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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66301
Recording details: February 1988
St Peter's Church, Petersham, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: October 1988
Total duration: 7 minutes 25 seconds

'A highly distinguished release' (Gramophone)

'The sheer quantity of music on offer may be impressive but the quality of the playing is even more remarkable, warmly sympathetic and, where necessary, thrillingly bold and impassioned' (BBC Record Review)

Ballade No 1 Le chant du croisé – Première Ballade, S170
1845/8; in D flat major

Other recordings available for download
Stephen Hough (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Composed between 1845 and 1848 (i.e., before Chopin’s death), the Ballade No 1 is a sadly underrated work. The subtitle ‘Le chant du croisé’ (‘croisé’ means ‘crusader’ rather than ‘cross’) suggests an underlying narrative that Liszt declined to elaborate further, but the work is an evocation of the period of the Crusades (which given Liszt’s Catholicism is an apt subject). The initial rising motif alludes strongly to the opening of Chopin’s First Ballade, a debt that must have been conscious on Liszt’s part, while the answering idea is a scherzo-like gesture that seems to confirm the key of D major. The main body of the work, however, is cast as a set of character variations on the crusader’s ‘song’ in D flat major, with a joyfully heroic march as a middle section, replete with ‘rapido con bravura’ scales and other virtuoso intricacies.

from notes by Tim Parry © 2000

Other albums featuring this work
'Liszt: Sonata, Ballades & Polonaises' (CDA67085)
Liszt: Sonata, Ballades & Polonaises
'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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