Music and Vision homepage

CD Spotlight

Mane-shaking style

Martin Berkofsky plays Liszt -
reviewed by

'... playing often as sensitive as one is likely to hear.'

Martin Berkofsky - Franz Liszt. © 1997 The Cristofori Foundation

The cover to this CD shows a painting of a grand piano floating way above an enchanting little Icelandic town, with a horizontal Berkofsky just flying into position for a Hungarian Rhapsody. Such acrobatics are reasonable comment on Berkofsky's recovery to virtuoso pianism after a motorcycle accident that smashed his left arm in eight places. I am almost tempted to fall off my bike and see what happens. How to characterise Berkofsky's playing? You can either manage a programme such as this, or you can't. Berkofsky emerges technically triumphant, able to thunder when Liszt demands it (frequently enough), capable of the tenderest quietness also, if not always mindful of Liszt's dynamic instructions. I was glad to have in front of me the music for all four pieces, as Berkofsky's rhythmic freedom might otherwise have thrown me. Whether Liszt the pianist had always the future conductor at his finger ends I cannot know. Probably not, and Berkofsky's aim towards overwhelming effect is in the best tradition of Liszt's mane-shaking style.

Continue >>

Copyright © 21 January 2004 Robert Anderson, London UK


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Benjamin Lees >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.