Hyperion Records

Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, S534iii
composer
1880; fourth version of Élégie pour piano seul, S534i

Recordings
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 25 – The Canticle of the Sun' (CDA66694)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 25 – The Canticle of the Sun
'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)  
'Liszt: Piano Music' (LISZT1)
Liszt: Piano Music
MP3 £4.50FLAC £4.50ALAC £4.50 LISZT1  2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
Details
Track 16 on CDA66694 [7'37]
Track 16 on CDS44501/98 CD25 [7'37] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Track 2 on LISZT1 CD2 [7'37] 2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted

Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, S534iii
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Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth was something of an obsession with Liszt. At the last count, beginning around 1841 and continuing until the last years of his life, he seems to have made three versions of the song to Lichnowsky’s poem about the cloisters on the island in the Rhine, an Élegie with a different text over the same music, four versions of it for solo piano, the second of these with an alternative reading effectively making version number five, just one version for piano duet, and versions for violin or cello and piano, most of which can be readily run to ground today by the diligent collector. The present piano version is the last, and the simple song has become a nostalgic reflection upon happier times and gives rise to the speculation that, in old age, Liszt mused upon one of the happiest periods of his life when he and the Countess d’Agoult holidayed on the island of Nonnenwerth with their children Blandine, Cosima and Daniel in the summers of 1841–43—some of the terribly few occasions when that extraordinary family was united.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1993

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