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Hyperion Records

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Arthur and Aegle in The Happy Valley (1849) by John Martin (1789-1854)
Laing Art Gallery, Tyne and Wear Museums, Newcastle upon Tyne
Track(s) taken from CDA66481/2
Recording details: October 1990
St Peter's Church, Petersham, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: November 1991
Total duration: 23 minutes 46 seconds

'Liszt and his chosen models are all heard at their most exquisite' (Fanfare, USA)

Zwölf Lieder von Robert Franz, S489

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The five ‘Reed Songs’ are all settings of Lenau: ‘By a secret forest path’ (also set by the young Alban Berg) goes on to describe the poet wandering by the reedy shore hearing his love’s singing; ‘Meanwhile the sun departs’ and with it the reflection of his love in the pond, and in sorrow he awaits the light of the evening star; ‘The gloom of the rushing clouds’ occludes the stars and the sorrow remains; ‘Sunset and storm’ lead him to believe his lover’s face to be visible in the lightning; and ‘On the pond’ (also set by Mendelssohn) the light of the moon finally reveals the beauty of nature and leads (in a magical coda) to the sweetest inner reflection of his love.

Liszt’s choices of song in two Franz sets enable him to make poetic cycles of his own: ‘The Lad’ finds himself curious, compelled and bewitched in turn by the mysteries of nature, in the first of three Eichendorff settings. ‘Calm Sea’ conjures up images of a mysterious king of the deep who controls the destiny of those on the sea and who sings to his harp. ‘The Message’ from the beloved comes by way of the wind playing on the strings of a zither, and likening that zither to the poet’s heart. Liszt sets this as a theme with an elaborate variation, but the text is laid under the varied melody, and a contrasting central section is added, itself a transcription of another Franz song to a poem by Heine, ‘Through the wood in the moonlight’, whose text is exactly that of Mendelssohn’s ‘New Love’, and Liszt clearly intends that vision to prepare the way for the Eichendorff poem.

This set begins with two texts by Osterwald: ‘The Summer puts forth its roses’—a recollection of former happiness amidst present sorrow; and ‘Stormy Night’—an impassioned plea that the poet’s storm-tossed soul be comforted by the maiden deciding to love him again. Heine’s ‘What a showering and howling!’ tells of a girl looking out into the stormy night, her eyes full of tears; and Hoffman von Fallersleben’s ‘Spring and Love’ gently restores hope of the healing powers of spring and love’s rebirth.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1991

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)  
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