Author Topic: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage  (Read 19285 times)

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Offline Sammy

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2014, 05:13:44 PM »
Uhlig I've not heard, but I've seen you mention his Ravel, and I see that he's doing a Schumann cycle.  I may explore some of his stuff next year.  I've heard Sudbin's Scarlatti, and it didn't click with me at all. 

For a different opinion, I was quite taken with Sudbin's Scarlatti disc - highly energized and exuberant in the faster sonatas, probing in the slower/more profound ones.  I remember that I had listened to the Scherbakov/Naxos disc just a few days before I acquired the Sudbin and was very relieved to find Sudbin a big improvement.  Otherwise, I would have been 0 for 2 in my buying account.

Offline aquablob

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2014, 10:00:27 PM »
I've finished my exploration of complete sets of Liszt's Annees, at least for now, and I figured why not come up with my own arbitrary groupings based solely on that most elusive but determinative of criteria: What I like. 


Top Tier
Mûza Rubackyté
Bertrand Chamayou
Ragna Schirmer
Julian Gorus


Second Tier
Aldo Ciccolini
Yoram Ish-Hurwitz
Michael Korstick
Lazar Berman
Nicholas Angelich
Sinae Lee


Third Tier
Louie Lortie (Year Three and the excessive lower registers sink it)
Ksenia Nosikova
Jerome Rose


Among the two incomplete sets I have – that is, Years 1 & 2 – Bolet would go into the top tier, and Craig Sheppard would go into the second tier.

If ever I listen to Ciccolini I, Jando, or Lowenthal, or any other complete sets I missed, I would (sub?) consciously group them into these three bands.

Now, as to wish lists, well, among pianists in their prime, I would very much like to hear Herbert Schuch's take on these works, and based on the pieces he has already recorded, Arcadi Volodos could deliver a monumental recording of the complete set.  Among younger pianists, I'm thinking Benjamin Grosvenor and Daniil Trifinov could do some great things.  And among older pianists, surely those great Lisztians Nelson Freire and Krystian Zimerman could offer great recordings, though I suspect neither will record the work.  And if ever Jean-Phillipe Collard decided to record the whole set, I'd eagerly snap it up, but I think his 1991 recording of the Dante Sonata and Petrarch Sonnets are all we are likely to get from him.

Cziffra?

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Liszt - Années de pèlerinage
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2014, 11:43:12 PM »
Uhlig I've not heard, but I've seen you mention his Ravel, and I see that he's doing a Schumann cycle.  I may explore some of his stuff next year.  I've heard Sudbin's Scarlatti, and it didn't click with me at all.  I may try his Scriabin at some point.

I have Uhlig's disc of Schumann concertante works, which is quite good. Sampling his Ondine on Spotify recently, I thought that it was good but not special, and that he might be better suited to Schumann than to Ravel.

Sudbin is an exquisite pianist and has made some exceptional albums so far (Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven PC 4 & 5, Medtner PC 1 & 2, an absolutely smashing Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody).

Offline amw

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2014, 02:32:15 AM »
Uhlig's Schumann cycle so far does Éric Le Sage better than Éric Le Sage. Clean, straightforward playing, fantasy brought to the surface but never ruling it.* I'm looking forward to its results.

* however it is worth noting that for a similar approach, András Schiff's Schumann recordings on ECM leave both of them far in the dust, by virtue of adding profundity to the mix. And of course those of you who prefer the likes of Richter, Anda or Argerich will not understand the fuss about any of the three

... anyway, Liszt eh. If Ragna Schirmer's Années are offered for sale at her Auckland concert next week I might pick them up. Not a Liszt fan, but I like almost all of her other discs I've heard, and of the ones I haven't heard I certainly like Liszt better than Corigliano, or Handel played on a hammond organ. (Steinway is bad enough :P)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 02:41:44 AM by amw »

Offline Todd

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2014, 08:01:37 AM »
Cziffra?


I've found used, old, expensive Connoisseur Society LPs, and a used, expensive CD twofer.  If it is reissued by itself, I may consider it.  Thing is, I have the oft-issued Cziffra Liszt five-pack on EMI, and I invariably reach for other pianists.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2015, 10:25:36 AM »



Seung-yeun Huh


Ms Huh's twofer from 2005 includes the complete Années, but excludes Venezia e Napoli.  Much of Huh's playing is a bit on the monochromatic side, and it can be a bit unsubtle on occasion.  (But then, so can Liszt's music.)  That written, the superbly engineered set displays a gargantuan dynamic range, and Huh is at her formidable best in the biggest, most demanding music.  Vallée d'Obermann sounds massive.  Après une Lecture du Dante swells and rushes forward with abandon with the best of them.  But Huh can deliver more nuanced playing, too.  The Pertrach Sonnets, for instance, while not as tonally fulsome as some, sound lovely.  The Third Year comes off exceedingly well.  Huh blends the unabashedly romantic approach of the second year and the more forward looking aspects of Liszt's music into a somewhat light overall style.  Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este here sounds proto-Ravelian, and displays dazzling dexterity from the pianist.  Perhaps Sunt lacrymae rerum comes off just a bit too light and bright for its own good, but the playing itself is quite fine. 

