The manuscript of the Two Hungarian Recruiting Dances
is of particular interest because it is Liszt’s earliest surviving attempt at capturing elements of Hungarian musical style. The title by which the catalogues usually refer to the pieces, Zum Andenken
, is part of the signature at the end. Unfortunately the manuscript is dreadfully messy, and the structure of the piece, in terms of what should be repeated, where the da capo should go to, and so on, is by no means clear. The edition by Elyse Mach, which reproduces the MS, and that in the Neue Liszt-Ausgabe
are at considerable variance from each other, and the MS cannot resolve all the difficulties. The present performance, then, takes account of these sources whilst offering a slightly different solution from that proposed by the N L-A. It seems from the way Liszt treated the themes of these two minor composers that he had probably just overheard them and did not know their provenance. Certainly, the original sources and titles of the melodies were only revealed by the indefatigable editors of the N L-A.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1994