GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: marvinbrown on May 04, 2007, 04:58:11 AM

Title: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: marvinbrown on May 04, 2007, 04:58:11 AM

   I did not know where to post this inquiry so I created a new topic,  I am looking for a great COMPLETE recording of Franz Liszt's Annees de Pelerinage.  I currently own small fragments of this work played by Kathryn Stott on Conifer Classics (namely: Deuxieme Annee-Italie Sonetto 47, 104 and 123) and I love them so much I want to get a complete set.  I wanted to get the Brendel set but was told this set is better, any advice would be appreciated.

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/4146PJS33XL._SS500_.jpg)


  marvin
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 05:00:53 AM

Jando's set on naxos is supercheap and got a rosette or two from Penguin, but it failed to really wow me. I am also curious which performances our illustrious crew comes up with.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on May 04, 2007, 05:01:35 AM
There aren't very many complete sets available (and Brendel plays only the first two "years"), but the Berman set is superb.  Jorge Bolet's incomplete recording (the first two years, plus a bit) is likewise superb, but I believe it is only available in the box of all his Decca Liszt recordings.  Nicholas Angelich has recorded a complete set for Mirare, but I've not yet heard it.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Don on May 04, 2007, 05:07:13 AM
There aren't very many complete sets available (and Brendel plays only the first two "years"), but the Berman set is superb.  Jorge Bolet's incomplete recording (the first two years, plus a bit) is likewise superb, but I believe it is only available in the box of all his Decca Liszt recordings.  Nicholas Angelich has recorded a complete set for Mirare, but I've not yet heard it.

Berman's my favorite, and I also enjoy Ciccolini, Bolet and Jando.  On the Brendel set, Kocsis plays the 3rd year.  I also have the Angelich but haven't opened it yet.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Don on May 04, 2007, 06:03:23 AM
I haven't heard them, but the Centaur cycle (3 separate discs) played by Ksenia Nosikova has received some fine reviews.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: marvinbrown on May 04, 2007, 06:30:47 AM
Berman's my favorite, and I also enjoy Ciccolini, Bolet and Jando.  On the Brendel set, Kocsis plays the 3rd year.  I also have the Angelich but haven't opened it yet.

  Ok so the Brendel set is COMPLETE with Kocsis....I wonder why Brendel did not complete the 3rd year...hmmm....
In any event it seems at this stage that Berman is the front runner.

  marvin
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Michel on May 04, 2007, 06:31:10 AM
It depends how you like your Liszt. For example:

Bolet is distant, refined, gentle and sober.

Arrau is thoughtful, penetrating, and much darker.

What kind of approach do you prefer?

I don't know Berman, but the fact that is is a complete recording is a big plus as there aren't many about. Just go for it!
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: carlos on May 04, 2007, 06:53:05 AM
Don't forget great Cziffra!
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: dirkronk on May 04, 2007, 06:53:48 AM
You know, I don't think I've EVER listened to this entire cycle by one pianist all the way through. Of course, I've listened to individual years and/or excerpts by Berman, Bolet, Richter, Cziffra, Fiorentino...all of whom I like. In addition, much as I tend to DISlike post-1964 Arrau in most repertoire, his Liszt is an exception, and I have some items from the Annees de Pelerinage by him that I find most poetic and enormously satisfying. I'd like to hear his complete cycle (presuming he did one) to see if these snippets are the exception or the rule. Has anyone here heard it...and can you give us an evaluation?

Thanks,

Dirk
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: springrite on May 04, 2007, 07:15:12 AM
Indeed many pianists play the first two years, but not the 3rd year. The Kocsis year three is superb. In fact it is the best part of the Brendel set (if you can call it that, maybe should call it the PHILIPS SET). If you want them played by the same pianist, Berman is the obvious choice. But if it does not have to be by the same pianist, then the Brendel-Kocsis set is one to consider as well.

Personally, I prefer Bolet's first two years, for stylistic preference reasons.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 07:15:41 AM
.

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/4146PJS33XL._SS500_.jpg)


  marvin

I would like to know if the earlier release of this set is the same remastering?
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 07:28:37 AM

 Classics Today Review of the Berman DG Box Set (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5491)

 Gramophone review of the Berman DG Box Set (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=9311083&mediaID=24773&issue=Reviewed%3A+Gramophone+11%2F1993)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: marvinbrown on May 04, 2007, 07:33:17 AM
Classics Today Review of the Berman DG Box Set (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5491)

 Gramophone review of the Berman DG Box Set (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/gramofilereview.asp?reviewID=9311083&mediaID=24773&issue=Reviewed%3A+Gramophone+11%2F1993)

  Thanks for the link George.

  marvin
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 07:35:04 AM
  Thanks for the link George.

