Liszt Sonata

Posted by: dolce sfogato

Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 05:54 PM

sorry for this terribly stupid question, though I never saw it posted here, hence my audacity, it just is heavily in my fingers and on my mind (for some decades) so: who is/are your favourite recordings/performances of this warhorse?
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 06:21 PM

Garrick Ohlsson's wonderful recording (on the same CD as the gorgeous Liszt/Busoni Ad Nos, Ad Salutarem Undam) has been my go-to recording since I bought it a couple years ago. It's precise, musical, and clean. This is the recording I turn to when I want to hear a musical textbook-example recording (unlike someone like Pollini, who plays the piece note for note but, at least to my ears, simply fails to feel the piece). My previous go-to recording (incidentally also the first I had ever heard or owned) was Krystian Zimerman's, but it's since fallen out of favor for me.

For sheer unbridled energy and passion (and really clever voicing), I turn to one of my favorite underrated pianists- Alexei Sultanov. Unfortunately no recording of him playing this piece was ever released on an official CD. Some may disagree with his interpretational choices, but I think they're fresh, and I love the amount of energy and drama he infuses into his playing. Have a listen:
Posted by: Damon

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 06:38 PM

Rubinstein
Pletnev
Posted by: slava_richter

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 06:38 PM

This one (out of print, unfortunately): http://www.amazon.com/Liszt-Sonata-Funer...s=richter+liszt

Arrau and Gilels (RCA studio recording) are also high up on my list.
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 06:45 PM

Argerich for sheer lisztomaniac show(wo)manship
Freire for musicality and emotion
Pletnev for drama
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 08:43 PM

I like Argerich.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 09:17 PM

Can even a very great piece lose some of its interest if heard too much? I used to think not, but the Liszt Sonata may be in that category for me. I may have heard more live performances of this piece than any other in the last 45 years, and it is wearing a little thin. Same for the great Barcarolle of Chopin and others I thought I could never tire of.
Posted by: Fugue14

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 10:06 PM

I've always enjoyed Lazar Berman's Columbia recording. More recently, I think that Denis Matsuev's live Carnegie Hall recording is quite good, too.
Posted by: pianojosh23

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 10:16 PM

Arrau and Zimerman.
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/05/12 11:02 PM

Live performances:
Katsaris, Levy, Bolet, Horowitz (1970's), Gilels

Studio:
Horowitz (1932), Cortot
Posted by: Ian_G

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/06/12 05:08 AM

Thracozaag named all of my favorites, which I am now obliged to second - Horowitz '32 (the top of the heap for me), Cortot and Levy (this two do such interesting things!)
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/06/12 06:00 AM

Sviatoslav Richter's live recording from the Aldeburgh Festival 1966. For studio recordings, Zimerman is breathtaking in his control and audacity, also Pletnev's early Melodiya recording - his later DG recording is also amazing in its vision.

Incidentally, Kenneth Hamilton (author of After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance, and no mean pianist himself) did a CD Review for BBC Radio 3 recently and his preference was for Stephen Hough's recording. For me though, it lacks something in sheer audacity and verve compared to my preferred versions above.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/06/12 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Can even a very great piece lose some of its interest if heard too much?


I am younger than you are and I feel the same way about the Liszt Sonata!
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/06/12 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Can even a very great piece lose some of its interest if heard too much?


I am younger than you are and I feel the same way about the Liszt Sonata!


Not I; a great performance of this piece is a truly metaphysical experience which I look forward to each and every time. (A bad performance on the other hand....)
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/06/12 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
... a great performance of this piece is a truly metaphysical experience which I look forward to each and every time.

Indeed. (Nicely put, too.)

But for that reason it joins a select group of compositions which I care not to hear too frequently, so every instance (assuming a good performance) is an 'event'.

Some years back I heard a very sub-standard performance (a student playing) littered with wrong notes, clanking fortissimos, uneven trills and memory lapses. It was a most distressing experience as the Liszt sonata morphed into a rambling, self-congratulatory exercise in claptrap... which, of course, is how some folks view even the best performances of the sonata.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/06/12 05:44 PM

I'll second Argerich, but not Berman, his rendition always struck me as heavy and slow by comparison to Argerich.

I'm curious if Pogorelich will join this discussion. I very much enjoyed the thread (whenever it was) in which she discussed learning this piece. I'd love to hear the recital recording, but something tells me she's not satisfied with it (or we would have heard about it).
Posted by: trigalg693

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/07/12 02:32 AM

Argerich is my favorite. I haven't learned more than 1 page of this yet since I am preparing for a concert in 2 weeks but just looking at the score makes me grin...I think it'll be fun.
Posted by: arpan70

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/07/12 07:26 AM

My favourite recording has to be by Tamas Vasary. All Liszt he plays turns to gold.
Posted by: Fugue14

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/07/12 06:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
I'll second Argerich, but not Berman, his rendition always struck me as heavy and slow by comparison to Argerich.


