Blair Sanderson
AllMusic, USA
March 2019

As an accompanist in his chamber music recordings of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert with violinist Alina Ibragimova, or for his solo performances of Chopin, Szymanowski, and Bartók, Cédric Tiberghien has demonstrated considerable versatility in his explorations of the standard repertoire. However, only with this 2019 Hyperion release has he indicated an aptitude for the music of Franz Liszt, often a major interest among virtuoso pianists and a big attraction for rising artists. This presentation of the Années de pèlerinage, troisième année, along with a selection of shorter late works, finds Tiberghien in a reflective and sometimes melancholy mood, for these character pieces are rather far from the flashy side of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies and Réminiscences de Don Juan. Tiberghien's execution and control are impeccable, and his interpretations are fluid and wholly at the service of Liszt's changeable expressions, whether depicting the diabolical in the Vierter Mephisto-Walzer or the calmly religious in the Angelus of Années de pèlerinage. Along the way, Tiberghien demonstrates mercurial humor in the Bagatelle sans tonalité and sublime tenderness in the Wiegenlied and En rêve, as well as a macabre lyricism in La lugubre gondola II, all while maintaining a consistent understanding of Liszt's work as a whole. Hyperion's sound is clear and well-balanced, with the right amount of brilliance in the loudest passages and atmosphere in the softest. Highly recommended.