  marvin

No problem.  :)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Lethevich on May 04, 2007, 07:39:03 AM
I'm another who likes the Bolet - it's not ideal being part of a larger box, but that box is excellent (and well priced). I don't like the Berman quite as much, but can't pinpoint exactly why :S Both are excellent (can't make comparisons to others, as they are my only two) and will not disappoint whichever you choose IMHO, but I guess if you want all of them complete, Bolet isn't an option, making the Berman self-recommending :)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: marvinbrown on May 04, 2007, 07:54:04 AM
I'm another who likes the Bolet - it's not ideal being part of a larger box, but that box is excellent (and well priced). I don't like the Berman quite as much, but can't pinpoint exactly why :S Both are excellent (can't make comparisons to others, as they are my only two) and will not disappoint whichever you choose IMHO, but I guess if you want all of them complete, Bolet isn't an option, making the Berman self-recommending :)

  I welcome any preference GMG members have.  I am always  open to new ideas and opinions.  Yes I would like a complete set, but if another incomplete set with stellar reviews should rear its head then by all means I am interested...no reason to have just 1 complete recording. 

  marvin 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: springrite on May 04, 2007, 08:00:29 AM
  I welcome any preference GMG members have.  I am always  open to new ideas and opinions.  Yes I would like a complete set, but if another incomplete set with stellar reviews should rear its head then by all means I am interested...no reason to have just 1 complete recording. 

  marvin 

Now, that's the spirit!

Also, it is always better to have choices instead of decisions by default.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 09:00:22 AM
I'm very satisfied with the Arrau. His emotional depth and consistent technical skill really added wonders to my appreciation of this music.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: BorisG on May 04, 2007, 12:08:39 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TYgCeZoLL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Brian on May 04, 2007, 02:10:45 PM
I've only heard Jando's "Reading of Dante", so I can hardly testify except that his complete box is quite difficult to find.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 06:54:08 PM
The Berman is a fine set.  :)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: val on May 04, 2007, 11:49:54 PM
Regarding the first two years, my favorite is Jorge Bolet. Beautiful phrasings, a very poetic conception as if he was telling us a story: the greatest moments are La vallée d'Oberman, Au bout d'une source, the Petrarch Sonnets, Mal du pays and Cloches de Genève.

I never liked Brendel, artificial, tempo too fast sometimes, with no emotion. The best is perhaps La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell. But, in the beginning of his career he recorded a splendid version of Dante Sonata for VOX.

The anthology recorded by Kempff is extraordinary, and the Dante Sonata by Arrau very powerful (but perhaps too massive).


Regarding the 3rd year, my favorite is Kocsis. Very detailed, dynamic. Could perhaps be a bit more mysterious in some moments.
But "Les jeux d'eau de Villa d'Est" is another great moment, played by Jorge Bolet. This great artist always gives me a sense of plenitude with his large phrasings, his deep meditation.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: SimonGodders on May 05, 2007, 12:07:11 AM
My vote goes with the Berman, but although highly incomplete, this CD is fantastic. Richter at his most exquisite:

(http://www.ne.jp/asahi/ponpoko/tanuki/richter_PACD_96-005&6.JPG)

For those interested, track listing is:
CD1: Annees de Pelerinage - Vallee d'Obermann. Au bord d'un source. La sposalizio. Aux cypres de la Villa d'este. Sonnetto 123 del Patraca. Venezia e Napilo. Gondoliera. Canzona. Tarantella

A wonderful hushed intensity purveys through the playing, and whilst the sound is rather on the dry side (way too over-filtered for my liking), when Richter plays like this I don't really care...
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: snyprrr on April 09, 2010, 09:26:42 PM
bump
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 09, 2010, 09:37:47 PM
I like the Berman, finely chiseled, balanced and full of detail. Alas, i often find it to lack in spontaneity. This music should flow as easily and as gracefully as possible, and Berman is a bit too controlled, almost straight laced at times. The problem is that his performance is still better then most. There's a new recording by a pianist called Yoram Ish-Hurwitz that's actually pretty good. A bit metronomic at times but the detail is still there, and the sound quality is excellent. Still not Liszt though.
 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Holden on April 09, 2010, 11:28:11 PM
Cziffra
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Leo K. on May 13, 2012, 05:54:00 AM
As a lover of Bolet's Années de pèlerinage, I'm also finding Angelich's account really satisfying. Controlled but not restrictive, imaginitive execution, and with realistic sound quality.

Vallée d'Obermann, from the first year, is just so amazing to experience.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ay94V1d5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Mandryka on May 13, 2012, 06:24:20 AM
As a lover of Bolet's Années de pèlerinage, I'm also finding Angelich's account really satisfying. Controlled but not restrictive, imaginitive execution, and with realistic sound quality.

Vallée d'Obermann, from the first year, is just so amazing to experience.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ay94V1d5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Angelich is too controlled for me. Has anyone heard Jerome Lowenthal's CD of it, which I'm kind of curious about since I think he's an interesting pianist?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51voF6Tn7KL._AA115_.jpg)

I just noticed Bertrand Chamayou's record of it is on spotify. I heard a sort of marathon he gave of it late last year and I thought it was very enjoyable -- so this could be well worth catching. He's a fine pianist, not just in Liszt but also in Franck and  in Schumann and Dvorak chamber music (a concert I heard him do a few weeks ago.)

