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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67231/2
Recording details: June 1997
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: May 1998
Total duration: 12 minutes 6 seconds

'He plays here not only with his usual technical facility and understanding of the Lisztian idiom, but also with verve, wit, and an enjoyment that he conveys to the listener' (American Record Guide)

Grande fantaisie sur des thèmes de l'opéra Niobe de Pacini – Divertissement sur la cavatine I tuoi frequenti palpiti, S419
1826; Niobe

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Niobe fantasy has always been familiar in Liszt legend, even if the music itself is very rarely heard, because it was a piece he played in his famous ‘contest’ concert with Thalberg in 1837. Pacini’s vast output—almost ninety operas—has been moved long since to the library stacks, whence it seems unlikely to emerge. But his little cavatina ‘I tuoi frequenti palpiti’ (‘Your frequent flutterings’) proved an exceptional vehicle for Liszt, both as a composer and as a public performer. The long opening section is based upon a mere fragment of the aria, and is treated with a humorous ingenuity. The lyrical slower section elaborates a simple melodic idea with extravagant ornaments in imitation of the operatic practice of the day. The introductory material returns, with even more brilliant harmonic excursions, culminating in the use of the whole-tone scale (Liszt’s first use of it as far as the present writer can determine) and finally Pacini’s theme appears complete, but immediately subjected to fantastic variation and ever-increasing urgency as the piece flies to its frolicsome conclusion. (This piece, published as Opus 5 No 1—followed by the Fantaisie romantique sur deux mélodies suisses and the Rondeau fantastique sur un thème espagnol: El contrabandista—, is performed on this recording from the original Schlesinger edition, and under its original title. The reissues bear the title Divertissement sur la cavatine ‘I tuoi frequenti palpiti’ de Pacini, and differ musically by making two small cuts, of one bar before the central Larghetto and of nine bars before the final Stretto, and with a number of simplifications to the technical requirements.)

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998

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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