The title says it all, really: the second edition of this transcription follows the first, almost unaltered, up to the end of the Larghetto, but then a vast original meditation upon Beethoven’s song ensues, similar in shape and intent to the optional cadenza in the final version but with some markedly different harmonies. The elaboration of the concluding Allegro is also similar to the first version but towards the end there is a further reminiscence of earlier material with reference to the cadenza, and the coda is extended (rather like Liszt’s first transcription of Schubert’s Ave Maria
) by a passage marked ‘religioso’. The beauties of these last additions may permit the overwhelming bulk of them in relation to the original song to be forgiven, but Liszt’s later elimination of them is equally understandable.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1997