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Hyperion Records

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Scene I of Wagner's Das Rheingold (1876) by Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Track(s) taken from CDA66571/2
Recording details: August 1991
St Peter's Church, Petersham, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: May 1992
Total duration: 40 minutes 43 seconds

Illustrations du Prophète de Meyerbeer, S414
composer
1849/50
composer
1849; Le Prophète

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The first Illustration is of the medley paraphrase variety. It may, of course, be performed independently of its fellows, but the pieces work very well as a contrasted set, and there is a certain amount of thematic cross-referencing.

Although Liszt’s subtitle accounts for the main material of the piece, the movement is seriously infiltrated by the Coronation March which appears, ghostlike, at the outset, and whose trio section dominates the peroration. The Prière is rather fragmented but introduces the theme ‘Ad nos’ in Meyerbeer’s original compound time (cf. the ‘Ad nos’ Fantasy and Fugue). Quite the most impressive passage is the fanfare which leads from the Hymne to the Marche du sacre, which is itself defiantly four-square.

The mighty ‘Skaters’ scherzo used to be a regular recital war-horse for all players of sufficient stamina from Busoni to Kentner and is the most tightly-constructed piece of the set. Liszt’s sliding effects far exceed the predictable use of glissando and, as everywhere in the collection, his subtle improvements to Meyerbeer’s harmonies, his reorganisation of the original tonalities in order to make a symphonic key structure, and his hinting at one theme whilst exploring another make these pieces superior to many of their kind.

The third piece begins as an engaging variation upon pastoral material, but works itself to a feverish pace before the ‘Ad nos’ theme ushers in the ‘Call to Arms’ march, which itself becomes frenetic and suddenly and brilliantly resolves into the Orgie and a headlong conclusion.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1992

Other albums featuring this work
'Liszt: Complete Piano Music' (CDS44501/98)
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
MP3 £160.00FLAC £160.00ALAC £160.00Buy by post £200.00 CDS44501/98  99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)  
'Louis Kentner – The pioneering Liszt recordings, Vol. 2' (APR5614)
Louis Kentner – The pioneering Liszt recordings, Vol. 2
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