(‘Nimm einen Strahl der Sonne’) is a brief, passionate outcry of a song. The combined illumination of Nature’s brightest lights—the sun, the evening star, the glowing lava from Mount Etna—cannot equal the light of the beloved’s eyes, which can warm and illuminate but also destroy the lover’s soul. The gasping urgency in the piano figuration at the beginning, the brief enharmonic shift to distinguish ‘inner life’ from external Nature, and an ‘ending’ that sounds remarkably un-final: these are recurring Lisztian hallmarks. This much passion, Liszt tells us, has an afterlife beyond the final bar.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2012