Hyperion Records

Album-Leaf in G major 'Dante-Symphony progression', S167f
circa 1860 ?

'Liszt: New Discoveries, Vol. 1' (CDA67346)
Liszt: New Discoveries, Vol. 1
'Liszt: Complete Piano Music' (CDS44501/98)
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
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Track 24 on CDA67346 [0'38]
Track 24 on CDS44501/98 CD89 [0'38] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Album-Leaf in G major 'Dante-Symphony progression', S167f
The three tiny Album Leaves are not mentioned in earlier catalogues. The first turned up in a Sotheby’s auction catalogue in 2000, where it was listed as dating from 1844. However, since the piece was printed in its entirety in the catalogue, it is the work of an instant to read in Liszt’s unambiguous hand ‘3 avril 1828’. The fragment of ten bars’ Allegro vivace quasi presto was also described in the catalogue: ‘This quotation has not been identified among the known works of Liszt’. But the truth is more exciting. Although written as an album leaf, and with ‘etc etc’ written in the last bar, the actual music amounts to the earliest known sketch relating to the Second Piano Concerto, whose final form dates from more than thirty years later. The early drafts of the concerto contain the music of the album leaf, but in B flat minor, and the figuration remains unchanged. By the final version of the concerto, the material has been much transformed, but the harmonic and melodic outline is the same (see the Allegro agitato assai at bar 108 of the concerto).

The Weimar archive contains a folder of miscellaneous sketches and fragments under the shelf-mark Z12, whence comes the undated and otherwise unidentified Friska. The present writer is of the opinion that the page dates from the same period as Liszt’s other Hungarian pieces from the 1840s.

The tiny chord sequence of the last of these album leaves is a transposition of the progression with the whole-tone scale in the bass at the end of the Dante Symphony (completed in 1856), but the fragment of paper on which it is written (the signed autograph is held at Boston University) is otherwise without date or place.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 2002

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