And for some of us, Argerich is too light and fast!
Posted by: im@me

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/08/12 11:41 AM

I like Brendel's recording of it, the only annoying thing is the producers fade the end of the tracks out to lea into the next. But my favorite recording/performance is Berezovsky a l'a Roque D'antheron in 2008? I'm not sure of the year
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/08/12 05:51 PM

thank you for all the suggestions/remarks/comments, I heard it performed by Nikikta Magaloff when I was 14, my father, still a fervent musiclover! told me Liszt was ' sweet and flashy, not to be compared to Schubert and Chopin', my teachers told me he was 'too difficult and shallow', what else does one need to propel a teenager towards Liszt...I tried from then on to conquer his masterpiece and have been playing it for more than 30 years, still sometimes doubting if it is the masterpiece I thought it to be in my early teens, and now just in the process of playing it again, wondering if that young eager boy listening to dear Nikita was right, just old memories and daily practice in one.
Posted by: UberB

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/10/12 10:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
Live performances:
Katsaris, Levy, Bolet, Horowitz (1970's), Gilels

Studio:
Horowitz (1932), Cortot


Which live Gilels are you referring to? I have several, but to my ears, the 1961 live from The Art of Emil Gilels is my favorite.
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: UberB
Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
Live performances:
Katsaris, Levy, Bolet, Horowitz (1970's), Gilels

Studio:
Horowitz (1932), Cortot


Which live Gilels are you referring to? I have several, but to my ears, the 1961 live from The Art of Emil Gilels is my favorite.


That one is wonderful. I also very much enjoy the 1965 (Moscow) and 1949 (also in Moscow).
Posted by: Damon

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
Originally Posted By: UberB
Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
Live performances:
Katsaris, Levy, Bolet, Horowitz (1970's), Gilels

Studio:
Horowitz (1932), Cortot


Which live Gilels are you referring to? I have several, but to my ears, the 1961 live from The Art of Emil Gilels is my favorite.


That one is wonderful. I also very much enjoy the 1965 (Moscow) and 1949 (also in Moscow).


The one on youtube is excellent as well. Gilels is always a contender with any piece.
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 11:11 AM

Gilels definitely gives a great "straight" performance, probably my favourite, actually.
Posted by: dsch

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 11:59 AM

Koji, is that Alain Delon?
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 11:59 AM

Artur Pizarro is for me one of the best
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 12:19 PM

Originally Posted By: dsch
Koji, is that Alain Delon?


Bingo--good eye! (from Le Samourai)
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 05:24 PM

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
thank you for all the suggestions/remarks/comments, I heard it performed by Nikikta Magaloff when I was 14, my father, still a fervent musiclover! told me Liszt was ' sweet and flashy, not to be compared to Schubert and Chopin', my teachers told me he was 'too difficult and shallow', what else does one need to propel a teenager towards Liszt...I tried from then on to conquer his masterpiece and have been playing it for more than 30 years, still sometimes doubting if it is the masterpiece I thought it to be in my early teens, and now just in the process of playing it again, wondering if that young eager boy listening to dear Nikita was right, just old memories and daily practice in one.


It is the master piece you thought it to be. Keep working at it! You will get it. smile
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 07:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

It is the masterpiece you thought it to be. Keep working at it! You will get it. smile

Indeed he will, and that excites me very much.

I'll never forget Andre Watts playing the Liszt sonata -years ago in London- he broke a string! But that awesome moment at the Grandioso... we collectively saw the sun rise, as if it might have been the first time for humanity to experience such a primal birth and passage to light.

A concert to remember, it shook me up for daze.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 08:02 PM

Watts is a fantastic pianist and musician! I feel like he was even better when younger, but I saw him do the Grieg concerto this summer and it was still rocking.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/11/12 09:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Watts is a fantastic pianist and musician!

In my experience, at least, Watts has always been more exciting in concert than any of his recordings I have heard.

Memories -also- of a very kinetic MacDowell D minor. That piece takes no prisoners -Rachmaninov was loftily unimpressed (but imagine how he would have played it?) -yet in the hands of a Watts it comes to life in concert, and makes one realize that some music simply thrives in a real-time environment.

MacDowell's A minor concerto, totally conventional and predictable, only comes to life when the performer truly believes in it and sheds any self-consciousness. (And the 2nd subject in the 1st movement? Who could not be moved by such heart-felt emotion? I love it.)
Posted by: Tak-Shing Chan

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/12/12 12:03 AM

Friedheim
Cortot
Barere
Posted by: JBB_Piano

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/19/12 02:23 AM

de Larrocha
Posted by: redrobin62

Re: Liszt Sonata - 11/20/12 02:48 AM

Leslie Howard. Coupled with his performance of Totentanz, the disc is just stunning.