In some ways, Huh's playing reminds me of Michael Korstick's, but her playing never assumes a metallic patina the way Korstick's does, and dynamic gradation is even better.  This superb set straddles the top and second tier.  It would have been nice if Venezia e Napoli had been included, but whatcha gonna do?
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Offline Todd

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2015, 10:40:08 AM »



With help from a good Samaritan, I was able to obtain a copy of György Cziffra's recording of the Annees.  I've owned the oft reissued five-pack of Liszt played by Cziffra for a long time, and I rarely reach for it.  There is no doubt about Cziffra's affinity for Liszt, and even less about his insanely awesome technique.  But much of Cziffra's playing doesn't work for me.  Sometimes his playing tips over into garish display, though, of course, I'm talking about Liszt.  So I approached the Annees a bit warily. 

There is no doubt about the technical quality of Cziffra's playing.  No one I have heard dispatches with Liszt's octaves more easily, for instance.  Cziffra's take on on the Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli is perhaps a bit over the top, but his control is so absolute that even other supreme technicians like Berman and Korstick are outclassed handily.  It is an awesome display.  The bigger, louder, and more demanding the music, the better Cziffra is, relatively speaking.  No one can outplay him.  He is the virtuoso's virtuoso.  But sometimes that sort of becomes the problem.  Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este from the third year exemplifies this.  The playing is superficially dazzling and thrilling, but it strikes me as display only.  Also, in pieces where I prefer a bit more nuance, like the Petrarch Sonnets, his playing doesn't offer it.  That written, his playing is more sensitive and nuanced than I expected.

It's somewhat difficult for me to rate this.  In terms of pianistic prowess, it is second to none.  In terms of subtlety, of beauty, of poetry or tone painting or other wishy-washy, namby-pamby and nebulous criteria, I prefer other takes.  So, high second tier.  Maybe first tier on those days when I crave an unabashedly virtuosic display.

Sound is generally quite good as it is mostly 70s era analog, though the Dante sonata, recorded earlier, is in less good sound. 
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 11:45:03 AM by Todd »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #47 on: June 15, 2015, 06:36:21 AM »



With help from a good Samaritan, I was able to obtain a copy of György Cziffra's recording of the Annees.  I've owned the oft reissued five-pack of Liszt played by Cziffra for a long time, and I rarely reach for it.  There is no doubt about Cziffra's affinity for Liszt, and even less about his insanely awesome technique.  But much of Cziffra's playing doesn't work for me.  Sometimes his playing tips over into garish display, though, of course, I'm talking about Liszt.  So I approached the Annees a bit warily. 

There is no doubt about the technical quality of Cziffra's playing.  No one I have heard dispatches with Liszt's octaves more easily, for instance.  Cziffra's take on on the Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli is perhaps a bit over the top, but his control is so absolute that even other supreme technicians like Berman and Korstick are outclassed handily.  It is an awesome display.  The bigger, louder, and more demanding the music, the better Cziffra is, relatively speaking.  No one can outplay him.  He is the virtuoso's virtuoso.  But sometimes that sort of becomes the problem.  Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este from the third year exemplifies this.  The playing is superficially dazzling and thrilling, but it strikes me as display only.  Also, in pieces where I prefer a bit more nuance, like the Petrarch Sonnets, his playing doesn't offer it.  That written, his playing is more sensitive and nuanced than I expected.

It's somewhat difficult for me to rate this.  In terms of pianistic prowess, it is second to none.  In terms of subtlety, of beauty, of poetry or tone painting or other wishy-washy, namby-pamby and nebulous criteria, I prefer other takes.  So, high second tier.  Maybe first tier on those days when I crave an unabashedly virtuosic display.

Sound is generally quite good as it is mostly 70s era analog, though the Dante sonata, recorded earlier, is in less good sound.

IMO Cziffra became like that in the studio with Liszt, the recordings from the late 1950s and early 1960s, the ones he made with Hungaroton, are often less one-sided. Having said that I feel that Cziffra rarely takes the music to the poetic heights that the best musicians take it to. He's a bit like Ton Koopman (as keyboard player) in that respect.

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Offline San Antonio

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2015, 07:05:22 AM »
Ragna Schimer has gotten high marks in the Annees, but I find her inclusion of the madrigals an odd idea.  The performances of the madrigals are good, that's not the problem - it's just that they are a bothersome non sequitur, to my ears.  I may make a playlist and delete those tracks.  Otherwise, she plays these works extremely well. 

