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Hyperion Records

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Landschaft im Charakter des Montblanc (1813) by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841)
Track(s) taken from CDA67026
Recording details: October 1995
St Martin's Church, Newbury, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: April 1996
Total duration: 26 minutes 0 seconds

'In Trois Morceaux Suisses, which he likens in his scholarly and informative notes to a garland of encores, he powers and swashbuckles his way through a wild assortment of exuberant obstacles' (Gramophone)

'Warmly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

Trois Morceaux suisses, S156a
1876; second versions

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
When Liszt assembled the second of the Années, he prepared soon afterwards a supplementary volume of lighter works—Venezia e Napoli. In both of these volumes he again included revisions of much earlier pieces. Although he did not specifically indicate it, it seems only just to include in the apposite place to the first Année the Trois Morceaux suisses (‘Three Swiss Pieces’)—the revisions of the three Paraphrases which formed the third book of the original Album d’un voyageur. Like Venezia e Napoli, these three pieces are based on themes by other composers, in this case Swiss art songs by Ferdinand Huber (1791–1863) and Ernest Knop (d1850), and, although they are somewhat larger than the supplement to the Italian collection, they make a pleasing valediction to their greater companion volume in much the same way. In the Swiss case, Liszt waited just on forty years before issuing the revised versions of the three early paraphrases, whose titles, meanwhile had also changed somewhat.

The Ranz de vaches (there is simply no cognate for ‘ranz’ in English: it is the generic title of the melodies improvised by Swiss herdsmen—whether of cows, as in this piece, or of goats, as in the third—played on the alpenhorn or sung) is a slightly reworked version of the first Paraphrase in the Album, with a much shortened finale. The youthful exuberance remains but some exaggeration is tempered.

As in the earlier set, the second piece, Un soir dans la montagne (‘An evening in the mountains’), emerges as musically the finest. The outer sections have been subtly rewritten in this second version. As before, the central section depicts a violent storm, but in the revision there is more subtlety in the arrangement of the material, the storm is shorter, and the transition at the recapitulation is new.

The final piece must have pleased Liszt from the beginning, for, even forty years on, he did not feel the need to make more than a few tiny alterations to his original conception, except at the very last bars, where a more unified coda replaces the original brief outburst.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1996

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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