred on by Kempff's extraordinary recordings of the Two Legends:





Typical that I would only be drawn in to Liszt by a pianist known for his profound interpretation of German music! These aren't the same recordings that I have (mine are from the Philips Great Pianists set), and I haven't vetted these in full, but I'm sure they have many of the same fine qualities... although it seemed a little suspect at the start of the first. Oh well. Actually, I have a live recording of Arrau in Montevideo from 1954 that sounds finer to me right now... and that whole recital is exceptionally fine (most beautiful Beethoven Op. 57 opening that I have ever heard), but today my ears must be off, which will be evident from what follows!

Just today, I listened seriously for the first time to Nyiregyhazi. I had heard his remarkable life story before and casually listened to his playing and judged it erratic and overhyped, but something happened to me today that forced me to change my view of Nyiregyhazi, Liszt, and the nature of music.



This recording of the Miserere après Palestrina from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses affected me so deeply that by the climax I was barely able to draw breath. I was completely subsumed into the music by the intensity of expression and unique sound: it is unimaginably resonant. I have never had a musical experience of such overwhelming emotional, and indeed almost spiritual force.

Upon second and third listenings this evening, very little trace of its formerly extraordinary affective power remains, and I see the flaws of the work and his technical-musical deficiencies. But his sound remains. Bangy and rough it may sometimes be, but he makes sounds that I have never heard come out of a piano, and not all of them are bad.

I wonder if what I experienced was akin to hearing Liszt (as is indeed Nyiregyhazi's reputation): he bent his wide audience of cultists to his musical will and took them wherever he went, without regard for decorum or tradition. But it didn't (and doesn't) matter. Even without the visual aspect, this performance took me to a place that I didn't know existed. I feel ashamed even to admit this - I know who the great pianists are, I thought to myself, and any self-respecting academic would dismiss Nyiregyhazi's playing and taste almost out of hand. But I can't help myself. I can't forget what it felt like to be one with music, to be one with raw emotion.
Posted by: White Shell

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/06/13 06:01 PM

the sound of Liszt's piano..

this. I ADORE this piece. I wish it was performed more often. better to say AT ALL.


Liszt
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/09/13 10:24 PM

Originally Posted By: AldenH
Caveats ahead: I tend to be somewhat limited in my lis(z)tening: the great German composers up to Stockhausen and - und - Rihm; Josquin, Gombert, Ockhegem, Dufay, Gesualdo; some Chopin is too frivolous for me. Generally speaking, I am not yet a Lisztian, but I have been moving that way lately, spurred on by Kempff's extraordinary recordings of the Two Legends:





Typical that I would only be drawn in to Liszt by a pianist known for his profound interpretation of German music! These aren't the same recordings that I have (mine are from the Philips Great Pianists set), and I haven't vetted these in full, but I'm sure they have many of the same fine qualities... although it seemed a little suspect at the start of the first. Oh well. Actually, I have a live recording of Arrau in Montevideo from 1954 that sounds finer to me right now... and that whole recital is exceptionally fine (most beautiful Beethoven Op. 57 opening that I have ever heard), but today my ears must be off, which will be evident from what follows!

Just today, I listened seriously for the first time to Nyiregyhazi. I had heard his remarkable life story before and casually listened to his playing and judged it erratic and overhyped, but something happened to me today that forced me to change my view of Nyiregyhazi, Liszt, and the nature of music.



This recording of the Miserere après Palestrina from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses affected me so deeply that by the climax I was barely able to draw breath. I was completely subsumed into the music by the intensity of expression and unique sound: it is unimaginably resonant. I have never had a musical experience of such overwhelming emotional, and indeed almost spiritual force.

Upon second and third listenings this evening, very little trace of its formerly extraordinary affective power remains, and I see the flaws of the work and his technical-musical deficiencies. But his sound remains. Bangy and rough it may sometimes be, but he makes sounds that I have never heard come out of a piano, and not all of them are bad.

I wonder if what I experienced was akin to hearing Liszt (as is indeed Nyiregyhazi's reputation): he bent his wide audience of cultists to his musical will and took them wherever he went, without regard for decorum or tradition. But it didn't (and doesn't) matter. Even without the visual aspect, this performance took me to a place that I didn't know existed. I feel ashamed even to admit this - I know who the great pianists are, I thought to myself, and any self-respecting academic would dismiss Nyiregyhazi's playing and taste almost out of hand. But I can't help myself. I can't forget what it felt like to be one with music, to be one with raw emotion.


Thanks for this post and your reflections. I myself haven't been affected that way by the Miserere, but I do like the piece quite a lot, especially in the context of the cycle.

