Liszt?

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Nagano's Doktor Faust on sale.

From my research, the cheapest "used" available Nagano's Doktor Faust seems to be found in Amazon/Japan for 1,648 Yen and for "brand new" in e-bay, with starting bid at $24,99. In Amazon.com, the cheapest "used" is $23,75 and the cheapest "new" can be found in Amazon.de for 59,98 Euros.

I hope it might help.

Parla

Busoni

parla wrote:

For his masterpiece, the amazing Fantasia Contrappuntistica, one very safe recording is the one of Hamish Milne, in an excellent production again on Hyperion. Surprisingly, the unknown or (unsung hero) Sandro Ivo Bartoli (in one of Brilliant's very good original productions), offers an impressive account of this innovative and alluring work along with the also significant Seven Elegies.

.................

- Orchestral Works: Apart from the over the very top Piano Concerto................

 

Not for me, despite Brendel's writings. Some years ago I bought the Altarus LP of John Ogdon heroically hammering his way through the Fantasia Contrappuntistica and thought it quite possibly the most intractable & unlistenable piece of piano music I've ever heard. I've also got Ogdon's recording of the concerto: I think I've played it once.

 

Nick

Back to Liszt

I don't have Leslie Howard's 100 CD set so am not familiar with the lesser known piano works & various re-workings & alternative versions but for me four piansts stand out for Liszt. As ever Katchen, for the concerti; Brendel, Arrau & Bolet.

 

As per usual I tend to prefer Brendel's earlier Vox recordings - greater spontaineity in the concertos & Totentanz than the Philips versions (despite some rougher orchestral playing). I'd add in too Moura Lympany's 2nd concerto (Ivory Classics). Arrau's solo recordings are outstanding. Having heard him play the sonata live I bought his recording later & don't think I've heard a better one. Equally superb & magisterial are his concert studies, transcendental studies, Benediction, operatic paraphrases etc.

 

Bolet's Decca recordings too are marvellous but his RCA CD (the lost or forgotten recordings or some such title) is unmissable. Made earlier it contains a collection including the Tannhauser transcription, which I think the notes said was one unedited take, which is incomparable. There are also a couple of reissues on Piano Classics of the Bolet Ensayo recordings, one of transcrptions & one of the transcendental studies. The sound on the latter calls for some tolerance but is fine on the former.  I would also highly rate his Everest recording of the sonata, 1st concerto & Hungarian Fantasia.

 

Lastly one absolute must of Liszt (et al) at his most exuberant exhibitionist show-off self, Raymond Lewenthal in the Hexameron & Reminiscenses de Norma (RCA LP).  Simply mesmerizing and astonishing examples of  outrageous virtuosity, I've never heard anything to match it: great fun (but only the Hexameron has appeared on CD).

 

Nick 

Busoni the eccentric.

You're right, Nick. I also feel extremely difficult to follow both works (Fantasia and the Concerto), but, sometimes, composers choose unusual and eccentric ways to reach greatness. For all the problems one may encounter facing them, they are rewarding pieces of great but not easy or pleasant music, after all.

Parla

Liszt's Piano great performers.

Nick, I do not believe anyone here in this forum would disagree with your piansts of reference on Liszt's piano music. However, if one has to open this can of worms, the field is almost endless and open-ended. There are plenty of rewarding recordings out there, even by more recent pianists.

I would mention, only for the moment, four from my side: a) Lazar Berman, at least for his legendary "Annees de Pelerinage" (on DG), b) Nelson Freire for his recent recording, on Decca, c) Bertrand Chamayou for his recording on "Les Annees", on Naive and d) Kyoko Tabe for his rather old recording of the Piano Sonata and the three Sonetti di Petrarca, on Denon.

More can follow, if needed.

Parla

In case it's needed

We should go backwards and get to know the Liszt from Simon Barbere, Louis Kentner and Edith Farnadi (they say wonderful things about her Années: only in vynil I guess?).

 

What intrigues me most is the fact that the great and relatively recent Liszt interpreters tend to avoid recording the great Liszt solo piano cycles in its entirety (Arrau, Brendel....). Les Années is not only the first or second year and the first year is not only Vallée d'Oberman.....Harmonies is not only Funérailles....Check: what is your great recording of the complete Harmonies ? 

 

And what about Argerich's Liszt?  Though her Sonata (DG) is considered to be the best for many and despite her undisputable virtuosity I do prefer Arrau's: I have the one on Philips: they say there's a better one from him...and one great from Freire in his early years.

 

We can go on and on talking about interpreters of Liszt piano works......Did we forget the great Vladimir Horowitz?

 

 

 

 

78RPM wrote:

[quote=78RPM]

Les Années is not only the first or second year and the first year is not only Vallée d'Oberman.....

I've got Bertrand Chamayou (naive) doing all three years.........It is so good I am not sure I will be looking for another just yet.

Horowitz

Early Horowitz, most definitely. The action on his piano was extreme by most standards however it became his signature.

 

Since we're on this topic, I've never thought of Rubenstein as a Liszt interpreter though he made recordings with RCA.

goofyfoot

More great Liszt recordings

Agree with Parla on Berman's Annees & the Freire disc (don't know the other two he mentions). For the 2nd year though my favourite is Tamas Vasary on a BBC MM disc. Another favourite is Kathy Stott in the Liebstraumes, Petrarch Sonnets & concert studies (Conifer), equal of the big names here for me.

 

One CD though which did surprise & astonish me was the recording from Sophie Cashell who won some TV contest (not BBC YM). Her Liszt 2nd Ballade, one of his (for me) greatest pieces knocked me for six, an outstanding performance (good 1st Ballade & Liebestraumes too); quite amazing.

 

Never too sure about Horowitz, depends perhaps on my mood but sometimes I can't take him seriously as if he were just teasing audiences with his virtuosity and he could make some unpleasant sounds in full crashing mode. Perhaps time to re-visit his Schumann after Jane's comment on his Kreisleriana on the other post. (I always think his finest recording is Czerny's Ricordanza which is absolutely exquisite).

 

Not too sure about Kentner either following 78rpm's comment (APR) whilst I thought the sometimes praised Liszt pupil Frederic Lamond (APR) something of a let down.

 

Nick

More on Liszt's Piano recordings.

In this open-ended field of great Liszt recordings, some more to add:

- Cziffra on his great EMI recording of the Hungarian Rhapsodies (and the Concertos too).

- On Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses: Two more modern recordings, namely Osborne (on Hyperion) and Amoyel (on La Dolce Volta).

- Garrick Olhsson on his stunnig recent two Volumes on "plays Liszt" recitals (on Bridge).

- Pletnev, the magician, in his unique interpretation of the Sonata plus some other great works by Liszt, in his two recordings: the old and thrilling one, on Olympia, and the more recent mature one (and much better recorded), on DG.

Just for the moment.

Parla

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