Hyperion Records

Totentanz – Phantasie für Pianoforte und Orchester 'De profundis version', S126i
composer
1849; score prepared from manuscript sources by Ferruccio Busoni, 1919

Recordings
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 53 – Music for piano & orchestra II' (CDA67403/4)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 53 – Music for piano & orchestra II
'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)  
Details
Movement 01: Andante – Allegro – Allegro moderato
Track 11 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [1'56] 3CDs
Track 11 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [1'56] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 02: Variation 1: Allegro moderato
Track 12 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [0'53] 3CDs
Track 12 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [0'53] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 03: Variation 2: Un poco animato
Track 13 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [0'47] 3CDs
Track 13 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [0'47] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 04: Variation 3: Allegro animato
Track 14 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [0'29] 3CDs
Track 14 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [0'29] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 05: Variazione fugata
Track 15 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [3'04] 3CDs
Track 15 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [3'04] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 06: Alternativo: Allegretto scherzando – Variation 4 – Variation 5 – Variation 6
Track 16 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [1'23] 3CDs
Track 16 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [1'23] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 07: Variation 7
Track 17 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [0'51] 3CDs
Track 17 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [0'51] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 08: Adagio ma non troppo 'De profundis'
Track 18 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [4'29] 3CDs
Track 18 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [4'29] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 09: Allegro – Cadenza – Scherzando – Cadenza
Track 19 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [2'15] 3CDs
Track 19 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [2'15] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 10: Allegro con fuoco
Track 20 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [1'12] 3CDs
Track 20 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [1'12] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Movement 11: earlier version of Variation 7
Track 21 on CDA67403/4 CD2 [0'42] 3CDs
Track 21 on CDS44501/98 CD98 [0'42] 99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Totentanz – Phantasie für Pianoforte und Orchester 'De profundis version', S126i
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It is unclear whether this version was completed in 1849, as Busoni suggests, or whether the revisions apparent in the manuscript from which he worked date from 1853 when we know Liszt carried out some intermediate revision on the piece. There are many differences between this Totentanz and the version commonly performed, most of which are immediately obvious to the ear: the introductory gong strokes require no signposts, but the rest of the introduction is, broadly speaking, the same as the final version, except for a number of rhythmic differences, slighter scoring, and an uprushing scale in chromatic chords which later became blind octaves. Variations 1–3 correspond, with minor differences, to Variations I–III of the final version. Variation IV of the later version is not found here, and the Variazione fugata corresponds to the later Variation V, although the scoring is much thinner and there is a cadential passage accompanied by chromatic bass rumblings which was later replaced with a trombone statement of the opening phrase, in tempo, over semiquaver chords from the piano. Then there follows no cadenza, nor the orchestral statement of the second theme with its horns. In the place of what Liszt later called Variation VI—itself a theme and six variations, we have an Alternativo, which corresponds to the first of the later miniature variations, and Variations 4, 5, 6 and 7 which correspond to the second, third, fourth and sixth of the later miniature variations—the fifth of the later variations is new.

The ensuing cadenza in the earlier version is quite different, and leads to a brass chorale in B flat major—‘De Profundis’—a version of exactly the same theme that generated much of the Psaume instrumental. The chorale is repeated by flutes and clarinets before the piano leads the music into B minor (the same shift that it accomplished in the Psaume when the music moved from F major to F sharp minor), and then developed with much fantasy, and through a variety of distantly related harmonies until we stand again on the threshold of the D minor of the main body of the work. The coda of the later version is clearly derived from the Allegro which follows here, and the cadenza resembles the last cadenza in the later version, but beyond that there is no more music in this version which was carried over into the final one. Instead, we are offered a further variation on the second theme, albeit at a much faster tempo. The Dies irae returns and leads to a last cadenza before the final Allegro con fuoco combines the Dies irae and the De Profundis themes to close the work in shattering volumes of sound.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67403/4 disc 2 track 16
Alternativo: Allegretto scherzando – Variation 4 – Variation 5 – Variation 6
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-40416
Duration
1'23
Recording date
1 July 1998
Recording venue
Budapest Studios of Hungarian Radio, Hungary
Recording producer
Tryggvi Tryggvason
Recording engineer
Tryggvi Tryggvason
Hyperion usage
  1. Liszt: Complete Piano Music (CDS44501/98)
    Disc 98 Track 16
    Release date: February 2011
    99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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