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Grande fantaisie sur la tyrolienne de "La fiancée", S385i
1829; first version
1829; La fiancée

'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 54 – Liszt at the Opera VI' (CDA67406/7)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 54 – Liszt at the Opera VI
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'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)  
Track 1 on CDA67406/7 CD1 [14'44] 2CDs
Track 1 on CDS44501/98 CD47 [14'44] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Grande fantaisie sur la tyrolienne de "La fiancée", S385i
This work appeared – as did many a Liszt operatic fantasy – hard on the heels of the first performance of the opera upon which it is based (both works date from 1829) and is the first of Liszt’s mature works based upon operatic themes. (There are early sets of variations, and an Impromptu) As we have previously noted, Liszt revised the piece in 1839, and reissued it in 1842, in what the Neue Liszt-Ausgabe somewhat ingenuously describes as a third version, with alterations so tiny (the piece is bar-for-bar the same as the second version, a few wrong notes are corrected, and half a dozen accompanying chords are slightly redistributed) that the second version does not merit separate performance or recording. The whole piece is based on the tenor aria from the second act of the opera, and is really an old-fashioned introduction, theme, variations – each with its concluding ritornello – and coda. In the original version the work consists of a long and very florid introduction (much shortened in the later versions, although there we find an added anticipation of the last variation) followed by the theme, four variations and finale. Liszt later dropped the original second variation, and altered the tonality at the beginning of the martial variation 3, whereas in the present version the music clings fairly rigidly to the tonic, only moving to the subdominant for the Barcarolle – variation 4. Without making great claims for its intrinsic musical merit, the piece remains important for being the first in a long and distinguished line, and for presenting for the first time the fully-fledged Liszt the pianist, with a devilish delight in what extreme demands may be made upon two hands at one keyboard. (We must remember that this is 1829: Schubert, Beethoven and Weber were only recently departed, Chopin’s Opus 10 Études had not appeared, nor had Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and Liszt had not yet heard Paganini.)

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1999

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Details for CDS44501/98 disc 47 track 1
Recording date
17 December 1998
Recording venue
Recording producer
Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording engineer
Tryggvi Tryggvason
Hyperion usage
  1. Liszt: Complete Piano Music (CDS44501/98)
    Disc 47 Track 1
    Release date: February 2011
    99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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