If you're exploring this music be sure to listen to the extraordinary recordings of parts of it that Ervin Nyiregyházi made -- they're probably on youtube. If you want I can let you have the FLACs of his LP, which includes the final three threnodies.

Also, of course, Sofronitsky's Dante Sonata is wonderful. I'm not as enthusiastic about Cziffra's and Bolet's studio records as others are here.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Leo K. on May 13, 2012, 06:51:37 AM

If you're exploring this music be sure to listen to the extraordinary recordings of parts of it that Ervin Nyiregyházi made -- they're probably on youtube. If you want I can let you have the FLACs of his LP, which includes the final three threnodies.

Also, of course, Sofronitsky's Dante Sonata is wonderful. I'm not as enthusiastic about Cziffra's and Bolet's studio records as others are here.

I would be very interested to hear Ervin Nyiregyházi's accounts! I haven't heard or compared many accounts of Annees.

Thanks for your thoughts, Sofronitsky's Dante Sonata sounds interesting too.

Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Kontrapunctus on May 13, 2012, 07:14:54 AM
I like Yoram Ish-Hurwitz's set (actually, one has to buy them separately). Both the playing and the sound are stunning. The discs are a bit pricey, though.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WiYOaxW0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002NBM0M/?tag=sacdinfocom-20
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Lethevich on May 14, 2012, 03:19:33 AM
Since my earlier post, I have found a favourite integral: Bertrand Chamayou on Naïve. There is something so impressive in his technique, he seems to nail everything and in great recorded sound. Never once does he sound edgy, rough or languorous (in the later set), he has a simply scintillating way with the works. Samples here (http://www.naive.fr/#/work/annees-de-pelerinage).


Lortie is also brilliant, though not quite topping Bolet's incomplete set for me. It's been a good past few years for recordings of these works, given the praise for that HIP set (that I have yet to hear).
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: snyprrr on May 18, 2012, 08:53:43 PM
THE ALL CONSUMING DATABANK OF LISZT RECORDING DISCUSSION HAS SPOKEN!! >:D >:D >:D


I noticed no Liszt Thread in the Recordings that had made it passed Page One, haha, but, what gives? Are recordings just discussed in the Thread proper? I think we ALL need to chip in with out favorite Liszt disc,... I suppose this is a Piano Works Thread, but we'll see.

I'm wondering about:

Chui Annees 1

Barenboim Annees 1

Kocsis Annees 3 is pretty rxpensive by itself (thank you). The sound on that disc I'll remember forever, can you recommend an alternate that has that brilliant Philips' type sound, or something?
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: snyprrr on May 19, 2012, 04:59:10 AM
I liked my Title much better! >:D
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Brian on May 19, 2012, 06:58:34 AM
Since my earlier post, I have found a favourite integral: Bertrand Chamayou on Naïve. There is something so impressive in his technique, he seems to nail everything and in great recorded sound. Never once does he sound edgy, rough or languorous (in the later set), he has a simply scintillating way with the works. Samples here (http://www.naive.fr/#/work/annees-de-pelerinage).

Hmm, the samples sound really dry (acoustically) to me... are they an accurate reflection of what you hear on the CDs?
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Lethevich on May 19, 2012, 02:59:48 PM
Hmm, the samples sound really dry (acoustically) to me... are they an accurate reflection of what you hear on the CDs?

Hmm, I'm not very good at defining these qualities, but I didn't notice this until you mentioned it. It feels to me to be detailed, without being too closely miced. The notes don't decay too quickly, and there is a lack of strong bloom, but this is a neutral quality to me - this might be part of what you mean?

I uploaded a louder movement in lossless, if you would like to check: link (http://www.multiupload.co.uk/FM4WRIA6WS) (the top "direct dl" option is fastest).
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Sammy on May 19, 2012, 08:37:53 PM
Hmm, the samples sound really dry (acoustically) to me... are they an accurate reflection of what you hear on the CDs?

The sound on the samples is very close to that on the Cds.  I like piano recordings on the dry side, and Chamayou's sound is perfect to me.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on November 09, 2014, 04:58:58 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
György Cziffra
Seung-Yeun Huh
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
France Clidat


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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Brian on November 09, 2014, 05:39:20 PM
Thank you. I recently listened to the first two years of the Julian Gorus cycle and was captivated.

I don't know how Jando is in "Annees" but he's at his absolute best (and really anybody's best) in the Hungarian Rhapsodies, which has led me to think maybe his affinity for Liszt is stronger than his sure-I'll-play-it attitude toward most other composers.

Since you listed a few pianists who would be fun to hear in this music, I thought of a couple others. Where on your musical radar are Florian Uhlig and Yevgeny Sudbin?
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on November 09, 2014, 05:57:43 PM
Where on your musical radar are Florian Uhlig and Yevgeny Sudbin?



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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Brian on November 09, 2014, 06:11:09 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.
That Ravel is the first Uhlig I've been exposed to. So here's the Sudbin story: he sent a home-made audition CD to BIS, recorded probably in his living room, and they asked him to prepare a Scarlatti debut album. He'd never played Scarlatti before (certainly not on the demo) and quickly speed-read as many Scarlatti sonatas as he could, choosing his favorites. That album was the result.

