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Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1972935
10/13/12 08:19 PM
10/13/12 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
It's unusual, too, Liszt usually being so good as a transcriber and there's no reason for him to not have given this work his best. Maybe he was just having a bad day?

Who knows, Josh. Considering Liszt's appetite for transcribing -and several times he made a transcription, only to later realize he had done it earlier- I have actually lost sleep wondering why he had so little interest in one of his greatest compositions.

The whole issue is not only incomprehensible, but totally ridiculous.


Jason
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Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan] #1972939
10/13/12 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
he had so little interest in one of his greatest compositions.


At least as far as his resulting transcription goes. I believe in his later years he actually called the Ad Nos one of his "least bad" compositions, or something like that. Interestingly Leslie Howard in his liner notes wrote that "The score of the work shows how carefully Liszt sought to make an effective duet version." Puzzling, overall. Regardless, we shall be forever thankful for Busoni! I can't imagine it being done better.

Last edited by pianojosh23; 10/13/12 08:34 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1972956
10/13/12 10:09 PM
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I've spent last year exploring my fondness for Liszt. Before, he was ehh, but between Chopin and him, both are at the top of my list of composers for the piano.

To top it off, I get to see my teacher perform the complete first book of the Annees de Pelerinage tomorrow!


Fall 2012 Rep:
Polonaise Op. 53 - Chopin
Ballade Op. 47 - Chopin
Piano Sonata K.333 - Mozart
WTC Prelude and Fugue in D Major, Bk 1 - Bach
Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues - Rzewski
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Liszt
Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano - Cage
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1972984
10/14/12 12:23 AM
10/14/12 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Interestingly Leslie Howard in his liner notes wrote that "The score of the work shows how carefully Liszt sought to make an effective duet version."

But then Howard goes on to write that there are many passages in which all the material is redistributed about the four hands... which seems to me a bit of an overstatement. The end result doesn't particularly illuminate anything new about the original, and without access to the score, one might indeed conclude that the 'secondo' is in fact merely doubling the pedal line, a rather uncomfortable issue for Howard.

At this point we could honestly enquire: well then, why didn't Liszt go all the way and arrange it for two pianos? He certainly wasn't adverse to doing so -very successfully- with his symphonic poems.


Jason
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1973356
10/14/12 09:13 PM
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Had some further discussion re this composition with a fellow organist this afternoon. (London Calling indeed -that brings me back- two years before I was born. Good thing I saw Billy Elliot)

But we both agreed that the original organ work is rather frustrating, but not so the Busoni!


Jason
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: argerichfan] #1973368
10/14/12 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by argerichfan

But we both agreed that the original organ work is rather frustrating


In what way? I'm no expert on the work and don't know the ins and outs of the organ/organ composition so it would be interesting to hear both your opinions.

Last edited by pianojosh23; 10/14/12 09:37 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1973990
10/16/12 08:29 AM
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Some more neglected piano compositions that haven't been mentioned yet:









It's probably sacrilegious to say, but I prefer Liszt's Berceuse to Chopin's far better known work. Of course it's unlikely Liszt's would be how it is without Chopin's example.




Last edited by pianojosh23; 10/16/12 09:35 AM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974007
10/16/12 09:41 AM
10/16/12 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Some more neglected piano compositions that haven't been mentioned yet:




While it's still full of Liszt's magic, I can't help but feel that his polonaises are all kind of "a la Chopin," and that he's just making fun. smile Great listening, nonetheless!


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Algernon: I hope, Cecily, I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974085
10/16/12 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by argerichfan

But we both agreed that the original organ work is rather frustrating


In what way? I'm no expert on the work and don't know the ins and outs of the organ/organ composition so it would be interesting to hear both your opinions.

Frustrating in that as Liszt had no formal training on the organ, there are several passages wherein the writing for the instrument is less than idiomatic. In the manual parts, Liszt sometimes seems flummoxed by the lack of a sustaining pedal, and then some of the pedal parts border the impossible. (Most organists edit them in varying degrees.)

It is interesting to compare with the organ sonata by Liszt's student Julius Reubke. There the pedal writing is seamlessly integrated with the manuals, and the piece never sounds like piano music transferred to the organ. (I have also never seen it transcribed for piano.)

But as much as I love the Reubke sonata (and it is a favourite with all but the most snobbish organists), overall it doesn't quite climb that Lisztian Parnassus of kinetic energy, mysticism, and spellbinding grandeur.


Jason
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974214
10/16/12 05:27 PM
10/16/12 05:27 PM
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I have to confess I am not really a Lisztophile, (I overall prefer Chopin). But only Liszt could have created the Mephisto Waltz, and the Hungarian Rhapsodies. And every instinct tells me there has only been one 'perfect' interpreter of Liszt - Gyorgy Cziffra. His CDs take pride of place in my collection, along with Michelangeli's Debussy, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's Songs of Richard Strauss.

Apart from the phenomenal virtuosity Cziffra had at his command, he has, for me, the perfect blend of explosive bravura and melting lyricism that this music demands. Titanic!

I am not a performer, but a composer. But I have penned a very, very virtuosic work for piano, written in an impressionist/romantic style. For anyone interested you will find the work, Abyss, in the Composers Lounge Forum, and on youtube - marknicol7. Abyss is part of a 7-piece set, the 5th. of which is very Chopinesque. Any help with editing would be much appreciated, for, as things stand, 7 out of 10 pianists have told me that Abyss is unplayable, or almost.

