The British Liszt Society’s reprint of the three Dessauer transcriptions in the 1990 Journal
must be the only printing of any of this once highly regarded composer’s output in a long while. Josef Dessauer (1798–1876), according to John Warrack’s sympathetic essay in Grove, and on the evidence of these transcriptions, was a gifted songwriter. His name has really survived only as the dedicatee of Chopin’s opus 26 Polonaises! Eichendorff’s ‘Temptation’ cajoles the listener into the garden by night to recall past joys. Liszt conjures up the poem’s imagery with very delicate figuration. Siegfried Kapper’s ‘Two Paths’ is a simple strophic poem describing the parting of the ways for two former lovers, and Clemens Brentano’s ‘Spanish Song’ is a bolero urging the poet on to Seville to worship his love. The increasing fervour of the poem is matched by Liszt’s variations.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1991