As for the Legends, Kempff is extraordinary. I find that Appreciation of Liszt, more than most other composers, is often up to the performer. In general, a bad or even average performance of Liszt has you scratching your head about the composers merits. A good one is something to behold, and a sublime experience.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/09/13 10:25 PM

Originally Posted By: White Shell
the sound of Liszt's piano..

this. I ADORE this piece. I wish it was performed more often. better to say AT ALL.


Liszt


Welcome to the forum! I, too, enjoy this piece quite a lot. I hadn't heard this recording before, much faster than i'm used to, but certainly valid and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/10/13 04:59 AM

Ungarischer Sturmmarsch S.119.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/17/13 03:23 PM

Another opera fantasy based on Bellini, this time I puritani. Almost never played, probably because of its immense difficulty and the fact that it doesn't reach the level of the Don Giovanni and Norma fantasies, and perhaps even the Huguenots and Sonnambula ones...it is still fantastic and full of pianistic ingenuity.

Performed by Leslie Howard (of course).



Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/17/13 05:21 PM

Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Another opera fantasy based on Bellini, this time I Puritani.

Well it's certainly leagues ahead -musically and technically- of the myriad fantasies, variations and assorted potpouris that the smaller guys were cranking out. (Czerny is a good example.)

I saw the opera several years ago, and it was a stunner. There was not one dull moment -Bellini keeps the inspiration on full throttle- and I, for one, can really understand what the excitement was about at the time.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/26/13 12:49 AM

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8AC190B6F30A8E33

Wonderful little Liszt playlist, all with scores, english subtitles for vocal works, and some analysis.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 04/26/13 01:16 AM

EDIT: Found the connection.
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/02/13 06:46 PM

So, talking to my teacher today about summer projects, he told me to begin looking at the Annes, specifically to pick between the Valley of Oberman, any of the Petrarch Sonnets, and Jeux d' eau a la villa d' Este. I'm pretty excited! I think I'm going to pick Jeux d' eau a la villa d' Este, as I love the piece and I think it provides a nice contrast in my repertoire. But, here goes the beginnings of my journey into Liszt!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/07/13 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
So, talking to my teacher today about summer projects, he told me to begin looking at the Annes, specifically to pick between the Valley of Oberman, any of the Petrarch Sonnets, and Jeux d' eau a la villa d' Este. I'm pretty excited! I think I'm going to pick Jeux d' eau a la villa d' Este, as I love the piece and I think it provides a nice contrast in my repertoire. But, here goes the beginnings of my journey into Liszt!


Good to hear! Good luck. Be sure to update us here in this thread!
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/07/13 08:49 AM



With subtitles.

Not one of his more respected orchestral works, but i've always enjoyed 'Hungaria,' especially this performance with Arpad Joo at the helm. Drags a bit in the first part, but overall a profound and heartfelt work. Powerful and rousing.



Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/22/14 11:09 AM

Excellent!

Posted by: JoelW

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/22/14 11:11 AM

It is, but I agree.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/22/14 07:04 PM

Thanks, pianojosh, for reminding me of Liszt's The Bells of Strasbourg. Alan Walker rates it very highly, though so far there has not been a full studio recording.

And as for Hungaria, well like Festlnge, it is a magnificently evocative composition, with all the kinetic energy so characteristic of Liszt.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/25/14 11:44 PM

I like this early version.

Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 03/26/14 05:13 AM

The (very) little know Rumanian Rhapsody.



One of Liszt's more extraordinary works from before his Weimar period (it was written around 1846). Especially striking in this work is the so called 'Walachische Melodie' (7:02 - 9:00, and also appearing again later), which, to quote Leslie Howard: "gives us the uneasy feeling that this music is more than half a century ahead of its time. The next composer who made such sounds was surely Bartk." Familiar to most here will be three themes -one from the 6th Hungarian Rhapsody and two from the 12th- which were both written shortly after the present piece: and anyone who loves the Hungarian Rhapsodies will most likely love this work.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/27/14 01:01 AM

Been going through the Leslie Howard Liszt collection that I got for my birthday last year. Have happily discovered and enjoyed many works that (even I!) hadn't heard yet (whether transcriptions, fantasies, or original works). Some examples:









And another piece, one of my favourite Liszt songs:


Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. - 05/27/14 03:32 AM

And for Jason, Barenboim conducting the Psalm 13: the only one I've seen by a well-known conductor since Beecham.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofMHVZFbBAY

Perhaps surprisingly, Barenboim could really be considered one of the most productive Liszt exponents of the last century, among famous musicians at least! There's this performance of the 13th Psalm (a very rare work), as well as recordings of:

The Sonata.
First two years of Annees de Pelerinage.
Both Piano Concerti.
Complete Liebestraume and Consolations.
The Faust and Dante Symphonies.
Les Preludes.
The first Legende and Valse Oubilee.
Some Verdi and Wagner paraphrases.
The Second Hungarian Rhapsody.
As well as 44 of his lieder with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau!

Joining the likes of Brendel and Arrau.