The Scriabin is this weird combination of hallucination and complete, almost dictatorial control. It has some knockout mazurkas and Sonatas 2 & 9. My favorite Sudbin album is the Chopin (with Ballades 3 and 4 and the Fantaisie in F minor). His "Gaspard de la Nuit" was knocked out in the first round of the GMG game for being too operatic and staccato-ish: you listened to the "Ondine" and said "Quick, with some of the playing having a Scarbo-esque scampering about it.  Superb control, nice clarity –and is that a snort before the first climax?  For some reason the word “fun” popped into my head while listening."
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Sammy 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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: aquablob 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?
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de pèlerinage
Post by: Wanderer 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).
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: amw 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)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd 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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on April 26, 2015, 09:25:36 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81DoOAZK44L._SY425_.jpg)


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?
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on June 14, 2015, 09:40:08 AM
(http://img.cdandlp.com/2014/11/imgL/117260836.jpg)


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. 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Mandryka on June 15, 2015, 05:36:21 AM
(http://img.cdandlp.com/2014/11/imgL/117260836.jpg)


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.

Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: San Antone on June 28, 2015, 06:05:22 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ov8iTBLIL._SS380.jpg)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on August 15, 2015, 11:45:20 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81al%2BmJ7VjL._SX425_.jpg)


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. 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 15, 2015, 05:16:46 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...


Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 15, 2015, 05:45:16 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.




Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 15, 2015, 05:47:08 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.



   

Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: San Antone on August 15, 2015, 05:57:47 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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 15, 2015, 06:39:37 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. 

Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: San Antone on August 16, 2015, 03:02:49 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. 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: George on August 25, 2015, 04:47:11 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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Turner 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.
 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian 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.



Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on November 15, 2016, 01:57:35 PM




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

---

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51eyjIi2b%2BL._SS425.jpg)



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.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 15, 2016, 02:07:13 PM
The third year doesn't get enough love.

For sure.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: North Star on April 06, 2017, 10:45:22 PM
Just reporting this as I stumbled on it on Amazon, maybe someone will be interested...
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71F7ymSWZHL._SL1500_.jpg) (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Franz-Liszt-Années-Pèlerinage-Sinae/dp/B008GS9ERS/?tag=goodmusicguid-21)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 07, 2017, 04:40:57 AM
Just reporting this as I stumbled on it on Amazon, maybe someone will be interested...
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71F7ymSWZHL._SL1500_.jpg) (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Franz-Liszt-Années-Pèlerinage-Sinae/dp/B008GS9ERS/?tag=goodmusicguid-21)

Cool.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on April 07, 2017, 05:09:58 AM
Just reporting this as I stumbled on it on Amazon, maybe someone will be interested...
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71F7ymSWZHL._SL1500_.jpg) (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Franz-Liszt-Années-Pèlerinage-Sinae/dp/B008GS9ERS/?tag=goodmusicguid-21)


Well played, but a bit colorless.  Her complete Szymanowksi is of more relative interest, I think.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: North Star on April 07, 2017, 06:20:36 AM
Well played, but a bit colorless.  Her complete Szymanowksi is of more relative interest, I think.
Cheers.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on June 11, 2017, 03:00:03 PM
Edith Farnadi's complete recording of Annees is available as a free MP3 download here. (https://www.liberliber.it/online/autori/autori-l/franz-liszt/annees-de-pelerinage/).  It's low res, but I think I'll give it a shot given the price.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: 71 dB on June 12, 2017, 02:20:44 AM
Louis Lortie on Chandos has got amazing sonics. It's probably the best recorded solo piano disc in my collection.  :)
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on August 03, 2017, 07:25:06 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/5103HqpwMEL._SY425_.jpg)


[This will be cross-posted in The Italian Invasion]

Enrico Pace's sole solo commercial studio recording to date.  (There's an early solo recording of the Liszt Sonata, Dante Sonata, and Réminiscences de Don Juan, but that was for publication promotion purposes.)  That the 1989 Liszt International Piano Competition winner might have some affinity for Liszt isn't so surprising, and given that Pace has provided world-class piano accompaniment in world-class recordings of core chamber music rep, it is not surprising that this recording ends up sounding swell. 

Pace's way is not one of hypervirtuosic bombast; rather, his way is more lyrical and poetic.  That's not to say Pace cannot play the music with the necessary executive brilliance, because he can and does.  He just focuses on other things.  He'll lovingly attend to each note in some arpeggios, weighting them all equally on occasion, making them sound more important and longer than other takes, though they are not.  He'll lavish attention on upper register playing, with some sounding crystalline and pure.  He'll deliver some of the most beautiful and tender pianissimo playing, as in Les cloches de Geneve, where one can envision Liszt wanting to transcribe the experience of hearing gently tolling distant bells one particularly lovely morning with Marie d’Agoult by his side.  He'll produce rich and weighty lower register playing without drowning out higher registers.  In Eclogue, he creates a dazzling effect with light but insistent and steady left hand playing providing a foundation for the beautiful right hand melodies in a way I've not heard before. 

