Liszt?

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Liszt's Second Piano Concderto "live"?

Goofyfoot, from my quick research, the more convincing, reliable recordings from great legendary pianists are on the "historical" performances side. Richter, Arrau and Cziffra are the most notable and available, in one or the other way, but the sound might be, most probably, compromised. Richter dates from 1961, with Hungarian forces under J. Ferencsik (on West Hill). Cziffra goes back to 1959, with the Milan S.O. (on Instituto Discografico Italiano). Arrau has three available recordings from 1946 (with Szell, on West Hill), 1953 (with Canteli, on Music and Arts) and one with Mitropoulos (on Piano Classics).

The only recent "live" seem to be the one from the "Summer Night Concert" in Vienna of 2010, with Gergiev and Yefim Bronfman as the soloist (on DG). The rest of the program is a pastiche for concerts of this type (disparate etc.).

If you are interested in studio recordings of good production values, just let me know.

Parla

Richter

Thanks Parla, I'll look for the Richter as I'm always happy to hear him play, despite the age of the recording.

I'm trying to discipline myself to acquiring live recordings only, as I'm growing less satisfied with the lack of spontaneity from there perfectly rendered studio counterparts. In fact, I was cogitating over the notion of creating a live recordings thread but I feel that my own collection in this area is somewhat limited.

 

Best!

goofyfoot

goofyfoot wrote:

goofyfoot wrote:

Thanks Parla, I'll look for the Richter as I'm always happy to hear him play, despite the age of the recording.

I'm trying to discipline myself to acquiring live recordings only, as I'm growing less satisfied with the lack of spontaneity from there perfectly rendered studio counterparts. In fact, I was cogitating over the notion of creating a live recordings thread but I feel that my own collection in this area is somewhat limited.

I've got Richter with the LSO/Kondrashin, (Philips).  The booklet is disgracefully lacking in recording information, but someone on Amazon says it is a studio recording from 1961, recorded at Walthamstow following Richter's debut in London, which was unfairly savaged by the critics. The recording became an instant classic.

So it isn't live, but I am not sure it will make much difference if you are after spontaneity and risk-taking and the real thingness of a live recording. Given that it was Richter, I doubt very much if there was too much monkey business in terms of cutting and splicing and re-takes etc.

And isn't the second concerto

And isn't the second concerto an absolute wonder from start to finish!

Isn't a live recording the

Isn't a live recording the one featuring Byron Janis & Rojdestvensky on Mercury? I believe so, in Moscow, in early 60s: this a must for lovers of those works (Kondrashine takes the baton for the 1st). I prefer this to the Kondrashine & Richter disc on Philips.

 

I don't have, but I know of another famous recording of the 2nd live: Arrau & Cantelli in early 50s. [Edit: ..... ,already mentioned above by Parla]

 

Jane, I think those are interesting works - as they say: written in a rhapsodic way and with the virtuoso in mind - that deserve their status and should grab the attention of the music lover, neophite in particular. But these are not the best Liszt, imo. I tend to get better results when prospecting at his huge, uneven piano solo and organ output.

 

On the other hand, his Oratorio Christus is something that I should explore in the future.

Richter, etc...

I'm looking through a number of discs within a series on the APR (Appian) label entitled 'The Russian Piano Tradition'. It appears as though Liszt and Schumann were regular composers for many young Russian pianists, maybe to show off there technical capabilities.

Thanks for the recommendations so far, I'll look for the Richter and the Janis once I get a little down time. 

goofyfoot

More on Liszt's Piano Concertos - Orchestral Works.

Goofyfoot, while you are right, at any rate, as for the spontaneity etc. of the "live" recordings, do not count too much on the actual thing the producer(s) provide as the...final product. One producer allowed me, once, to see what he and his team could "achieve" in a well-equipped studio...

On the other hand, there are so many very well recorded studio recordings of the Liszt concertos. It would be pity, if one did never give a shot to some notable recordings. I would suggest only four, with emphasis on two: a) Zimmerman/Ozawa (DG), b) Brendel/Haitink (Philips/Decca-Universal), Berman/Giulini (DG), and the odd couple Barenboim/Boulez (DG). From these, I find the (a) and (b) as indispensable first rate recordings, the (c) as a strong individual contender and the (d) for its..."originality", its fine recording and because it is a "live" one (as I doubled checked it)!

However, as 78RPM indicated, these Concertos, great as they are, do not constitute the greatest Liszt. His monumental solo Piano Music (and some of the Organ too) remains the apex of his Opus.

However, his Orchestral works, particularly his Symphonic poems and the Faust Symphony, are magnificent achievements deserving our proper attention.

- For the complete recordings of the Symphonic Poems, I would suggest the newly presented by NCA set with the Orchester Wiener Akademie under Martin Haselbock. They are "live" recordings, by the way, and the performers used "original" instruments of the era of the composer, under the project "The Sound of Weimar". Excellent production values and committed performances. From the older ones, I always found the Budapest S.O under Arpad Joo (on Hungaroton) very idiomatic and well produced. Finally, Haitink with LPO is the more economical and refined, if one looks for refinement for these most passionate works.

- For the Faust Symphony, I would not go further than the glorious, perfectly executed and emotionally charged account of Bernstein and the BSO (on DG). Impressively recorded too.

Parla

 

final busoni, liszt and some anabaptists

Jane, goofyfoot: One last Busoni note, then I’ll leave Liszt alone. Jane, great that you found that English translation of the Doktor Faust libretto – Dent was a friend and advocate of Busoni and his music. Not to seem OC: the text to which you link was issued with the old DG LPs of the Leitner performance, and it omits a few things, including the opera’s spoken prologue. I mention this only because the prologue does actually turn up on Nagano’s recording – spoken by Fischer-Dieskau! – and I’m not sure how informative the Warner reissue is on such matters. That DG text also lacks the key lines I quoted briefly in my earlier post - not surprisingly, since Jarnach didn’t set them and they were consequently lost to performance until Beaumont’s conclusion restored them. They did appear in the booklet that accompanied the original release of the Nagano, and are discussed in Beaumont’s book (p.325). Apologies for the detail – the simple problem is that when you compare any two of the few recordings of this opera that have appeared over the years, you are, in a very real sense, never comparing like with like!

Just finally: anyone interested in Liszt’s organ music might want to listen to his wonderful Fantasy and Fugue on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ from Meyerbeer’s Le prophète (much recorded, and a favourite Liszt piece of mine) alongside Busoni’s imaginative piano transcription. I am not a fan of enumerating recordings for its own sake, but will say that I’ve heard fine versions of the latter by Garrick Ohlsson (Bridge) and Holger Groschopp (Capriccio), though others have crept in and out of the catalogue. The one on Naxos by Wolf Harden is very good too.

Thanks, DST. No need to

Thanks, DST. No need to apologise for more detail. I've run into problems before with libretto/recording discrepancies. These things can make all the difference between loving an opera and shelving it to gather dust.

It really does sound like I will have to fork out for the original Nagano, which is still available in various places......... 

Nagano/Liszt

Jane, I found used copies of the Nagano for sale on Amazon US. Now, I have a lot of CD searching to do thanks to DST & Parla!

goofyfoot

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