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Thread: Starting to know Lizst

  1. #16
    Senior Member Headphone Hermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Headphone Hermit--Thanks. I'm pleased that someone noticed. Merl too... I'm convinced that the more people listen to Liszt's music, the more they'll come around to agreeing with Liszt and his students' views on piano playing, and Krause & his students too. The problem with the "big virtuosos" of the 20th century is that they left such a wide, permeating mark on Liszt interpretation, that so few pianists and teachers today realize their approach was at odds with Liszt's teaching and the way he played the piano, and presumably his own music. I think people even avoid Liszt's music, because it's so often played loud and clangorously, which is a pity. But then, pianists tend to misconstrue Beethoven's music on the same grounds. Indeed, there's an unbroken chain from Mozart (& Haydn) to Beethoven to Czerny to Liszt...
    Yes, I think you are correct. Lots of performers seem to go for the 'get it loud, make it explode, show off how fast you can do it' approach and this approach is so very different from the ways that his pupils played his music (and by inference, from how he played his own music). As you rightly point out, this can be heard in many different interpretations using historical recordings and from reading the writings of those who knew Liszt well and who knew his pupils well. Possibly, this was a reflection of the swing against Romanticism that was apparent in many forms of art in the mid-twentieth century onwards in which Romanticism was portrayed as being 'over-emotional' and full of saccharine excesses. And yet there is little evidence that this was how his music was played by him or his pupils either. It seems clear that neither the loud and clangourous nor the chocolate box gaudiness is anything like the correct approach.

    It is a shame because there is so much wonderful music and I have had immense pleasure exploring some of Liszt's music (such as the transcriptions of songs and of the operatic and symphonic works) as well as his religious music and his own songs.

    Thank you for your posts - I shall use them to explore further
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." Berlioz, 1856

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  3. #17
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    Wow! What a gold mine this thread is! When I stopped "listening" I was beginning to start listening to Liszt. I decided that's where I'm going to start back. I know I have quite a bit of Liszt but not sure what all. I'm going to study over what everyone has said and make a few purchases based on recommendations and listening to the youtube videos. Thanks everyone for sharing!
    I am eclectic in my taste in music. Except "Ultra-Modern", Country Music, and Blues."

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  5. #18
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    One more pianist to add to the mix: the young Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi is soon coming out with a CD & DVD video recording of Années de Péleringage, Book 1--the "Swiss" years. I thought the following You Tube clip was interesting--it's part of a new film by Bruno Monsaingeon, as it includes snippets of some of the music and sounds and visual scenery that likely influenced Liszt:



    To date, I've only heard Piemontesi's Debussy Preludes, but my impression was that he has a delicate, sensitive touch, and is a thoughtful pianist, so his Liszt might be very interesting (I'll be curious to read the reviews):

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...gende-2#videos
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jun-07-2018 at 23:00.

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  7. #19
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    Fantastic thread, though I find I have precious little to add to all the insightful posts and recommendations. I do agree that Liszt was among the most spiritual and poetic of composers who has sadly been turned into a superficial vehicle for empty displays of virtuosity, and that pianists like Claudio Arrau and Brendel return Liszt to his nature. That said, I will also admit that Liszt played for virtuosity can be fun and exciting, especially if you, like me, delight in hearing such technical fireworks. In that sense, Cziffra may be the best "Liszt as virtuoso showcase" exponent there was:


    Lisitsa is also a fun one to watch in the virtuoso category. Here she is playing (according to her) perhaps Liszt's most demanding piece:

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  9. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by whispering View Post
    Just a thank you for all the helpful replies posted to my thread. I now have a range of CDs to consider by different artists. In particular thank you for the very informative comments. Clearly other members had considered my request for guidance carefully. That is very much appreciated.
    Spelling his name correctly would be a good start! Remarkable composer, though...

  10. #21
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    Listen to small piano piece of Lizst first, always helps make it better

  11. #22
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    I always make a list before i lizsten to lizst

  12. #23
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    No wonder that Lizst has appealed to you in such a manner! His creation of music is phenomenal and probably will always be considered that way!

    With that being said, I can suggest that you check your local music shops and if you have some classical music shops too. They will have his music for sale for pennies. Not because its not valuable but because its meant to be avaiable for everyone!

  13. #24
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    "This Japanese import of Arrau's Philips recording has the best sound quality, IMO, especially if you can find the hybrid SACD issue:"

    Any idea of how and where to find this particular SACD of B Minor Sonata?

  14. #25
    Senior Member Fredx2098's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the Années de Pèlerinage. I've heard some people describe Liszt as unnecessary virtuosity, but I believe he composes in a rather nice and pleasant way that is just as subtle as it is impressive.

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