The Piano Piece in A flat
No 1 is a real rarity. The Neue Liszt-Ausgabe
does not print it [at the time of writing], believing it to be lost. They do print the Piano Piece in A flat
No 2, of uncertain date, which is more or less identical with the main theme of the First Ballade
, but transposed into A flat. Both works are album-leaves, and neither was given a title by Liszt himself. Briefly, the history of No 1 is that it was sighted in manuscript in 1968 when it was auctioned into private hands, and has not been seen since. But a previous owner of the manuscript had permitted its publication in The Piano Student
—a magazine long since defunct—in December 1935, whence the Liszt Society obtained it, for publication in 1988 through Bardic Press. Composed in May 1865, and marked Sans mesure, this work, too, bridges the gap between the world of the Liebesträume
and that of the late pieces, and does so with utter simplicity.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1988