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Sacred Vocal Music - Released April 1, 2011 | HORTUS

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Classical - Released February 13, 2014 | HORTUS

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Classical - Released July 8, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 11, 2019 | Naxos

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Russian pianist Boris Giltburg gravitates toward the pure virtuoso tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries. As such, he's the subject of comparisons with Daniil Trifonov, but it's always better to take performances on their own terms. Giltburg does not have the poetic soul of Trifonov, but he is oriented toward setting up technical problems and then solving them in what can be a very exciting way. Sample the poetic and highly varied Transcendental Etude No. 4, "Mazeppa," which in Giltburg's hands is a rocking roller-coaster ride. Another virtue is the opening of Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto, S434, not often heard but typical of the music Liszt would have performed at the height of his fame; here too Giltburg has considerable élan. The final La leggierezza, from the Trois Etudes de Concert, S144, does not have quite the poetic impact one would hope for. The sound is unusually good on this Naxos release; engineers, working at the Wyastone Estate Concert Hall, are up close to Giltburg without going over the top. A generally worthy and enjoyable Liszt release. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released January 10, 2020 | audite Musikproduktion

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The series of recordings with Kirill Karabits conducting the Staatskapelle Weimar, continuing a tradition dating back to Liszt's years as Kapellmeister there, have been strongly acclaimed. With this release, listeners can sample a fine performance of one of the major Liszt tone poems, Tasso: Lamento e Trionfo, and hear some lesser-known works. The latter includes a pair of world premieres (for online listeners, at least), which will be motivation enough for perfect Lisztians. The first is the Künstlerfestzug zur Schillerfeier, S. 114, a sort of festive overture composed for a celebration of Schiller's work. This is thoroughly enjoyable, and it's a rare mood for Liszt. That work served as an overture to the melodrama Vor Hundert Jahren, S. 347, a little play with background music showing two characters, Germania and Poesie, being guided by the spirit of Schiller; the music quotes the finale theme of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, several times along the way. This work was performed previously by Karabits in English with the Bournemouth Symphony, but this reading, available online or as a download only, is apparently the first recording of the original German (the German text does not appear to be available anywhere online). To see what Karabits can really do, sample Tasso, and especially the Dante Symphony, with its gloomy evocation of the Inferno in its opening movement. Karabits's performance of this large work is several minutes longer than average, without dragging in the least: he gets the moody quality that is lost in splashier readings. A very strong Liszt release, with fine sound from the Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle. © TiVo
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Art Songs - Released October 4, 2019 | Aparté

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A scribe of Schubert’s lieder, piano virtuoso, composer of powerful symphonic works, a precursor to modern music which would blossom at the start of the twentieth century, Franz Liszt is also the author of many lieder and other melodies. This great European traveller spoke many different languages, never holding back from putting German romanticism to music through the words of Heine, Schiller, Rellstab or Goethe, the French smoothness of Victor Hugo or the perfect language of Petrarch’s Sonnets in Italian. At 35 years old, the French tenor Cyrille Dubois already has a long career behind him. A young singer in the Caen children’s choir in Normandy, he started his solo career at the age of 12, playing Miles in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at the Opéra de Lyon, before joining the Opéra de Paris’ Atelier Lyrique program in 2010. He has since performed on various international stages. His accompanist Tristan Raës studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, winning several prizes, including that of Anne Le Bozec’s accompaniment class. The two musicians that make up Duo Contraste met for the first time over ten years ago during their studies. Driven by a passion for melody which they admirably deliver, they have dedicated themselves to this repertoire with a skilful blend of simplicity and clarity, as well as a remarkable sense of nuance and expression all while avoiding any over-exaggerated sentimentality. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Solo Piano - Released May 10, 2019 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released August 22, 2011 | Sony Classical

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To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt's birth, virtuoso pianist Lang Lang has selected some of the composer's most characteristic pieces for his 2011 Sony release, Liszt: My Piano Hero. Prominent on this album is the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, which features Lang Lang in a high-energy performance with Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic. Without a doubt, most of Lang Lang's fans will savor this Romantic showpiece, and for technical brilliance and drama, the performance doesn't disappoint. He is especially lively and vivid in this work, and his interactions with the orchestra seem spontaneous and playful, as one might well imagine Liszt would have been. But Lang Lang seems more introspective and personally involved with the solo keyboard pieces that make up the greater part of the album. Here also is the flashy side of Liszt, but there is a greater emphasis on the poetic and rhapsodic, so Lang Lang indulges in reflective pieces as much as the flashy encores. Highlights include La Campanella, the Grand Galop chromatique, Liebestraum No. 3, the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, and the arrangement of Schubert's Ave Maria. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 8, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released February 16, 2007 | Sony Classical

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A brilliantly played, superbly selected, and wonderfully recorded recital, Arcadi Volodos' first disc devoted entirely to the solo piano music of Liszt is a complete success. Although Liszt wrote some of the most difficult piano music ever composed, and although a lot of that music is included here, Volodos sails over any problems without deigning to notice them. The blazing double octaves, the blistering scales, the glittering tremolos, the sparkling sonorities, the giddy tempos: whatever Liszt wants, Volodos gives him. And although Liszt also wrote some of the most deliberately ostentatious piano music ever composed, and although a lot of that music is also included here, Volodos rides over any questionable moments without bothering to credit them. The crashing crescendos, the hushed pianissimos, the careening rhythms, the monstrous chords: whatever Liszt wants, Volodos gives him -- thankfully, sparing him and us from the composer's own worst excesses. Recorded in palpably present sound by producer Friedemann Engelbrecht in Teldex Studio, Berlin, in 2006, this disc will thrill any Liszt fan -- and possibly sway any non-Liszt fan. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released October 2, 2012 | PentaTone

