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Track(s) taken from CDA67085

Berceuse, S174i

composer
1854; first version

Stephen Hough (piano)
Recording details: November 1999
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 2000
Total duration: 4 minutes 15 seconds

Cover artwork: Romantic Landscape (1860) by Antal Ligeti (1823-1890)
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
1
Berceuse S174i  [4'15]

Other recordings available for download

Leslie Howard (piano)

Reviews

'At last, Hough tackles Liszt’s Sonata on record and the result is as musicianly as this fine pianist’s admirers might expect' (Gramophone)

'Hough transforms the rumbling, chromatic bass line [Ballade No 2] into an almost terrifyingly atmospheric setting' (BBC Music Magazine)

'[A] beautifully rendered collection … the wonderful refinement and quiet poetry of his playing is a constant joy. A highly distinguished disc' (The Guardian)

‘This is a superlative recording, one that defies criticism. Hough’s pianism is evocative, spiritual, and technically and tonally scrupulous. What better compliment could be given than to say that this is the way one imagines these pieces might have sounded when Liszt himself played them? Recorded sound is ideal, and an excellent, detailed booklet adds to the value of this outstanding release’ (American Record Guide)

'Hough at his meticulous best' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Thoughtful, intelligent, and beautifully recorded too – a special release' (CDReview)
Liszt’s Berceuse is the most interesting example of his relationship with Chopin’s style, embodying imitation almost to the point of plagiarism. Chopin’s own Berceuse—also in D flat major, also built on increasingly elaborate variations on a simple four-bar theme, also unfolding over a sustained tonic pedal-point—is clearly Liszt’s model. In fact, the situation is rather more complicated as Liszt’s piece exists in two very different versions, the first written in 1854, and the second in 1863. The first version (recorded here) is actually simpler in conception than Chopin’s Berceuse, largely free from florid embellishment and therefore lacking one of the defining features of Chopin’s work. The more familiar second version, while it retains the harmonic plan and the melodic basis of the original, is saturated with an almost overwhelming amount of filigree decoration, and is also much longer. In its simpler guise, Liszt’s Berceuse is a tranquil, contemplative work, akin to the Consolations in its quality of unspoilt innocence.

from notes by Tim Parry © 2000

La Berceuse de Liszt offre l’exemple le plus intéressant de sa relation avec le style de Chopin, personnifiant l’imitation pratiquement au point de plagiat. La propre Berceuse de Chopin, en ré bémol majeur, est également élaborée sur des variations de plus en plus intriquée d’un simple thème de quatre mesures qui se dévoile sur une pédale de tonique. D’emblée, on perçoit qu’il s’agit là du modèle de Liszt. En fait, la situation est nettement plus compliquée puisque la pièce de Liszt existe dans deux versions très différentes, la première écrite en 1854 et la seconde en 1863. La première version (celle qui a été retenue pour ce disque) épouse une conception plus simple que la Berceuse de Chopin, largement dénuée des ornements fleuris et omettant donc une des caractéristiques particulières de l’œuvre de Chopin. La seconde version—celle qui est la plus connue—est saturée d’une quantité pratiquement insoutenable de fioritures en filigrane tout en étant nettement plus longue. Parée de ses atours les plus simples, la Berceuse de Liszt est une œuvre pensive et tranquille, semblable aux Consolations dans sa qualité d’innocence naturelle.

extrait des notes rédigées par Tim Parry © 2000
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Liszts Berceuse ist das interessanteste Beispiel für seine Beziehung zu Chopins Stil, das die Imitation fast bis zum Plagiat treibt. Chopins eigene Berceuse—ebenfalls in Des-Dur, ebenfalls auf zunehmend aufwendige Variationen über ein schlichtes viertaktiges Thema aufgebaut, ebenfalls über einem ausgehaltenen Orgelpunkt in der Tonika entfaltet—ist eindeutig Liszts Vorbild. Tatsächlich ist die Situation ein wenig komplizierter, da Liszts Stück in zwei ganz unterschiedlichen Fassungen existiert, die erste von 1854 und die zweite von 1863. Die erste (hier eingespielte) Version ist vom Konzept her eigentlich schlichter als Chopins Berceuse, weitgehend frei von blumigen Ausschmückungen und deshalb ohne eines der charakteristischen Merkmale von Chopins Schaffen. Die bekanntere zweite Fassung bewahrt zwar die Harmonik und die melodische Basis des Originals, ist aber mit einer fast überwältigenden Menge filigraner Ausschmückung durchsetzt und auch viel länger. In ihrer schlichteren Gestalt ist Liszts Berceuse ein ruhiges, besinnliches Werk, den Consolations in ihrer Stimmung unverdorbener Unschuld ähnelnd.

aus dem Begleittext von Tim Parry © 2000
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

Other albums featuring this work

Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 26 – The Young Liszt
CDA66771/22CDsDownload currently discounted
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
CDS44501/9899CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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