Last edited by Mark Nicol; 10/16/12 05:30 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol] #1974219
10/16/12 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Nicol
I have to confess I am not really a Lisztophile, (I overall prefer Chopin).

Strike one.
Originally Posted by Mark Nicol

one 'perfect' interpreter of Liszt - Gyorgy Cziffra.

Strike two.
Originally Posted by Mark Nicol

Abyss is part of a 7-piece set, the 5th. of which is very Chopinesque. Any help with editing would be much appreciated, for, as things stand, 7 out of 10 pianists have told me that Abyss is unplayable, or almost.

Strike three. Maybe the totally devoted to Chopin thread will be interested.

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol] #1974230
10/16/12 06:12 PM
10/16/12 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Nicol
I have to confess I am not really a Lisztophile, (I overall prefer Chopin).
I think a significant majority would agree with you about Liszt vs. Chopin.

Originally Posted by Mark Nicol
And every instinct tells me there has only been one 'perfect' interpreter of Liszt - Gyorgy Cziffra.
Another good choice.

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus] #1974236
10/16/12 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think a significant majority would agree with you about Liszt vs. Chopin.


We've been here before, but I think a significant majority vastly underrate and underappreciate Liszt, for a variety of reasons. Chopin is a great composer, but so is Liszt. I would say they both deserve the same sort of respect.

Last edited by pianojosh23; 10/16/12 06:23 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974250
10/16/12 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think a significant majority would agree with you about Liszt vs. Chopin.


We've been here before, but I think a significant majority vastly underrate and underappreciate Liszt, for a variety of reasons. Chopin is a great composer, but so is Liszt. I would say they both deserve the same sort of respect.
I think they're both very great, but a significant majority among both amateurs and professionals think Chopin is greater and would disagree with you.

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus] #1974253
10/16/12 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think they're both very great, but a significant majority among both amateurs and professionals think Chopin is greater and would disagree with you.


I maintain my stance that Liszt is significantly underrated, and that also, for the most part, much commentary on Liszt - both amateur and professional - is not to be trusted.

Last edited by pianojosh23; 10/16/12 06:59 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974256
10/16/12 07:03 PM
10/16/12 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think they're both very great, but a significant majority among both amateurs and professionals think Chopin is greater and would disagree with you.


I maintain my stance that Liszt is significantly underrated, and that also, for the most part, much commentary on Liszt - both amateur and professional - is not to be trusted.
I wasn't trying to convince you to change your opinion, only to remind you and point out that many don't agree with you.

Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianoloverus] #1974272
10/16/12 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus

I wasn't trying to convince you to change your opinion, only to remind you and point out that many don't agree with you.


Fair enough, and yes, I do realise this and put the due stock into the opinions of others on the matter.

Anyway, it's not comparisons with Chopin that i'm concerned about, but rather the current status of Liszt - so I regret furthering any comparison with the Polish master.


Last edited by pianojosh23; 10/16/12 07:43 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974282
10/16/12 08:17 PM
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Yes,
sorry to start all of this Chopin v Liszt thing. I suppose, as a composer, one must make objective judgments about works and other composers who we will establish as models. There is, as I see it, more chaff in Liszt's output - but there are also the monumental masterpieces. Chopin just produced an extraordinary number of masterpieces.

I can understand that virtuosic pianists, in particular, can become intoxicated with the 'idiomatic superfluity' of Liszt's writing. This can lead to a lack of aesthetic and formal objectivity, so that we are left dwelling on sentiment and bravura, and such that we fail to focus on musical and artistic content.

Inversely, Cziffra does tend to butcher Chopin - primarily because the script does not offer the necessary challenge to his technical superfluity, and because the aesthetic does not cater to the extremes of his emotional temperament - much better suited to the most volcanic outpourings of Liszt.
I don't think I have found my ideal Chopin interpreter yet - but Sudbin may be coming very, very close.

Does anyone think they might be able to play my piece, Abyss?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x52fhz9QLo&feature=plcp

Last edited by Mark Nicol; 10/16/12 08:18 PM.
Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: pianojosh23] #1974290
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Re: Franz Liszt appreciation thread. [Re: Mark Nicol] #1974316
10/16/12 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Nicol

Inversely, Cziffra does tend to butcher Chopin - primarily because the script does not offer the necessary challenge to his technical superfluity, and because the aesthetic does not cater to the extremes of his emotional temperament - much better suited to the most volcanic outpourings of Liszt.

I agree with you about Chopin re Cziffra, but some of the Liszt recordings I have heard seem equally 'butchered'. Cziffra was so awesomely gifted technically -truly astounding!- but sometimes he inadvertently (or not) let his fingers and musical judgement run helll-for-leather.

Those recordings cause me to cringe, and as such perfect fodder for those who think Liszt is all show and no substance. No surprise that Cziffra is more successful in Liszt's shallower music. I would never want to hear Cziffra in much beyond some of the Rhapsodies, selected etudes, or the Grand galop chromatique.

I highly doubt he would even bring off something such as the great Norma Fantasy. Cziffra's pianism is too self-absorbed, it exists it its own world. Hamelin's uncomprehending recording -to me- strikes me as someone who has possibly never heard Bellini's opera. Liszt knew it very well, and I adore that opera, but only Lewenthal (of recordings I have heard) seems to put the pieces together and give a convincing performance of Liszt's brilliant commentary.



Jason
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