Hyperion Records

Trois Études de concert – Trois caprices poétiques, S144
composer
circa 1848

Recordings
'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)  
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 38 – Les Préludes' (CDA67015)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 38 – Les Préludes
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'Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 2 – 9 March 1947' (APR5622)
Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 2 – 9 March 1947
APR5622  Download only  
'Harold Bauer – The complete recordings' (APR7302)
Harold Bauer – The complete recordings
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'Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 5 – Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 & appendices' (APR5625)
Simon Barere – His celebrated live recordings at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 5 – Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 & appendices
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'Simon Barere – The complete HMV recordings 1934–1936' (APR6002)
Simon Barere – The complete HMV recordings 1934–1936
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'Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings' (APR7502)
Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings
APR7502  5CDs Download only  
'Louis Kentner – The pioneering Liszt recordings, Vol. 2' (APR5614)
Louis Kentner – The pioneering Liszt recordings, Vol. 2
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'Liszt: Marc-André Hamelin plays Liszt' (CDA66874)
Liszt: Marc-André Hamelin plays Liszt
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'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 56 – Rarities, Curiosities, Album Leaves and Fragments' (CDA67414/7)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 56 – Rarities, Curiosities, Album Leaves and Fragments
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'Paderewski – His earliest recordings' (APR6006)
Paderewski – His earliest recordings
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'Liszt: Piano Music' (LISZT1)
Liszt: Piano Music
LISZT1  2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
Details
No 1 in A flat major: Il lamento
Track 2 on CDA67015 [9'26]
Track 2 on CDS44501/98 CD6 [9'26] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
No 2 in F minor: La leggierezza
Track 3 on CDA67015 [5'33]
Track 3 on CDS44501/98 CD6 [5'33] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Track 3 on APR5622 [4'21] Download only
Track 1 on APR6002 CD1 [3'52] 2CDs for the price of 1
Track 8 on APR5625 [3'56]
Track 17 on APR6006 CD2 [4'53] 2CDs for the price of 1
Track 5 on APR5614 [4'42]
Track 5 on APR7502 CD2 [4'17] 5CDs Download only
No 3 in D flat major: Un sospiro
No 3 in D flat major: Un sospiro, with cadenza and revised coda
Track 5 on CDA67015 [5'50]
Track 5 on CDS44501/98 CD6 [5'50] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Track 1 on LISZT1 CD1 [5'50] 2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted
No 3bis in D flat major: [two short cadenzas]
Track 4 on CDA67015 [0'44]
Track 4 on CDS44501/98 CD6 [0'44] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
No 3ter: Un sospiro, two further cadenzas
Track 9 on CDA67414/7 CD3 [0'29] 4CDs for the price of 3 — Last few CD copies remaining
Track 9 on CDS44501/98 CD87 [0'29] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Trois Études de concert – Trois caprices poétiques, S144
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Trois Études de concert—or Trois Caprices poétiques as they were called in the second edition—are merely numbered I, II and III in the manuscript. A later French edition bears an Italian title for each piece and, however appropriate they may seem, exactly whence these titles come remains a mystery. They may well have nothing to do with Liszt himself, although they were in use during his lifetime and employed in at least two editions prepared by Liszt’s students within the master’s lifetime, and thus might have had his nodded approval. In any event, it is by these Italian titles that these admired studies are universally known. II Lamento is an extended piece with a capricious introduction which returns at the close. The main body of the work presents, extends and varies a lyrical theme, which continues with a sequential development allowing the most far-reaching modulations before the most ardent climax returns the music to the original A flat major, and a rather gentle series of concluding variations.

La Leggierezza (‘Lightness’) also begins a capriccio, but quickly finds its main material in a very simple single line in each hand, and the unusual tempo direction ‘Quasi allegretto’ (which is almost always ignored in performance in favour of something more frenetic). Like the other pieces in this set, it is monothematic, but the contours of the original theme must be sensed more than observed under the delicate decoration with which it is subsequently varied. Liszt’s quiet ending did not seem sufficiently applause-gathering to the great Polish pedagogue (but very minor composer) Theodor Leschetizky (1830–1915). He embellished the piece with a new coda which used to be regularly adopted in concert. With best respects, the present writer prefers not to be a hostage to those that already find Liszt vulgar (and how this conclusion is reached specifically for Liszt without embracing many another prolific Renaissance man—Haydn, for example?—is itself a conundrum, although Liszt’s music has frequently been performed vulgarly enough), and Liszt’s gentle Picardie cadence is retained here.

Un Sospiro (‘A sigh’) is the best known of the set, and was much taught by Liszt in his later years. The felicity with which, in a single work, Liszt took the speciality of Sigismund Thalberg (1812–1871)—the technical sleight of hand whereby a melody is surrounded or supported by arpeggios such that an impression of three hands at the keyboard is given—and ennobled it once and for always with one of his finest melodic inspirations has kept this piece in demand from the beginning. (For the benefit of anyone who has not seen this piece performed, it should be mentioned that the melody notes are taken by left and right hand in turn whilst both hands maintain the flowing accompaniment.) In his masterclasses Liszt took to adding a cadenza at the fermata before the return of the theme in the home key—where it is ever more cleverly divided between the thumbs whilst the accompaniment manages to travel far and wide in both hands. The cadenza that he wrote for Auguste Rennebaum in 1875 is included at this point, but, because it would be a pity not to have them, the cadenzas that he wrote for Henrik Gobbi (date unknown) and for Lina Schmalhausen (1885) are included by way of an optional preamble. Lina Ramann preserved Liszt’s late alternative coda in the Liszt-Pädagogium, and this text is adopted here. Liszt at once preserves the mediant progressions of the transition sections of the etude in the ascending right hand whilst introducing a descending whole-tone scale in the left.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1996

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for LISZT1 disc 1 track 1
No 3 in D flat major: Un sospiro, with cadenza and revised coda
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-95-01505
Duration
5'50
Recording date
21 June 1995
Recording venue
St Peter's Church, Petersham, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording engineer
Marian Freeman
Hyperion usage
  1. Liszt: Complete Piano Music (CDS44501/98)
    Disc 6 Track 5
    Release date: February 2011
    99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
  2. Liszt: Piano Music (LISZT1)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: August 2001
    Deletion date: July 2010
    2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted
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