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Hyperion Records

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Portrait of Franz Liszt by Albert Eichhorn (1811-1851)
Private Collection / Roger-Viollet, Paris / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67810
Recording details: April 2009
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: January 2011
Total duration: 20 minutes 24 seconds

'As always, Howard's annotations reveal a high level of detective work, musical insight and scholarship without pedantry' (Gramophone)

'These CDs, the 98th and 99th in Leslie Howard's epic Liszt series, amount to something more than the latest necessary purchase for completists: indeed this latest batch of previously unknown or long-forgotten items assembles into a pleasingly comprehensive musical portrait … to all this Howard brings his by now happily familiar way with Liszt's idiom. As ever, he beautifully allows the composer's spontaneous, improvisatory streak to speak as naturally as it likes, and needs to … memo to fellow-Lisztians: don't hesitate' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The dedicated and industrious Leslie Howard continues to supplement his monumental complete recording of Liszt's piano music … throughout, Howard's fine feeling for colour and superb rhythmical sense abounds … intriguing new material is presented with the discernment and sympathy which have become the hallmark of Howard's Liszt series' (International Record Review)

'An extraordinary tour de force of pianism, musical detective work and scholarship, well recorded and impeccably annotated as always. It honours Liszt's memory in the best possible way by illustrating his many-faceted genius' (Classic FM Magazine)

Romancero espagnol, S695c
1845; intended for publication in 1847 with a dedication to Queen Isabella II of Spain; first actually published in the Liszt Society Journal in 2009

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Liszt wrote two major works on Spanish themes during his Iberian travels in 1844–5. Neither was published in his lifetime. The Grosse Concert-Phantasie über spanische Weisen first appeared shortly after Liszt’s death. He had prepared it for publication, and dedicated it to his biographer Lina Ramann. (It was reprinted in the 1997 Liszt Society Journal.) A later work based on material collected and/or worked-on in the 1840s is the celebrated Rapsodie espagnole, and this appeared as late as 1867. The Romancero espagnol (Spanish Song-Book), whose title and date we know from Liszt’s correspondence, was intended to be published in 1847 with a proposed dedication to Queen Isabella II of Spain, but for some reason the publication never took place. From the correspondence we can see that Liszt clearly considered the work complete, although there is one small lacuna and, as often with Liszt until the last moment, the ending is not fully written-out. The pages of the MS are not numbered, and are not bound together. An archivist at the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv, presumably Peter Raabe, has placed a large question-mark at the top of what is surely the beginning of the work, but has then written ‘Spanische Rhapsodie’ at the top of the page where the final jota begins (the theme is the same as that in the Rapsodie espagnole, but in a different key, and very differently treated), and has altered the order of the pages, placing this section at the beginning—a musical impossibility, since this section recalls earlier material in the peroration. Careful reshuffling of the pages gives us a piece in three clear sections, each based on a different theme. There is an introduction, setting up the dichotomy between the tonalities of E major and C major—this material will be recalled towards the end of the work—then an elaborately varied fandango, largely in C major, but straying as far afield as A flat. The central section is a set of free variations on an imposing, stately theme in E minor, of title unknown, and the finale, based on the Jota aragonesa, takes us to E major with excursions into C major. Earlier themes are recalled and combined, especially in an alarmingly difficult passage in two time-signatures at once. The work was published for the first time in the Liszt Society Journal in 2009.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 2011

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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