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Katsaris plays Liszt Vol 1

P21 041-N (2 discs)


Playing time: 74'17"/63'34" - TT 137'51"
Tracks: 14+8
Booklet pages: 24
© 2011 Piano 21
Reviewer: Howard Smith
Review of Katsaris plays Liszt Vol 1 published on 27 January 2012

Listen: Liszt: Piano Concerto No 2 in A (CD1 track 14, 8:38-9:41)

Cyprien Katsaris, piano

Franz Liszt (1811-1886):

CD1 - Gipsy and Romantic

1 Rhapsodie Hongroise No 2
2 Rhapsodie Hongroise No 3
3 Rhapsodie Hongroise No 7
4 Rhapsodie Hongroise No 5 'Héroïde-élégiaque'
5 Elégie No 1
6 Elégie No 2
7 Notturno No 3 'Liebestraum'
8 Klavierstück No 2

Funf Klavierstücke
9 Klavierstück No 1
10 Klavierstück No 2
11 Klavierstück No 3
12 Klavierstück No 4
13 Klavierstück No 5 'Sospiri!'

14 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 2 in A
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Arild Remmereit, conductor

CD2 - Avant-garde, Hommage à Wagner, The Philosopher

1 Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch
2 Unstern! - Sinistre
3 Nuages Gris - Trübe Wolken
4 Die Trauergondel No 1
5 Die Trauergondel No 2
6 R W - Venezia
7 Am Grabe Richard Wagners
8 Sonata in B minor

'Franz Liszt was arguably the most diverse of all composers in the range of his musical creativity. The double CD in this first volume offers us five aspects of Liszt, all equally fascinating:
A) The Gypsy, with its immensely popular Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (Liszt’s cadenzas) and the no less beautiful Rhapsodies Nos. 3, 5 and 7.
B) The Romantic, with its sublime Love Dream No. 3, its lyrical Elegies and Klavierstücke, along with the noble and impassioned Concerto No. 2, performed with the splendid Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester under the baton of Arild Remmereit.
C) Revelatory of Liszt’s avant-garde genius are the Prelude and Funeral March, Unstern! - Sinistre and Grey Clouds, with their sometimes bizarre, atonal harmonies prefiguring Scriabin, Debussy and Schoenberg.
D) The composer’s funeral homage to his friend and son-in-law Wagner is represented by the two Mournful Gondolas, R. W. Venezia and At the Grave of Richard Wagner.
E) Lastly we come to Liszt the philosopher and the greatest of his masterpieces, the Sonata in B Minor, wherein we apprehend the creation of the universe and the destiny of man. The first two notes express the beginning of creation, by God or spiritual powers, according to one’s beliefs. These first two Gs represent the first and second particles of matter, and the descending scale that follows gives continuity to this matter which acquires movement, simultaneously creating space and time. Then follow great leaps on both hands, an explosion, a Big Bang, akin to the origin of the universe which in turn engenders life itself. Following on comes the Sonata, symbolising the universe and its development, its complexity, but also the human race and its destiny, its emotions, conflicts, revolutions and moments of fulfilment. The work ends, in its final, sublime chords, in a reaching-out to immortality through the liberation of the spirit, the soul set free from the trammels of the physical universe. In this final moment of transcendence, it feels as though Liszt is offering magisterial guidance in courage and hope.'


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