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Hyperion Records

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Venus and her Doves by William Etty (1787-1849)
City of Manchester Art Gallery
Track(s) taken from CDA66593
Recording details: October 1991
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Engineered by Tryggvi Tryggvason
Release date: November 1992
Total duration: 29 minutes 9 seconds

'Among the most readily and revealingly appealing issues of Howard's stupendous enterprise. Enthusiastically recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

Buch der Lieder für Piano allein – 6 Poésies – I, S531
circa 1843

Mignons Lied  [5'54]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The poetry which inspired all these works is generally familiar. Heine’s Die Lorelei tells the familiar story of the siren-like witch who haunts a rock in the river Rhine—Liszt’s dramatic setting (in either version) is vastly superior to the tawdry little Silcher version beloved of amateur children’s choruses, but the revised version is more subtle, less four-square, and there may even be a deliberate hint of the Tristan prelude in the introduction; Am Rhein im schönen Strome (‘In the beautiful waters of the Rhine’) is also by Heine and best known in Schumann’s setting in Dichterliebe—but Schumann changes ‘schönen’ to ‘heiligen’ and, having thus canonised the river, makes his song an allegory, whereas Liszt remains faithful to the beauty of the waters which he reflects in a florid accompaniment of either 9 or 12 notes to the bar (he used the 12-note version in the transcription); Mignons Lied from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister—Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn (‘Do you know the land where the lemons bloom’)—has been set by many a composer (Liszt made a transcription of Beethoven’s setting, for example, recorded on volume 15 of the present series) and Liszt’s setting has proved one of his more durable songs. The music reflects the growing intensity of each verse of the poem, and the faster refrain: ‘Dahin!’ (‘Return!’) eventually requires the most impassioned expression. Goethe’s ballad of the king of Thule and his golden goblet—the gift of his dying lady love which brought tears to his eyes whenever he drank from it, and which he threw into the sea as he was dying rather than allow it to be inherited—is one of Liszt’s finest dramatic songs, and the transcription contains no superfluous decoration. Der du von dem Himmel bist (‘You who are from Heaven’) is again from Goethe and much beloved of composers. Subtitled ‘Invocation’, the piece is held together by a felicitous motif of pair of rising and falling semiquavers. The last of the collection, actually the first-composed of all the Liszt songs, was originally set in Italian —Bocella’s poem Angiolin dal biondo crin (‘Little angel with the golden locks’)—and later issued in German as ‘Englein du mit blondem Haar’. Both titles and the poems in both languages appear at the head of the piano transcription. The piece is a very simple love song in six verses, which becomes almost like a set of variations in the transcription.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1992

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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