Hyperion Records

Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke – Erster Mephisto-Walzer 'Mephisto Waltz No 1', S514a
1859/62; revised version with additions

'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1 – Waltzes' (CDA66201)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1 – Waltzes
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'Liszt: Complete Piano Music' (CDS44501/98)
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
Buy by post £200.00 CDS44501/98  99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)  
'Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952' (APR6011)
Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952
APR6011  for the price of 1 — Download only  
'Stephen Hough in recital' (CDA67686)
Stephen Hough in recital
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67686 
Track 11 on CDA67686 [11'18]
Track 14 on CDA66201 [11'18]
Track 14 on CDS44501/98 CD20 [11'18] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Track 21 on APR6011 CD1 [10'56] for the price of 1 — Download only

Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke – Erster Mephisto-Walzer 'Mephisto Waltz No 1', S514a
All four of the Mephisto Waltzes are inspired, to some extent at least, by an episode in Lenau’s Faust, ‘Dance in a Village Inn’. As we know from Don Giovanni, a peasant wedding is an irresistible challenge for any self-respecting seducer who happens to witness the celebrations. Sure enough, Faust arrives at the inn with his demonic companion Mephistopheles, who takes up a violin and whirls the company into an orgiastic dance. Taking advantage of the situation, Faust leads one of the girls out of the inn and into a wood echoing with the sound of nightingales—though not, it seems, to draw her attention to the bird song.

The first Mephisto Waltz, the only one that follows the event at the village inn in detail, begins with a characteristically devilish outrage of convention as Mephistopheles tunes his violin and Liszt piles fifth upon fifth into a harmonic accretion that must have seemed a howling dissonance to his contemporaries. The music Mephisto plays to the villagers is as uninhibited as his preparation for it. His turbulent and unstoppable dance most effectively offsets the central theme of the work, a contrastingly sensitive and hesitantly syncopated but highly erotic waltz tune, marked espressivo amoroso. A seductive of D flat major waltzes, it is awarded to Faust himself to further his enterprise in the wood outside. After an extended and beautifully scored virtuoso development, Faust’s waltz tune is combined at the climax of the construction with allusions to the first theme and driven into an infernal gallop. The voice of the nightingale is heard in poetic isolation just before the rumbling onset of a short but dramatic coda.

from notes by Gerald Larner © 2009

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Details for CDA67686 track 11
Recording date
23 July 2008
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Rachel Smith
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Stephen Hough in recital (CDA67686)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: March 2009
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