Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Liszt, Georg Solti, Ivan Fischer|
Liszt: Piano Works [Box Set]
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: LISZT,F. Title: PIANO WORKS Street Release Date: 10/09/2001
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: PIANO WORKS
Street Release Date: 10/09/2001
A great collection of Liszt treasures
hjonkers | The Netherlands | 01/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The booklet of this set has an interesting explanation of why Jorge Bolet stayed out of the spotlights for so long before taking up his -glorious- career. It was his devotion to Liszt. By then, in the 1950s, Liszt was still regarded as a B-composer (There are still people who tend to think so: I read someone who called Liszt `the father of all bar pianists'. Now, if you know a worse offence...). Only after Liszt's reputation had increased, Bolet could enter his `Indian summer', which lasted from about 1975 until his passing away in 1990. During this period, he was finally able to perform his favourite music as much as possible. This fine 9-disc set may indeed be Bolet's most important testament. Additionally, it's one of the most important Liszt collections on the market. But beware: there's much more than just Bolet, considering Liszt's piano works. I can't say this is the perfect set or near it. Still five stars, for some astonishing piano playing that we don't come across very often nowadays.
Bolet won a Gramophone Award for his 1st book of Années de Pelerinage, which is not strange when listening to the recordings. This is a portrait of a man who's entirely on his own, looking for his soul while wandering trough the beautiful Switzerland - I can't say it better than B. Johnson already did. It's Romantic nonsense, of course, but in Liszt's days it was a common idea, and it can still sweep me away. Bolet's superior tonal colouring - beautiful, but not too far-driven, for the risk it would almost be too intimidating - and his peaceful nature lift this music to the greatest heights. My only complaint would be the `Orage' piece: Bolet's technique can't quite handle it, and its aggressive nature is much less overwhelming as a result. Nevertheless, the rest of the pieces show him at his very best. So does the second year of the Années (that is oddly placed in the set before the first year by Decca). The Dante Sonata, one of Liszt's greatest pieces, fares very well under Bolet's hands.
Equally excellent were the Schubert Song Transcriptions. The transcriptions aren't very different from the original songs, but they are definitely interesting. Especially when someone like Bolet takes them under his hands! All songs are terrifically played, with real standouts like `Auf dem Wasser zu singen', `Der Mueller und der Bach' and `Erlkoenig'. Bolet's romantic touch (he may have been the last of his kind) lets the music unendingly flow. Brilliant!
These comments also apply to Liszt's Consolations, which are placed on another disc. Liszt shows here how much he's in debt to Schubert, and wrote music of a disarmingly lyrical nature. Bolet gives almost naively innocent readings of these pieces. Talking about singing music, why not include the Liebesträume, `Venezia e Napoli' and many, many other pieces as well. Although some people still regard Liszt as a bombastic composer, he was in fact much more active on the spiritual and lyrical area. It is largely this nature of Liszt that is put into the spotlights by Bolet. He is really terrific whenever music ought to sound peaceful and meditative.
But Liszt was also a stunning virtuoso. People may eschew him for that, but that's often without any good ground. The B minor Sonata and the Transcendental Etudes, to give some names, are not only pianistically but also musically amazing works. It takes to be both a good technician and a musician to play them well, and this is where Bolet occasionally fails. He was over 65 when he made these recordings, and I can't help but say that his technique was not anymore what it used to be. In many pieces you can hear him struggle.
In what may be the most difficult music Liszt wrote, the Transcendental Etudes, Bolet takes tempi that are almost too easy (e.g. no.10 should be `Allegro molto agitato' but Bolet plays it very moderately), perhaps because his technique was by then too limited to give the pieces a really impressive treatment. Even then, I do feel a ertain nobility in Bolet's slow approach that gives every study a dignified stature (and that's something you won't find with Kissin or Cziffra!). The sonata is similarly noble and yet tremendously powerful in its scope, even though Bolet may lack some technial control at isolated spots.
Anoter treacherous piece is the `Reminiscences de Don Juan', which is a transcription of no less an opera than -of course- Don Giovanni! Bolet plays this 20-minute piece with a lot of humour and swing: it's a great way to clean up your mind! Also recommendable are the Etudes de Concert (e.g. Waldesrauschen), whose light spirit is very well captured.
A treasure trove set overall, I can recommend it without any limitations. There's no other composer that suited Bolet as well as Liszt, and the vice versa may be true as well. But the pianist also has his weaker points, particularly regarding his technique, that wasn't what it used to be. Oh, and the piano sound is not always equally convincing: the instrument sounds a little shrill at times. But there's an amazing amount of colour in the instrument, and it allows Bolet to reachfor the deepest, darkest sonorities you've heard. This collection is therefore not just THE best Liszt: there are many more pianists who made supreme recordings of him (e.g. Arrau, Brendel, Richter) and I definitely recommend searching them out as well. After you've heard this!"
Ethereal LIszt in Superb Sound
Classicalman | Pontiac, MI | 09/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Piano playing of extraordinary romantic depth and breadth. Bolet is inside Liszt's mind, as Liszt's romantic self unfolds on the keyboard. It is as if Bolet is the master himself. Superlative recordings to boot!"