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Cat. No. CHAN 9801 Price: Ł0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9801 - Liszt: Works for Piano & Orchestra, Vol. 1
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Available From: 16 March 2000
Beethoven wrote Ruins of Athens as incidental music for a play by Kotzebue whose text he admired. It is by no means a great work but served patriotic purposes. Beethoven’s music for theatre was uneven, and the incidental music to The Ruins of Athens consists of an overture and a medley of choruses and marches with occasional arias, recitatives and melodramas. Liszt however transforms the works into a brilliant piece. He introduces strings, horns, triangle and cymbals to great effect. ‘Grande Fantasie Symphonique on Themes from Berlioz’s Léilo’ is an extremely unusual work and is rarely performed. Its original form was a monodrama to be played straight after Symphonie fantastique – invisibly: the chorus, orchestra and soloists are behind a curtain, in front of which Léilo speaks. Liszt’s transcription presents the player with great technical difficulties. Weber’s Pollacca brillante and Invitiation to the Dance are his most brilliant piano pieces. Lizst changed the title from the Italian ‘Polacca’ to the French Polonaise, and transcribed the piece at about the same time as he transcribed Schubert’s Wandererfantasie. Liszt was particularly interested in Schubert’s WandererFantasie which was unique in Schubert’s output. It was not a sonata or a set of variations although it contains elements of both. Liszt, like Wagner, was experimenting with writing music of some length without having to break it up into smaller sections, which meant developing a way of unifying themes that could be sung or played continuously. The orchestral quality of Der Wanderer was certain to attract Liszt’s attention, and he has divided the material between the orchestra and the piano with characteristic insight.
Beethoven wrote Ruins of Athens as incidental music for a play by Kotzebue whose text he admired. It is by no means a great work but served patriotic purposes. Beethoven’s music for theatre was uneven, and the incidental music to The Ruins of Athens consists of an overture and a medley of choruses and marches with occasional arias, recitatives and melodramas. Liszt however transforms the works into a brilliant piece. He introduces strings, horns, triangle and cymbals to great effect. ‘Grande Fantasie Symphonique on Themes from Berlioz’s Léilo’ is an extremely unusual work and is rarely performed. Its original form was a monodrama to be played straight after Symphonie fantastique – invisibly: the chorus, orchestra and soloists are behind a curtain, in front of which Léilo speaks. Liszt’s transcription presents the player with great technical difficulties. Weber’s Pollacca brillante and Invitiation to the Dance are his most brilliant piano pieces. Lizst changed the title from the Italian ‘Polacca’ to the French Polonaise, and transcribed the piece at about the same time as he transcribed Schubert’s Wandererfantasie. Liszt was particularly interested in Schubert’s WandererFantasie which was unique in Schubert’s output. It was not a sonata or a set of variations although it contains elements of both. Liszt, like Wagner, was experimenting with writing music of some length without having to break it up into smaller sections, which meant developing a way of unifying themes that could be sung or played continuously. The orchestral quality of Der Wanderer was certain to attract Liszt’s attention, and he has divided the material between the orchestra and the piano with characteristic insight.
Reviews

‘Lortie’s playing has all the warmth and musicality one could wish for… fine recording.’
BBC Music Magazine on CHAN 9347 (Beethoven)

‘His [Lortie’s] carefully shaded tone, coupled with rhythmic finesse and communicative dynamism are qualities that convey both the poetry and the creative substance of these remarkable works!’
The Daily Telegraph on CHAN 9736 (Beethoven)

‘Lortie is a stunning pianist gifted with a dazzling technique that sounds effortless.’
Fanfare on CHAN 9212 (Beethoven)

 

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