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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: 23 minutes 29 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)

Zwei Stücke aus dem Oratorium Christus, S498c
circa 1871

No 1b: Pastorale  [9'38]
No 2: Das Wunder  [8'03]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Two pieces from Liszt’s vocal score of his masterpiece Christus appeared separately in print in his lifetime (see volume 14 of the present series). We offer here two further movements, both from the vocal score as arranged by the composer: Einleitung und Pastorale (Introduction and Pastorale) and Das Wunder (The Miracle). As always with Liszt, the piano versions are not literal transcriptions, even if the music agrees in general, bar for bar with the original. But he finds pianistic ways of expressing the spirit of the music in a manner far preferable to the clunking literalism of the modern vocal score of the oratorio currently in print. The Introduction is the opening of the whole work, based on a plainsong setting of the prayer in Isaiah Rorate caeli (Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and fill the skies with righteousness), whilst the Pastorale represents the shepherds in waiting for the angel’s annunciation of the birth of Jesus. The Miracle represents the passage in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 8: ‘And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he [Jesus] was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.’ This is a minature symphonic poem, with some quite outstandingly daring harmonies during the storm. The voice of Jesus is briefly heard, and then the gentle music of the miracle that follows is amongst the simplest and most touching in Liszt’s entire output.

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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