Author Topic: Franz Liszt (1811-86)  (Read 56967 times)

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SymphonicAddict

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #420 on: February 07, 2019, 01:15:13 PM »
Listening to the huge Faust Symphony, and I find my mind tends to wander away from the music during the second movement, Gretchen. It's pleasant enough and makes for contrast, but at 23 minutes it goes on for a bit considering not an awful lot happens.

I share your view about the Gretchen movement. Faust and Mephistopheles are quite satisfying, whilst Gretchen is kind of close to dullness.

PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #421 on: February 08, 2019, 04:30:32 AM »
I share your view about the Gretchen movement. Faust and Mephistopheles are quite satisfying, whilst Gretchen is kind of close to dullness.
I would say Liszt got it right musically. Gretchen is quite dull in real life, and a bit long-winded.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #422 on: February 08, 2019, 04:41:46 AM »
I would say Liszt got it right musically. Gretchen is quite dull in real life, and a bit long-winded.

This is what Saint-Saens wrote about this very topic:

The fact is that the Gretchen of the famous poem is not some virgin found in a missal or a stained glass window,  the  ideal  of   a  man’s  dreams,  encountered  at  last;  Gretchen  is Margot, and the cloth she spins could be used to make Victor Hugo’s “radiant floorcloths”. Faust has spent his life bent over his learned books and test tubes, never experiencing love; now he is restored to adolescence and the first girl he comes across seems like a goddess. She talks to him about the house, the housekeeping and the most mundane things, and he is  enchanted.  It’s  a  slice  of   nature:  the  serious  man,  the  superior  mind falls instantly in love with a slut.

One might disagree with Gretchen being a slut (IIRC, there's nothing in Goethe's tragedy that can be interpreted this way; on the other hand, there's nothing to prevent the interpretation, either) but otherwise he is spot on. :laugh:


“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #423 on: March 05, 2019, 06:57:10 AM »
All signs point towards Tiberghien's Liszt being the new gold standard. Has anyone heard it?

Online San Antone

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #424 on: March 05, 2019, 07:50:56 AM »
All signs point towards Tiberghien's Liszt being the new gold standard. Has anyone heard it?

I don't think one CD with a selection of late piano works would qualify as a gold standard.  But I have that CD and enjoy it.  The selection of works is well put together and his playing is very fine.  It is a recording I can easily recommend to anyone interested in Liszt, especially the late works.

For me, until he records the B Minor sonata, I can't consider him establishing any kind of standard for Liszt.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #425 on: March 05, 2019, 08:46:44 AM »
I don't think one CD with a selection of late piano works would qualify as a gold standard.  But I have that CD and enjoy it.  The selection of works is well put together and his playing is very fine.  It is a recording I can easily recommend to anyone interested in Liszt, especially the late works.

For me, until he records the B Minor sonata, I can't consider him establishing any kind of standard for Liszt.

Let me rephrase: the gold standard for Années de pèlerinage #3.

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #426 on: March 05, 2019, 08:54:27 AM »
Let me rephrase: the gold standard for Années de pèlerinage #3.

The competition is pretty fierce for the Années de pèlerinage - but, I don't focus on comparing recordings, so I will let someone else, Todd for example, weigh in.  It is enough for me that his recording is enjoyable and a worthwhile purchase.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #427 on: March 05, 2019, 09:07:03 AM »
I don't focus on comparing recordings...  It is enough for me that [a] recording is enjoyable.

My sentiments exactly.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #428 on: March 05, 2019, 09:10:08 AM »
Sometimes it is important to compare, especially when you already have three other recordings of the same works and money is an issue. For the most part, however, I agree with your assessment.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #429 on: March 05, 2019, 09:15:44 AM »
Sometimes it is important to compare, especially when you already have three other recordings of the same works and money is an issue.

In this case, why would you need a fourth recording?  :D
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #430 on: March 05, 2019, 01:12:01 PM »
In this case, why would you need a fourth recording?  :D

If Tiberghien is as great as critics are making him out to be, I don't mind a fourth.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #431 on: March 05, 2019, 01:16:12 PM »
If Tiberghien is as great as critics are making him out to be, I don't mind a fourth.

And how would you ever know whether they are right or not?
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #432 on: March 05, 2019, 01:29:08 PM »
If Tiberghien is as great as critics are making him out to be, I don't mind a fourth.

FWIW I did not hear anything that would make me wish to replace my copies of Bertrand Chamayou, or Ragna Schirmer or Mûza Rubackyté in the Annees - and they recorded the entire series of works, not just the third year.  Then there's Daniel Grimwood playing a period keyboard which I would vote ahead of Tiberghien, just for variety.  I bought it purely because I am a Liszt collector and buy many recordings just to listen to once and then maybe never again.

My feeling is that for some reason he is the flavor of the month - but his selection of works is very well put together and he plays the music very nicely. 

But, as I said, I am not very good at parsing the subtle nuances between several recordings.

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #433 on: March 05, 2019, 02:34:33 PM »
Okay, so I've pulled the Chamayou (A) and Schirmer (B) recordings down and began to compare them with Tiberghien (C).  The first noticeable difference is tempo - C is slower in all the pieces than either A or B, sometimes very much slower: taking 11 minutes where A takes 8; or 8 where B takes 6.

His playing in #1 "Angelus" appears to be softer and more delicately phrased, but there are some very nice effects.  I like his performance better than B but not as good as A.

If you want I will continue.

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #434 on: March 05, 2019, 03:00:37 PM »
San Antone, Do you have an overall favorite Liszt sonata?

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #435 on: March 05, 2019, 03:37:48 PM »
San Antone, Do you have an overall favorite Liszt sonata?

Krystian Zimerman tops my ongoing list, followed closely by Martha Argerich.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #436 on: March 05, 2019, 03:41:36 PM »
And how would you ever know whether they are right or not?

That is where you guys come in.  ;D

Thanks for the quick run-through, San Antone. I will now brood over whether or not to buy for the next week or so... as one does.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 03:43:51 PM by schnittkease »

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #437 on: March 05, 2019, 03:44:44 PM »
Krystian Zimerman tops my ongoing list, followed closely by Martha Argerich.

I have both of those, Hooray!

(Don't like Pollini?)

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #438 on: March 05, 2019, 03:52:17 PM »
I have both of those, Hooray!

(Don't like Pollini?)

I haven't gone back and re-rated his performance - and I don't remember where he was on the lost list, probably pretty high.

Here's the top ten about one-third of the way through:

Krystian ZIMERMAN
Martha ARGERICH
Marc-André HAMELIN
Louis LORTIE
Jorge BOLET [1]
Dezsö RÁNKI [1]
Jorge BOLET [3]
Nikolai DEMIDENKO
Sviatislav RICHTER [1] (Carnegie Hall)
Vladimir HOROWITZ [1]

The numbers in brackets signify the existence of multiple recordings.

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Re: Franz Liszt (1811-86)
« Reply #439 on: March 06, 2019, 05:46:10 AM »
In this case, why would you need a fourth recording?  :D

This is kind of why I don't even get beyond one recording if I'm happy with it. I don't go looking for others unless I feel unhappy in some way with what I have.

This is true of other things. And possibly why I have the finances to buy the albums that I do choose to buy.  ;D
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