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Cat. No. CHAN 10341 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10341 - Liszt: Symphonic Works, Volume 1
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Available From: 08 August 2005
Between 1848 and 1858 Liszt wrote twelve ‘symphonic poems’ – a thirteenth was written at the end of his life. He coined the term around 1853 to describe singlemovement works of ‘programme music’ for orchestra, whose ideas were inspired by other art forms or by characters and scenes from history or legend, Liszt preferring to represent an overall mood or character rather than specific details of his subject.At the time, he was not confident in his powers to orchestrate and engaged the help of August Conradi, and afterward that of Joachim Raff, but Peter Raabe has proved that in the final version of the scores, everything is the composer’s.

The first symphonic poem, Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne, was inspired by a poem of Victor Hugo in the collection Feuilles d’automne, and sketched during the late 1840s.Also known as Bergsymphonie (Mountain Symphony), it is at the same time the longest of the series. The next symphonic poem originated as an overture for a performance of Goethe’s play Torquato Tasso in August 1849. Basing his composition also on The Lament of Tasso by Lord Byron, Liszt produced a work of conflicting ideas and emotions – lament and triumph – hence its full title, Tasso: Lamento e Trionfo. The most popular of the symphonic poems, Les Préludes, began life as Les Quatre Élémens, choral settings of four poems by Joseph Autran. These were never published and Liszt developed an orchestral work which, although containing music from the earlier choral settings, was linked instead to the fifteenth of the Méditations poétiques of Alphonse de Lamartine, similar in mood to Autran’s poems. In 1854 Liszt conducted a performance of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and music he had written to frame this performance was reworked as Orpheus, today one of the most admired of the series. Characteristically, Liszt is not strictly depicting Orpheus the singer of songs, although the hero’s lyre is alluded to in the harp parts. As in many of his symphonic poems, Liszt uses a basic three-part (ABA) structure with introduction.
Reviews

Such music makes huge demands and these are met by Noseda with unfaltering command and lucidity. What could so easily topple into bombast is presented with an enviable clarity and acuteness. Chandos’s sound and presentation are excellent.
Gramophone

These are bold performances, likely to match Kurt Masur’s Leipzig set from the late 1970s as the most stimulating and reliable around. I suppose I could wait for volume two; but not to long, please.
The Times

It’s good to have these rare items played by a first-class orchestra and finely recorded…
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 10258 (Dallapiccola)

Anyone who shies away from Liszt’s orchestral music, having heard it played in a way that puts show above substance, ought to be persuaded otherwise by these strong sensitive, sincere performances. The playing is well defined. The interpretations combine taste and imagination, encapsulating the music’s character with refined attention to detail, colour and dramatic impulse.
The Telegraph 'CD of the Week'

Such music makes huge demands and these are met by Noseda with unfaltering command and lucidity. It is presented with an enviable clarity and acuteness.
Gramophone

Here, the Italian Maestro is perfectly attuned to the danger, glamour and emotional intensity of Liszt’s music; these are hair-raising performances. His Tasso, tragic, noble and fiery assertive, is now arguably the finest available, while the austere, subtle instrumental gradations of Orpheus are astonishingly handled. Many commentators have dismissed both Ce qu’on Entend sur la Monatagne and Les Préludes as sprawling, but just for once not a note in either seems out of place. Throughout, you’re reminded that these are seminal scores, and that the music of Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Strauss is unthinkable without them.
The Guardian

First-rate recording enhances compelling performances by the BBC Philharmonic under its exciting and charismatic conductor Gianandrea Noseda, who brings an Italian fire and passion to the music… A fine disc, gloriously played.
The Sunday Telegraph

Their first volume of Liszt’s symphonic Poems is rich in imagery, rapt of sound, and synaesthetic in effect – a beautifully controlled recording. The conclusion of ‘Ce qu’on entend…’ is spectacularly aerated, ‘Tasso’:Lamento e Trionfo’ visceral and passionate, ‘Les Préludes’ intoxicating, ‘Orpheus’ compelling.
Independent on Sunday

Anyone who shies away from Liszt’s orchestral music, having heard it played in a way that puts show above substance, ought to be persuaded otherwise by these strong, sensitive, sincere performances. The playing is well defined. The interpretations combine taste and imagination, encapsulating the music’s character with refined attention to detail, colour and dramatic impulse.
The Telegraph ‘CD of the Week’

These are bold performances, likely to match Kurt Masur’s Leipzig set from the late 1970s as the most stimulating around. I suppose I could wait for volume two; but not too long, please.
BBC Music Magazine

…brilliant and warmly committed playing of the BBC Philharmonic under Gianandrea Noseda…
Gramophone on CHAN 10309 (Dvo¡rák)

…valuable and enjoyable…
The Times on CHAN 10258 (Dallapiccola)

 

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