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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67101/2
Recording details: August 1995
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: November 1996
Total duration: 15 minutes 25 seconds

'A major revelation of nineteenth-century ideas and techniques. There is musical nourishment here as well as entertainment' (Gramophone)

'This new two-CD set is as fascinating as any and contains many recordings which are thought to be first, and which are probably the first performances at all for more than 100 years. A pair of discs to which I shall often return, marvelling at the brio that Leslie Howard unfailingly brings to this taxing music' (Classic CD)

'Obras brillantes, repletas de fuerza y apasionamiento, pero portadoras de un profundo sentido poético que ahora son interpretadas por un magistral Leslie Howard' (La Revista Integral)

Sonnambula de Bellini – Grosse Concert-Fantasie, S393iii
composer
1874; third version
composer
1831; La sonnambula

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Discounting the first publication of Liszt’s Sonnambula fantasy, which differs from the second by having virtually no dynamics or performance indications, there are three versions of the work, which first appeared in 1839, and then shortly afterwards with a few alterations, and finally in 1874, with a German rather than the original French title. This last ignores the middle version and was clearly made by altering a copy of the 1839 version (all the errors missed in proof-reading are to be found in the passages which remain identical to both texts). Unusually in a late Liszt revision, the changes make the piece more rather than less difficult to perform. The work is constructed about five themes from Bellini’s opera, and really presents the drama in miniature by concentrating upon the principal story-line of the sleep-walking Amina who is presumed to be unfaithful to her betrothed Elvino, her rejection by him, her narrow escape from death by drowning whilst sleep-walking, her vindication, and the lovers’ reconciliation. Liszt captures the whole spirit of the piece in what amounts to a three-movements-in-one form whose last section, based on the triumphant ‘Ah! non giunge’, deftly draws all the elements together. It is altogether one of his best fantasies and long overdue for revival in the concert hall.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1996

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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