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Solo Piano - Released December 6, 2019 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released October 24, 2011 | naïve classique

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Recorded in the spring and summer of 2011, Bertrand Chamayou's set of Franz Liszt's Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage) was released just in time to honor the composer's 200th anniversary in October. That year saw a number of releases and reissues of the complete Années, and this ambitious collection of picturesque vignettes became increasingly popular despite its considerable length. The years in the title were the late 1830s, when Liszt and the Countess Marie d'Agoult traveled across Switzerland and Italy, and the pieces summon the full range of Romantic piano gestures and techniques, put at the service of poetic description and expressive power. Chamayou presents the music with great vitality and brilliance; indeed, the Années can only be played well by a virtuoso, which he certainly is. Yet there is always an undercurrent of reverie and restless wandering that he conveys, which shows a true sympathy with Liszt's aims, as well as an uncanny ability to create and maintain tension for extended periods, even when the music might offer some kind of resolution or release. A kind of "extreme pianist," Chamayou has dazzled critics with his concert performances of this expansive work, and he has impressed them with his stamina in pieces of similar difficulty and duration. The resonant recording in the Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers adds a certain haziness in the soft, dreamlike sections, though loud passages and the most thunderous climaxes are sonorous and quite clear. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - Released April 20, 2018 | Orfeo

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The church bells that he heard aged four, walking in the streets of Zurich with his parents, were the point of departure for the young Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi who still remembers this moment as a shock that violently brought home the power of music. The sonic beauty and harmonic richness in the tolling of the bells set something off in his unconscious, sparking a lifelong quest for the timbres and sonorities that he is so deft at bringing to life on his piano. At the age of five, he tried to reproduce the sound of the bells on a little toy piano; at twelve, he played Grieg's Concerto in A Minor and started to perform in public. But two years later he became aware of the limits of his technical abilities and also of the strange tensions wracking his body. His encounter with the pianist Cécile Ousset was decisive. He re-learned his entire technique and turned to face his career with renewed confidence. Just like in a fairy tale, one day he received a letter from Alfred Brendel who had heard him by chance on the radio, and asked to work with him. After spending a whole hour on the first lines of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, the young man would work on his whole repertoire with the great master, whom he would regularly visit in London. Later Murray Perahia would teach him the structures of a work, so he could build his own interpretations. Today, Francesco Piemontesi has become a master in his own right, playing all over the world with the greatest orchestras; he was also the musical director of the Ascona Music Weeks, where he heard all the greatest pianists of his youth. The Ticinese worked for a long time with Brendel to bring his Liszt to maturity, which allowed him to offer up this fine recording of the Première Année de pèlerinage, dedicated to his native Switzerland, which he knows so well. This new recording doesn't conjure up an image of Piemontesi as the superficial virtuoso, but rather of Liszt as a great creator of innovative harmonies, who would have so much influence on the generations that followed him. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released March 1, 2019 | Alpha

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Franz Liszt was 67 when he composed his Via Crucis, yet it did not receive its first performance until 1929, 43 years after the composer’s death. This work of his mature years is in 15 sections, retracing the Stations of the Cross that mark the stages of Christ’s Passion, from being condemned to death to being laid in the tomb. Combining Gregorian chant, the Lutheran liturgy and the Latin, German and Aramaic languages, the Via Crucis shows real formal originality. A devout believer, Liszt gives us here his most important sacred work. He composed several versions: for mixed choir, soloists and organ (with the organ part optionally transcribed for piano), for piano solo, organ solo, and two pianos. After a first programme devoted to Janáček, the Collegium Vocale founded by Philippe Herreweghe is once again conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw in this Alpha recording. © Outhere
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Solo Piano - Released September 14, 2018 | Naxos

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Classical - Released April 27, 2018 | Aparté

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Athanor. A mysterious name to designate, in alchemy, the long-combustion furnace that produces the philosopher’s stone. This matrix, which symbolises the quest of one who seeks to the Absolute, is a metaphor of Liszt’s approach. With the patience of the alchemist who pursues the perfection of the material, the virtuoso composer and pianist has long matured the genesis of his two Piano Concertos and of the Totentanz: in fact, more than 20 years separate the first sketches of their publication. These three major works are each crossed by a powerfull and captivating leading theme, and driven by a logic of transformation: the Totentanz uses the theme and variations form while the concertos are unifyed by a unique theme that nourishes the whole musical flow through its metamorphoses. Pianist Beatrice Berrut, who was already venturing on the Lisztian paths in her previous record, testifies here to the infinite invention of the composer: she performs the first Concerto with its last variants noted by Liszt himself on the copy of his pupil Hans von Bülow. © Aparté
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Classical - Released January 10, 2020 | Naxos

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Classical - Released February 7, 2020 | Orfeo

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A pupil of the great Soviet-Georgian pianist Elisso Virsaladze, Amir Katz started studying piano in Israel before he established himself in Germany and perfecting his craft with Leon Fleisher and Murray Perahia. If Amir Katz is known for being an extremely sought-after accompanist, this album which pays tribute to Franz Liszt unveils his talent as a fully-blown concert pianist. His technique is fluid and charming, with a great reserve of strength and infinite variety of colours. After an original first part which is dedicated to a few etudes of concerts, from the Études d’après Paganini to the Réminiscences de Don Juan, Amir Katz throws himself into the Douze Études d'exécution transcendante that are presented here in their entirety. His utterly stunning technique brings an ever-changing perspective to these pieces. © François Hudry/Qobuz