Right now listening to Andreas Haefliger, and I really hope he records the rest of them; there can never be too many complete sets of these works for me.


Offline Todd

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #49 on: August 15, 2015, 12:45:20 PM »



France Clidat.  Clidat's Liszt box has been a tough slog, and I had to take a couple months off before attempting to listen to her take on Liszt's greatest music.  I'll start with the positive.  She plays all three years and Venezia e Napoli.  The frequent bird accompaniment sounds pleasant some of the time.  Les Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este comes off as something close to an entertaining, virtuosic bon-bon.  Clidat speeds through things, minimizing the amount of time one must suffer through the worst playing.  I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't and can't.  Too often, it sounds like vapid note spinning.  The first Petrarch Sonnet sounds particularly unpoetic and emptily virtuosic, for instance.  Sometimes it's worse.  The Dante sonata is rushed, flailing, and ugly.  A good chunk of the third year seems aimless.  The first year, while not aimless, aims for the wrong target.  Ugh. 
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #50 on: August 15, 2015, 06:16:46 PM »
France Clidat.  Clidat's Liszt box has been a tough slog, and I had to take a couple months off before attempting to listen to her take on Liszt's greatest music.  I'll start with the positive.  She plays all three years and Venezia e Napoli.  The frequent bird accompaniment sounds pleasant some of the time.  Les Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este comes off as something close to an entertaining, virtuosic bon-bon.  Clidat speeds through things, minimizing the amount of time one must suffer through the worst playing.  I really wanted to like this, but I just couldn't and can't.  Too often, it sounds like vapid note spinning.  The first Petrarch Sonnet sounds particularly unpoetic and emptily virtuosic, for instance.  Sometimes it's worse.  The Dante sonata is rushed, flailing, and ugly.  A good chunk of the third year seems aimless.  The first year, while not aimless, aims for the wrong target.  Ugh. 

Sometimes I wonder who puts some of these artists up to recording things completely out of their comfort zone. To treat Les Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este like that...yikes...


Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #51 on: August 15, 2015, 06:45:16 PM »
Cross-posting from the other - long - Liszt thread, at home here in the dedicated Années thread:


So what about that other Liszt sonata: the so-called Dante Sonata? It's a work not to be taken lightly...well, that should be a given. But what about its place alongside the daunting B minor sonata?

It would have never occurred to me to compare the two works. Why try? What's the point anyway? The two works are their own destinations on the musical map and need no special pleading.

But when a performance of the Dante comes along that actually challenges the hegemony of the B minor, well...it's new territory for me, anyway!

But that's just what Mr. Nemoto gives us, here. Stop the press........

Yeah, stop the press...for me, anyway. This is just the sort of performance I crave. One that tears down the walls of convention and erects something completely new in its place. A performance that speaks in a completely new language yet never gets lost in its own cleverness. It puts its best honest foot forward and tasks the listener to come to terms with it, or get out of the way. If it works, the end result should be both inimitable and indelible.

And man, indelible is the word (well, inimitable, too).

Liszt's sweaty, tripped-out, kaleidoscopic workshop of a piece is given totally new garb and burrows right into the psyche. It simply glows. And glows...on and on....

Time to repeat! ;D

Repeat indeed but just as Nemoto dazzles in the Dante he also sings with an appropriately poetic voice in the rest of the music. The entire disc is a winner. It's Italian living in all its glory.   

Oh, and the issue of sound came up earlier. It's definitely worth mentioning here since it plays an active role in relaying Nemoto's intentions. Dynamics are best described as wide, wider, and WIDEST. Wider dynamics I've never heard before on a piano recording (even from Connoisseur Society). It actually took some getting used to as the left hand/bass, when it gets low, gets lower than I'd have thought possible - on records or in person. But it didn't take long before everything made perfect sonic sense and the great sound went hand-in-hand with Nemoto's striking conception. Would like to hear more from this company...and soon will...as all three books of Années are available with different pianists.




Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2015, 06:47:08 PM »
And one more:


Somebody in Japan is cultivating a wonderful Liszt tradition. First there was Nemoto's standout second year of Années de pèlerinage and now we have Ms. Kuwahara's first year.

The first year of Années is designed to paint the most delicate portrait of the Swiss countryside. None of which escapes Kuwahara. She's right in tune with each and every pastoral-esk sensation. Whether it's an aroma, a sound, a mood, or a puff of wind, all is perfectly transmitted at the keyboard. Her playing is all poetry yet it coarsens up at the appropriate points, as if to point out that no countryside is without its rugged stretches.

Simply an outstanding interpretation in every way.