The pianistic and interpretive goodness carries over to year two.  Each piece is fully characterized, and Pace plays with unique but not overbearing personal touches.  Could some phrases be less clipped in Il Penseroso?  Undoubtedly.  I might like the result more than this, or I might not.  The Petrarch Sonnets are wonderfully poetic and flowing.  Pace doesn't quite play with the same type of delicate and wide-ranging pianism as Julian Gorus, but the aesthetic impact of his playing is similar, and the beauty undeniable.  The Dante is swift and dramatic and large-scale enough to more than satisfy, and if even more powerful versions are out there, there may not be better ones.

It's a pity that Pace did not record the whole set - indeed, he didn't even record Venezia e Napoli.   This is absolutely wonderful Liszt playing, and had Pace included the final year, this might be the Années to own.  At the very least, this stands alongside Rubackytė, Chamayou, Gorus, and Schirmer. 

Sound is fully modern, but dynamic range is not SOTA.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on August 24, 2017, 01:19:20 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41UDAED6YTL._SS425.jpg)


Thanks to Jeff Bezos, or whichever executive or committee came up with the Add-on program for Amazon, because the program saved me some money on this one.  Florian Krumpöck's Liszt year release of the first two years of Années de pèlerinage, sans Venezia e Napoli, ended up not being worth full price.  To be sure, it does have some attractions.  Chief among them is the use of a Blüthner, which lends a different sound to the playing.  The middle and upper registers have different overtones, and sound more resonant, than Steinways, and can lend a bit of color.  Krumpöck plays the first two years in broad fasion, at about an hour each, and sometimes his broader tempi really take advantage of the decay characteristics of the instrument.  But sometimes the music sags, and it has nothing to do with tempo, per se.  Both Nicholas Angelich and Julian Gorus take their time, too, but they are more flexible with specific tempo choices and play with broader dynamic range to create both delicate and thunderous effects.  It's not that Krumpöck is at all bad, or that some of his ideas don't work - eg, the very slow Il penseroso, with its tolling bass and near-funeral march feel is magnificent, and though a bit too long overall, the Dante Sonata is satisfyingly large in scale and quasi-orchestral, making me think Krumpöck might make a good pianist in a piano & organ duo - it's just that taken as a whole, it doesn't work as well for me as other recordings. 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on September 21, 2017, 03:53:37 AM
(http://www.haydnhouse.com/images/FRONT_LISZT_FARNADI.jpg)


I figured it was about time to listen to the first complete Annees, namely Edith Farnadi's 1950s traversal on Westminster.  This particular transfer was made from LPs and has the surface noise and distortion to prove it, though ultimately sound quality is acceptable.  The recording is available as free MP3s using the above link, and many Farnadi recordings are available for free on YouTube, including at least the Suisse year from this set.  Farnadi, like Clidat, likes to rush through a lot of the music.  (The first year comes in at under forty minutes.)  Fortunately, she sounds better than Clidat overall and some of the playing is quite nice.  Unfortunately, she often rushes too much for her own good.  Depending on taste, that point may arrive in the latter part of Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, and it is hard for me to see that point arriving any later than Au lac de Wallenstadt, though fans of super-speedy Liszt may like it just fine.  In her rushed playing, she pushes beyond her ability to play with absolute or even significant control.  No one could ever confuse her with Cziffra.  In the second year, the Petrarch Sonnets sometimes succumb to unnecessarily rushed playing that ruins the effect, though Sonnet 123 is very nice.  The Dante Sonata comes in at a peppy 14'48", and some of the playing sounds less than ideally secure and the ancient sound limits dynamics, so the dramatic sweep of the piece is blunted.  In the third year, Farnadi displays a soft, warm touch in the right hand playing, aided no doubt by the LP source, even if it does not flow as well as other versions.  Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este has some lovely movements, but just doesn't sound secure enough, while the darker pieces like Marche funèbre suffer from limited LP dynamic range and a soft bass (with the MP3 format probably also contributing).  The third year comes off as pretty good.  Overall, with the rushed playing and the occasional lack of secure playing, and a decided lack of either poetry or effective virtuosic pizazz, this just ain't one of the primo sets.  I'm still glad to have heard it.  If it is reissued in proper full range sound at a bargain price (<$10), I might buy a proper copy.
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Todd on January 13, 2019, 07:24:01 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/513%2BFcZDpoL._SS425.jpg)


Jeffrey Swann's recording of the Années is more about the flash and less about the poetry.  Swann plays fast throughout the whole set, bringing pieces in at below average timings across the board.  While Swann has the technical wherewithal to pull off his conceptions, his conceptions don't always satisfy.  In Suisse, one needn't listen past Chapelle de Guillaume Tell to hear the sometimes too rushed, too virtuosic by half style.  Swann plays Au lac de Wallenstadt at a fast clip, though here he maintains a bit of a poetic sense.  The Pastorale which follows is just way too fast, though.  Really, it takes until Eclogue to hear playing focused on something other than virtuosity. 

