Search - Franz Liszt, Gaetano Donizetti, Charles Gounod :: Jean-Yves Thibaudet ~ Liszt - Opera Transcriptions ~ Wagner Mozart Donizetti Verdi Gounod Tchaikovsky

Jean-Yves Thibaudet ~ Liszt - Opera Transcriptions ~ Wagner · Mozart · Donizetti · Verdi · Gounod · Tchaikovsky
Franz Liszt, Gaetano Donizetti, Charles Gounod
Jean-Yves Thibaudet ~ Liszt - Opera Transcriptions ~ Wagner Mozart Donizetti Verdi Gounod Tchaikovsky
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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Thibaudet triumphs on this disc
Trevor Gillespie | San Jose, California United States | 05/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I fell in love with this CD upon my first hearing of it. First of all the transcriptions by Liszt are excellent. Secondly, the way Thibaudet plays them is just mind boggling. His pianissimos are incredibly controlled and moving, while his fortes are spectacularly powerful, bold, and commanding. The London recording catches all this detail with brilliant clarity. One example on this disc is the transcription of the Liebestod. You know it should be wonderful, but in the hands of this gifted pianist, the piano soars and aches the feelings of Isolde. It's like Lizst and Thibaudet bring out the whole of the orchestration on the piano. In the climax, I was amazed to hear the loud rumblings of the lower end of the keyboard while the soaring melody on the other end of the keyboard lifted me away. The transcription of Mozart is wonderful. It makes one wish that Mozart had lived and composed on into the Romantic Period. There are some wonderful transcriptions of Donizetti and Verdi as well. In the end, what I can say is this: Thibaudet has become a wonderful interpreter of Liszt. On this disc Thibaudet shows us the wonderful ability of Liszt and his own wonderful pianist abilities."
Superb playing
Alex | London, United Kingdom | 12/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD consists entirely of truly outstanding playing. In fact, these recordings are so good that even Horowitz himself (who rarely said positive things about other pianists) expressed admiration for them and for the power and technique which Thidaudet demonstrates. In fact, it is not just power and technique but also lyricism and a beautiful touch which Thibaudet brings to these pieces. Every note and phrase has been assiduously judged and weighted and these really are artistic performances, full of life with never a dull moment.

The pieces are all arrangements by Liszt of popular tunes from famous operas. Liszt wrote many such pieces and, of course it's a matter of opinion, but for my money Thibaudet has selected most of the best ones for this CD. Perhaps the least exciting one is the well-known Rigoletto paraphrase, a piece which has been done to death by so many pianists. I don't know if this is what takes the edge off it, perhaps it even took the edge off it for Thibaudet and so although his performance of this is very good, it is not inspirational like the other pieces.

The Spinning Chorus paraphrase is played superbly and with a great deal of charm and grace. Similarly, the Concert Waltz based on tunes from 2 operas by Donizetti is played with power and charm - brilliant octave and chordal playing throughout and in the exciting finale. The Polonaise from Eugene Onegin is also excellent - you'll be humming the tune to yourself for ages afterwards and listen out for the glittering passage work in the middle of this piece, Thibaudet makes the piano sparkle and sing.

The biggest feat of technique is in the notoriously difficult Figaro paraphrase. Here the music makes many demands of the pianist right from the word go yet when you hear Thibaudet playing it, it's hard to guess at how difficult the piece is so graceful and easy is his playing. There are a couple of minor clinkers towards the end in a fiendish passage but frankly that's neither here nor there. Particularly impressive (for the pianists among you) is his playing of the rapid contrary motion scales in thirds in both hands - such speed and accuracy and he even manages to inject some wit into it. A phenomenal performance.

The Faust waltz is great too. Listen out for the fun glissandos in the recapitulation of the second theme towards the end.

Finally, a word about the Liebestod from Tristan & Isolde. A very performance but the definitive performance of this is by Horowitz in his CD "The Last Recording".

A great CD, destined to become a classic recording. Thibaudet should be proud of this superb piece of work. If only other pianists took the same care to make their playing as polished and musical and imaginative."