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Hyperion Records

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The Berlin–Potsdam Railway (1847) by Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905)
Track(s) taken from CDA67004
Recording details: March 1995
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Marian Freeman & Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: March 1996
Total duration: 9 minutes 17 seconds

'Leslie Howard's survey of the whole of Liszt's piano music is disclosing marvels, played with magisterial perception and unfaltering virtuosity; his notes to each record are an enlightenment in themselves … Vol 37 is a record not only to which lovers of Liszt can return, but which should give pleasure to those who may never have heard of some of the composers transcribed but enjoy the minor, overgrown paths of the nineteenth century' (Gramophone)

'Here is a pleasant hour-plus of mid-century memorabilia for the general listener, teasing fare for the musical anatomist, and another indispensable album for the collector … As befits such a program, Howard's graceful, extensive notes are full of quaint and curious lore. Hyperion's sound is spaciously, transparently immediate. Recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'On sera étonné par la suprême droiture du compositeur, traitant des mélodies de Herbeck ou Lassen avec la même science que celles de Schubert' (Diapason, France)

Drei Lieder aus Julius Wolffs Tannhäuser komponiert von Otto Lessmann, S498
circa 1882

Trinklied  [2'15]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Otto Lessmann (1844–1918) was better known in his day as a journalist, a theatre manager and a producer than as a composer, and he probably composed the three Tannhäuser songs for a dramatic production of Julius Wolff’s play. The first—Der Lenz ist gekommen (‘Spring is come’)—is a typical song of the spring, simple and strophic, which Liszt treats in his familiar way as a theme and variations, but he extends the ritornello at the end of each verse and the reflective coda is echt late Liszt. It is a pity that Lessmann’s music to the Trinklied (‘Drinking Song’), although full of theatrical humour, is not quite as amusing as the poem, which is seriously dedicated to all that flows, red or white, calls down pestilence upon anything dry, and muses on the fortification alcohol provides equally for love and hate. Liszt makes the middle section (which contains a somewhat disconcerting premonition of Grainger’s Country Gardens) much too awkward for the piece to have any prospect of general revival. Du schaust mich an (‘You look at me’)—the beloved looks at the poet with unspoken questions—is a splendid love-song the original of which ought to make a good encore at a Lieder recital, and Liszt’s transcription rekindles an ardour which harks back to his most fulsome mid-life Romanticism.

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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