Italie starts off more promising, and even a somewhat too staccato laden Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa works nicely enough.  The three Petrarch Sonnets, while well played and possessing some moments of poetic beauty, especially Sonnet 123, are overall just not what I listen for.  (A honkin' big edit error in 47 doesn't help, either.)  Given Swann's approach, it's not too surprising that the best part of the second year are the Dante Sonata and the Tarantella.  In both, he delivers gobs of virtuosic styling.  The Dante Sonata also has ample tender, poetic playing.  In both cases, and the Tarantella, in particular, Swann shows the artistic risks of going for a more gung-ho approach, because he doesn't match Cziffra, who goes all the way down the path, and does it even better.  Still, there's a good amount to enjoy here.

In the third year, Swann maintains his penchant for speed and flash, and the magic of the music fades a bit.  The two Aux cyprès pieces are too quickly dispatched, all surface and no depth.  The highlight of the year is Sunt lacrymae rerum, which benefits from the fast style. 

Overall, while there are good moments, the set as a whole just doesn't deliver on the depth and poetry that the music can provide. 

This reissue is available to stream or as an MP3 download.  I went the download route, and sound is perfectly acceptable and sounds just like a late 80s recording. 
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: Cato on January 13, 2019, 06:26:17 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/513%2BFcZDpoL._SS425.jpg)


Jeffrey Swann's recording of the Années is more about the flash and less about the poetry.  Swann plays fast throughout the whole set, bringing pieces in at below average timings across the board.  While Swann has the technical wherewithal to pull off his conceptions, his conceptions don't always satisfy.  In Suisse, one needn't listen past Chapelle de Guillaume Tell to hear the sometimes too rushed, too virtuosic by half style.  Swann plays Au lac de Wallenstadt at a fast clip, though here he maintains a bit of a poetic sense.  The Pastorale which follows is just way too fast, though.  Really, it takes until Eclogue to hear playing focused on something other than virtuosity. 

Italie starts off more promising, and even a somewhat too staccato laden Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa works nicely enough.  The three Petrarch Sonnets, while well played and possessing some moments of poetic beauty, especially Sonnet 123, are overall just not what I listen for.  (A honkin' big edit error in 47 doesn't help, either.)  Given Swann's approach, it's not too surprising that the best part of the second year are the Dante Sonata and the Tarantella.  In both, he delivers gobs of virtuosic styling.  The Dante Sonata also has ample tender, poetic playing.  In both cases, and the Tarantella, in particular, Swann shows the artistic risks of going for a more gung-ho approach, because he doesn't match Cziffra, who goes all the way down the path, and does it even better.  Still, there's a good amount to enjoy here.

In the third year, Swann maintains his penchant for speed and flash, and the magic of the music fades a bit.  The two Aux cyprès pieces are too quickly dispatched, all surface and no depth.  The highlight of the year is Sunt lacrymae rerum, which benefits from the fast style. 

Overall, while there are good moments, the set as a whole just doesn't deliver on the depth and poetry that the music can provide. 

This reissue is available to stream or as an MP3 download.  I went the download route, and sound is perfectly acceptable and sounds just like a late 80s recording.

Many thanks for the review!

Which recording(s) would you recommend?
Title: Re: Liszt - Annees de Pelerinage
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 13, 2019, 07:06:54 PM
Many thanks for the review!

Which recording(s) would you recommend?
I posed the same question to Todd maybe a year or so ago and the recommendations were


(if you have $300+)

or



or



Both Gorus and Chamayou are free if you have an Amazon Music membership. I have the Gorus and Chamayou and Berman. My favorite (one that I keep listening to, regularly played on my smartphone) is the Chamayou. I think he brings a lot of different colors and styles to the music. Gorus is more grand and overwhelming and is very different. Berman doesn't strike me as being as well done but just my opinion.
The discussion thread here:
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11592.5560.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11592.5560.html)
(if you scroll maybe 40% down, also some good stuff on the previous page of that link).
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Todd on January 13, 2019, 07:09:57 PM
Add Ragna Schirmer for a complete set and Enrico Pace for years 1 & 2 only to those PerfectWagnerite listed, and those are the best ones to my taste.  The Gorus is regularly available on the cheap.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: amw on January 13, 2019, 07:59:45 PM
My personal pick would be Cziffra simply for the quality of the pianism, which I know Todd was unimpressed by. I listen to a lot of Cziffra I guess. I also have & appreciate the Schirmer (especially since she autographed my copy, and gave me recommendations on her favourite pieces, which are mostly in Year 3)
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Todd on January 13, 2019, 08:04:23 PM
My personal pick would be Cziffra simply for the quality of the pianism, which I know Todd was unimpressed by. I listen to a lot of Cziffra I guess. I also have & appreciate the Schirmer (especially since she autographed my copy, and gave me recommendations on her favourite pieces, which are mostly in Year 3)


It depends on what you mean by pianism.  In terms of virtuosity, he is second to none.  In terms of poetry (very hazily defined), he sometimes seems a bit lacking.