   

« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 01:51:02 PM by Dancing Divertimentian »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2015, 06:57:47 PM »
Sometimes I wonder who puts some of these artists up to recording things completely out of their comfort zone. To treat Les Jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este like that...yikes...

I haven't listened to Clidat's 14 CD box beyond the B Minor sonata but will dip more into it.  In her time she was considered a first rate Liszt interpreter, and except for Gunnar Johansen and Leslie Howard she has recorded more Liszt than any other pianist.  Liszt is hardly outside her comfort zone.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2015, 07:39:37 PM »
I haven't listened to Clidat's 14 CD box beyond the B Minor sonata but will dip more into it.  In her time she was considered a first rate Liszt interpreter, and except for Gunnar Johansen and Leslie Howard she has recorded more Liszt than any other pianist.  Liszt is hardly outside her comfort zone.

Well, from the sound of it, something's not right! It's not like Todd is my mentor or anything but it's not often that he outright pans a recording to such a degree. So when he does, I give it more than passing notice.

"Out of her comfort zone" wasn't meant as a direct assault on Clidat's Liszt cred. Just that perhaps something was dogging her at these particular sessions. An ailment? Unprepared? Fill in the blank?

And if any of the above applied, who gave the green light to go ahead with it all? Quality control - the producer - shouldn't be afraid to step in and apply the brakes if needed. 

« Last Edit: November 15, 2016, 12:19:37 PM by Dancing Divertimentian »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline San Antonio

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2015, 04:02:49 AM »
Well, from the sound of it, something's not right! It's not like Todd is my mentor or anything but it's not often that he outright pans a recording to such a degree. So when he does, I give it more than passing notice.

"Out of her comfort zone" wasn't meant as direct assault on Clidat's Liszt cred. Just that perhaps something was dogging her at these particular sessions. An ailment? Unprepared? Fill in the blank?

And if any of the above applied, who gave the green light to go ahead with it all? Quality control - the producer - shouldn't be afraid to step in and apply the brakes if needed.

I think it points up how much of this is subjective. 

Offline George

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #56 on: August 25, 2015, 05:47:11 AM »
Thank you. I recently listened to the first two years of the Julian Gorus cycle and was captivated.

Hmm, now I think I need to check that one out.
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Offline Turner

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2016, 06:34:12 AM »
Huh´s CD set, listed above, is currently sold for just €3 at JPC.de

As for complete sets, I only own Huh, Lazar Berman and - not mentioned hitherto, I think - Jerome Rose (LPs) & Edith Farnadi (LPs).

But also lot of further excerpts.

I´m not totally positive regarding the Berman set & haven´t found a totally convincing set yet, so thank you for the many lesser known recordings shown here.
 
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 06:40:09 AM by Turner »

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #58 on: November 15, 2016, 01:43:33 PM »
Finishing my Années journey on the tiny Japanese DPIC label with the Third Book:

Don't listen to this work if it's hay fever season. One sneeze and the reason for listening to an entire fifteen-bar stretch of music is missed. But don't sneeze and a euphoric, upside-down world suddenly opens up. Never will you hear a work so dependent on the minutest, half-blipping of a key stroke. Challenging listening, yes, but to say the rewards are worth it is an understatement.

As the work progresses, the half-blipping ratchets up. And up and up until the penultimate movement arrives, namely Les Jeux d'Eaux à la Villa d'Este, which lights up the next eight minutes with some of the most mind-boggling music out there. To her credit, Ms. Ogura resists the urge to make this movement into something it's not, namely a glitzy, self-serving showpiece. Instead, in her hands, it's appropriately chiseled and crystalline. In keeping with the rest of the piece.

At every turn Ms. Ogura craftily connects the musical dots, taking by the scruff Liszt's late language and making a timeless, universal statement out of it. The sense of ownership is strong, which is impressive considering the almost impossible task Liszt imposes on the pianist. But Ms. Ogura makes the most of her time with the music and the rewards for the listener are multitude.
   
Great sonics round out yet another fabulous Liszt release from this label.



« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 10:12:19 AM by Dancing Divertimentian »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Todd

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Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
« Reply #59 on: November 15, 2016, 01:57:35 PM »




Interesting.  I will have to consider this.  The third year doesn't get enough love.

---





On the full set front, a couple months ago, I got Jerome Lowenthal's complete set, and it's pretty good overall.  Much of the time, one would never know the pianist was pushing eighty when he recorded it.  Some pieces, most notably the Dante sonata, show some of the passagework is taxing for him, though.  The playing is generally fast, without much in the way of rhythmic subtlety or tonal color variation, and some of the playing lacks sufficient romantic sweep.  The first year is probably the best part.  Second/Third tier.  Now that I know it's out there, I want to get my hands on Edith Farnadi's set.
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