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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66954/6
Recording details: June 1994
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: April 1995
Total duration: 17 minutes 3 seconds

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

'These discs not only bear moving witness to Howard's devotion to Liszt, and Liszt's devotion to Schubert, but also offer a wealth of insight into both composers' (Classic CD)

'Other performers should be inspired to include this repertoire in their programs after hearing Howard's persuasive presentation' (Piano & Keyboard)

Six Mélodies favorites de La Belle Meunière de François Schubert, S565
composer
Die schöne Müllerin, D795 Nos 1, 19, 14, 17, 2 and 7
arranger
1846; first version

Das Wandern  [2'01]
Der Jäger  [0'39]
Die böse Farbe  [2'51]
Wohin?  [3'15]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Liszt had already made two transcriptions from Die schöne MüllerinTrockne Blumen and Ungeduld—when he produced his set of Six Mélodies favorites in 1846, in which the former does not appear and the latter is transcribed anew and in a different key. Liszt makes a palindromic key pattern by setting the pieces in B flat major, G minor, C minor/C major/C minor, G major and B flat major, even though this puts the narrative of the original quite out of order and changes Schubert’s keys for numbers 4 and 6—originally in B major and A major. But the musical argument is transcendent when the text is less germane.

Die schöne Müllerin (‘The Fair Mill-maid’, D795) is far too familiar to require much explanation. Liszt chooses numbers 1, 19, 14, 17, 2 and 7 from the original twenty settings of Wilhelm Müller: Das Wandern (‘Wandering’) is two verses shorter than the song expressing the poet’s joy in tramping about, but is delightfully varied. The conversation about the misery and the happy mystery of love, Der Müller und der Bach (‘The Miller and the Stream’) is extended by an extra variation to the last verse and is one of the finest of all Liszt’s transcriptions, so close does it get to letter and spirit of the song whilst writing inventively and originally at the same time. The two verses of Der Jäger (‘The Huntsman’)—in which the poet asks the hunter to keep away from the stream and shoot only that which frightens his loved one—are given a very sprightly decoration, and are set either side of the transcription of Die böse Farbe (‘The Evil Colour’). This is shorn of its short introduction and coda, but handled very ebulliently, with some treacherous double notes in the right hand to stress the pride and boldness of the lover’s preferred and mocking green.

Wohin? (‘Whither?’) solves the problem of adding the voice to the accompaniment by dividing the babbling brook which has attracted the poet’s attention between the inner fingers of the two hands, and occasionally by letting it wash the melody from above; and Ungeduld (‘Impatience’)—the poet is desperate to proclaim his love to the whole world—is set, like the first song, with one fewer verse than Schubert, in a theme and two variations. (For the later versions of these transcriptions, entitled Müllerlieder, see Volume 33.)

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995

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'Liszt: Complete Piano Music' (CDS44501/98)
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
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