What are Schirmer's favorite pieces, if you don't mind my asking?  This will set me on a mission to listen to them.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: amw on January 13, 2019, 08:15:16 PM
From what I recall she highlighted Angelus, one of the Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este pieces, & Sunt lacrymae rerum, and at least one other one I don't remember. The more "religious" pieces seemed to be her favourites, or at least the ones she wanted to point out to a listener who'd at the time never heard the Années before.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Todd on January 13, 2019, 09:01:01 PM
From what I recall she highlighted Angelus, one of the Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este pieces, & Sunt lacrymae rerum, and at least one other one I don't remember. The more "religious" pieces seemed to be her favourites, or at least the ones she wanted to point out to a listener who'd at the time never heard the Années before.


I'll listen to her entire recording of the third year, just to be safe.  A price I'm willing to pay.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Mandryka on January 13, 2019, 11:01:26 PM
My personal pick would be Cziffra simply for the quality of the pianism, which I know Todd was unimpressed by. I listen to a lot of Cziffra I guess. I also have & appreciate the Schirmer (especially since she autographed my copy, and gave me recommendations on her favourite pieces, which are mostly in Year 3)

Have you heard Jerome Lowenthal?
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Mandryka on January 14, 2019, 07:12:35 AM
I'll put this here even though it's not about Années de Pèlerinage -- this is a rather entertaining programme by Philippe Cassard on Arrau, in particular how Arrau played Liszt -- Cassard waxes lyrical .

https://www.francemusique.fr/emissions/portraits-de-famille/claudio-arrau-joue-liszt-12449
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: amw on January 14, 2019, 07:18:50 AM
Have you heard Jerome Lowenthal?
I have not. (The only other versions I know well enough to comment on are Daniel Grimwood on an Erard & Chamayou & Bolet.) What’s special about it?
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Mandryka on January 14, 2019, 07:24:12 AM
I have not. (The only other versions I know well enough to comment on are Daniel Grimwood on an Erard & Chamayou & Bolet.) What’s special about it?

It seems to me to make the music sound as though it’s looking forward to early C20 ideas.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on January 14, 2019, 05:23:06 PM
Add Ragna Schirmer for a complete set and Enrico Pace for years 1 & 2 only to those PerfectWagnerite listed, and those are the best ones to my taste.  The Gorus is regularly available on the cheap.
I just downloaded the Schirmer. Sprinkled between movements/tracks of the Années de Pèlerinage are various Madrigals? Is that what the cd version is like? Very strange.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Cato on January 15, 2019, 09:18:05 AM
Many thanks for all the recommendations: Gorus has two 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Daniel Trifonov has not yet recorded this work?  Many people liked his Transcendental Etudes.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: king ubu on January 15, 2019, 09:42:43 AM
I just downloaded the Schirmer. Sprinkled between movements/tracks of the Années de Pèlerinage are various Madrigals? Is that what the cd version is like? Very strange.

Yes, exactly the same ... the CD comes with a big booklet though, a faux-notebook of Schirmer's with reflections on the music and a kind of travelogue, which puts the pieces in relation, i.e. the Este clan is mentioned - "Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este" - and their sponsorship of musicians like Marenzio and Gesualdo ... so it all kinda stays on the surface but still offers a bit of a perspective on the music.

Fine recording.

Not sure I am competent to list favourites, but one I like a lot is by Muza Rubackyte on Lyrinx - guess it's not too easy to find though.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: North Star on January 15, 2019, 10:31:22 AM
Many thanks for all the recommendations: Gorus has two 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Daniel Trifonov has not yet recorded this work?  Many people liked his Transcendental Etudes.
No, Trifonov hasn't recorded Années de Pélerinage. You can't go wrong with the Gorus recording, though.

https://www.youtube.com/v/GD-DlxklxEI  https://www.youtube.com/v/Y8FsWLCFFWQ
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Brian on January 16, 2019, 05:46:07 PM
Gorus' performance of the third Petrarch sonata is one of my top 10 favorite piano performances of anything, by anyone, ever. It's like Celibidache on piano, but even better, and as delicate as a dream.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: hvbias on January 16, 2019, 06:25:10 PM
Whenever I hear Arrau play them I'm left sad that he didn't record all three suites. Muza Rubackyte remains my overall favorite for a complete set.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: king ubu on January 16, 2019, 11:35:38 PM
Finally found the Chamayou for an affordable price ... looking foward!
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: J.A.W. on January 17, 2019, 03:26:30 AM
Yes, exactly the same ... the CD comes with a big booklet though, a faux-notebook of Schirmer's with reflections on the music and a kind of travelogue, which puts the pieces in relation, i.e. the Este clan is mentioned - "Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este" - and their sponsorship of musicians like Marenzio and Gesualdo ... so it all kinda stays on the surface but still offers a bit of a perspective on the music.

Fine recording.

Not sure I am competent to list favourites, but one I like a lot is by Muza Rubackyte on Lyrinx - guess it's not too easy to find though.

