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Hyperion Records

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Two Men by the Sea (1817) by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
Track(s) taken from CDA66957/9
Recording details: June 1994
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: May 1995
Total duration: 60 minutes 15 seconds

'A fascinating anthology' (Gramophone)

'His idiomatic grasp and utter reliability remain as admirable as in earlier instalments. Excellent sonics and informative notes by the performer' (American Record Guide)

'I can think of no more fascinating encounter than that provided by these sets' (Classic CD)

Schwanengesang – Vierzehn Lieder von Franz Schubert, S560bis
D957 Nos 11, 10, 5, 12, 7, 6, 4, 9, 3, 1, 8, 13, 14 and 2
circa 1839; alternative texts

Die Stadt  [2'42]
Aufenthalt  [3'31]
Am Meer  [4'46]
Abschied  [5'22]
In der Ferne  [8'29]
Ihr Bild  [2'54]
Liebesbotschaft  [3'05]
Der Atlas  [2'58]
Die Taubenpost  [4'58]
Kriegers Ahnung  [7'15]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the Schwanengesang transcriptions, Liszt had begun to issue the pieces in a form which corresponds to the main text only. As he warmed to his task, he recalled the published pieces and reissued them along with the remaining numbers with alternative passages so many and varied that they sometimes seem to constitute independent new transcriptions. In the present performances, all the alternative texts are employed.

In Die Stadt Liszt writes three kinds of ossia: for reduced keyboard compass, for technical facilitation, and for simply another view of the material, all in all making quite a different piece of it. In Das Fischermädchen he just substitutes two bars of conclusion for the florid extra verse. In Aufenthalt he produces almost a completely new version facilite. The second stanza of Am Meer has its left-hand arpeggios much reduced.

The alternative version of Abschied is identical to the main text until about halfway through, when the added triplets of the concert version are substituted with duplets—much closer to Schubert’s text, in fact. Many of the grander gestures in the transcription of In der Ferne are considerably toned down, especially the arpeggiated decorations; the ossia text of Ständchen virtually creates a third version of the piece, with its new coda, which arrives much sooner (leaving out some of Schubert’s text in the process), no verse in canon on this occasion, and a new, thinner texture throughout.

Ihr Bild remains unchanged except for the omission of an extra ad libitum right-hand accompaniment—a matter of four bars; the second verse of Frühlingssehnsucht is much simplified, and there are several smaller changes elsewhere. Liebesbotschaft changes only for the last stanza where the wide right-hand chords are replaced; but Der Atlas is completely rewritten—where there were triplets, there are now demisemiquaver tremolos, and vice versa, and yet the general effect of the piece is not greatly altered, despite a certain smaller scope.

In Der Doppelgänger the rumbling basses are replaced with stark chords as in the original. In Die Taubenpost the second half of the piece is completely reworked, with triplets replacing semiquavers, and the whole thing being handled more intimately; and in Kriegers Ahnung the frenetic central section is given a completely different and more introspective character. Altogether, the alternative set is a valuable companion to the concert version and serves further to illuminate Liszt’s deep admiration for the original songs and their composer.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995

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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