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Hyperion Records

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The Relief of the Siege of Vienna (detail) (Anonymous Austrian 17th century).
Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna
Track(s) taken from CDA66787
Recording details: April 1993
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: April 1994
Total duration: 20 minutes 53 seconds

'Yet another instalment in what is looming as the most ambitious and splendidly realized recording project of the century which cannot fail to delight and move. Enthusiastically recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'An entertaining programme … providing the perfect vehicle for Leslie Howard's enthusiastic, colourful playing. His scholarship, as revealed in the liner notes, is remarkable, the recording first class' (CDReview)

Glanes de Woronince, S249

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The jury is still out on the question of whether the influence of the Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein upon Liszt was, as Sellars and Yeatman would put it, a ‘Good or a Bad Thing’. She was, at any rate, the dominant woman in the last forty years of Liszt’s life, and, whilst being responsible for almost all his social and domestic difficulties over that time, was also the one who won him to permanent and serious composition from the life of the travelling virtuoso who composed as best and as often as he was able. Liszt met Carolyne in Kiev in February 1847, and in the October of that year stayed with her at her estate in the Ukraine, Woronince. His Glanes de Woronince (‘Gleanings from Woronince’) is frequently described as some kind of preservation of local folk melodies which Liszt heard on this estate for the first time. Since we know that the second piece is supposedly Polish and that there is a good chance that the melodies in it were not new to Liszt, and since we know that Liszt heard the melody of the third piece sung by a blind girl busking with her grandfather in Kiev, much of this argument falls away. It seems much more likely that it was the very piano pieces which were gleaned from the stay at Woronince, in the case of the third the recollection of a public improvisation already given in Kiev, and the second piece is surely a specific homage to the Polish nationality of the princess.

The original Ukrainian song behind the first piece is a complicated tale of jealousy and revenge. Paraphrasing Roman Sawycky’s 1984 article on the song in the second volume of his Liszt biography, Alan Walker gives its title as ‘Hyrts, do not go to the party tonight’ and describes the warning of a woman who refuses to share her lover with another, and the four days entailed in her preparations to murder him with poisoned herbs, gathered on Sunday, prepared on Monday, administered on Tuesday, with the desired effect on the Wednesday. Liszt’s beautiful setting of the tune distances itself from any sense of violence or outrage—probably because he was not conversant with the text. The second piece contains two melodies, one familiar from Chopin’s song Z.yczenie—usually known as Mädchens Wünsch (‘The Maiden's Wish’)—well known in Liszt’s piano transcription (recorded in Vol 5 of the present series), and the other present in a separate unpublished Liszt piano piece and in the Liszt Duo-Sonata for violin and piano. It simply cannot be established that Liszt first heard either of these tunes at Woronince—and it seems unlikely that the local Ukrainian peasants would be singing foreign folksongs. (Alan Walker’s claim that the early violin and piano sonata must post-date the Glanes because Liszt could not have known one of its melodies before 1847 is a bit thin.) With the variations which comprise the third piece (which is no more a dumka than the first is) it seems again that Liszt did not know the actual text of the song, which transpires to have been a composed and published work (by one Ivan Kotliarevsky (1769–1838), according to Walker) rather than a folksong. Whatever their ethnic origins, the melodies are woven into one of Liszt’s most charming and unaccountably neglected collections.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1994

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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