I recently found Mūza Rubackyté's set for a very reasonable price; same with Bertrand Chamayou's set a few months ago. Like you I can't list favourites, but I like these two sets a lot.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: George on January 17, 2019, 08:13:46 AM
Gorus' performance of the third Petrarch sonata is one of my top 10 favorite piano performances of anything, by anyone, ever. It's like Celibidache on piano, but even better, and as delicate as a dream.

Do you like the rest of his set, Brian?
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Brian on January 17, 2019, 12:45:25 PM
Do you like the rest of his set, Brian?
Yes! A lot!
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Todd on February 02, 2019, 11:42:03 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YJCd2aCRL._SX425_.jpg)



In 2017, I finally got my hands on Enrico Pace's incomplete set of the Années.  The set has some of the best Liszt playing I've heard.  Now, I belatedly got my hands of Francesco Piemontesi's recording of Suisse, and it's much the same.  Piemontesi's Liszt is sort of anti-virtuosic, like Kempff's, but Piemontesi does occasionally play with ample technical swagger.  Vallée d'Obermann is chock full of such playing.  But the same piece also has some almost ridiculously gentle and beautiful playing.  Julian Gorus pushes his pianissimo playing to Yaeko Yamane levels, and Piemontesi does, too, though when the Swiss pianist does it, it sounds sweeter.  And there's lyricism aplenty throughout.  Au lac de Wallenstadt is a lyrical dream.  So is Eglogue.  The bells in Les cloches de Genève chime gently, at least to start.  Piemontesi does indeed deliver grander playing in passages in the opening piece, in Orage, and elsewhere as appropriate, but, at least for me, it is the almost hypnotic beauty and poetry that the pianist delivers that enthralls.  I'm hoping, really hoping, that Piemontesi does the right discographical thing and records all three years.  The encore of the second Legend also indicates that he should record more Liszt, like, say, the Harmonies.

I went the high res download route rather than the physical media route here, and the sound is SOTA.

A great disc.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Todd on June 09, 2019, 07:39:58 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/614uC2Bm7bL._SX425_.jpg)


Italie.  More anti-virtuosic, Kempffian magic occasionally displaying ample technical swagger.  The recording opens with the first Legende, and Piemontesi's delicate touch mesmerizes, though the recording deceives.  Close with added reverb, one turns up the volume without taking into account what happens when the pianist turns up the wick.  As luck would have it, the sound quality is such that, and Piemontesi's tone is such that, the listener not only doesn't mind the almost oppressive volume, but welcomes it, especially with such rich lower registers.  Piemontesi's fingers glide along the keyboard most of the time, creating an almost hypnotic effect.  And then comes the main attraction. Each of the seven pieces of the second year are almost perfectly characterized.  (Do note the number of pieces; Venezia e Napoli is not included.  <Insert sad face emoji>)  Sposalizio borders on the too magnificent, Il penseroso on the too serious.  Borders, mind you, borders.  Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa maintains nearly ridiculous levels of beauty and a dandy rhythmic sense, but not to the point where rhythm dominates.  The three Petrarch Sonnets sound lovely, and Piemontesi shows that he can go gorgeous, delicate, and nuanced as well as just about anyone, including Julian Gorus.  The relative weak link is the Dante Sonata, which does not become as super-heated as some other versions.  Of course, it does not need to, so that's not so much a knock as a statement.  Maybe it prevents the recording from being a 10.  Six nines ain't shabby.

SOTA sound for the now complete 24/96 download tracks.  (The initial release truncated the last two tracks.)

I demand the supplement and Year Three, dammit!
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Hobby on October 01, 2021, 10:15:59 AM
Does anyone know and rate the very recent complete recording including the supplement by Suzana Bartal and the Books one to three without the Supplement by Michele Campanella? Also a new recording of Book 1 by Steven Hough.

I agree with Todd that the final book and the supplement by Francesco Piemontesi would be most welcome as the first two books are superb. I think Steven Osborne would do a fine job on all 3 books if he was so inclined.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: vers la flamme on October 01, 2021, 10:27:20 AM
I was listening to this work a lot a few months ago when I was reading a Haruki Murakami book called Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & his Years of Pilgrimage, obviously inspired by Liszt's music. The recording I have is Aldo Ciccolini, and it's very fine. I just ordered the Berman/DG, the preferred recording by one of the characters in the book. Looking forward to listening to it.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Todd on October 01, 2021, 04:21:50 PM
Does anyone know and rate the very recent complete recording including the supplement by Suzana Bartal


Decent, but lacking in either supreme virtuosity or delicate poetry.  Superb sound, though.



Michele Campanella?


I bought the download at the start of the year, but I never transferred it to my main rig external drive.  Now I have something to listen to this weekend.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: Hobby on October 02, 2021, 03:58:21 AM
I’ve always had a soft spot for the 3 book 2008 recording by Daniel Grimwood on an Erard. Lots of life and interesting sonorities - surprised it only got a passing mention in this thread.
Title: Re: Liszt - Années de Pèlerinage
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 02, 2021, 11:39:55 AM
I’ve always had a soft spot for the 3 book 2008 recording by Daniel Grimwood on an Erard. Lots of life and interesting sonorities - surprised it only got a passing mention in this thread.

I like it, too!