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Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562703
08/29/06 04:23 PM
08/29/06 04:23 PM
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Reaper978 Offline OP
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I haven't fully appreciated this piece until my musical taste has matured more fully, but surely do I appreciate it now. Quite the emotionally heavy piece and a serious burden upon the listener, in quite a good way. Liszt was not a happy man when he wrote this. It's like hearing all of the most depressed existentialist philosophers speaking through the piano. It's absolutely one of my favorite pieces for piano now. Its incredible power and unbelievable yet restrained ferocity is heart-crushing. Does anyone else appreciate this piece? Yet another piece I want to learn, but I know I must wait and finish what I'm working on now. It's 24 pages long, and I'm sure it would be quite the emotional burden to learn at this stage of my playing, and I couldn't imagine it not taking a great emotional toll from any pianist.

What's your favorite recording? I only have Horowitz and Cziffra, and I was wondering what other pianists do with this incredible work of art. It could be interpreted a million different ways.

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Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562704
08/29/06 05:12 PM
08/29/06 05:12 PM
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pianoanne Offline
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It's one of my favorites as well. I am working on it right now for grad school auditions this winter.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562705
08/29/06 05:40 PM
08/29/06 05:40 PM
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C.V. Alkan Offline
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I worked on it a few years ago, but never had the time to bring it to performance level... Stephen Hough's is my favorite recording. The best performance of it, however, is Thibaudet's.


- Zack -
Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562706
08/29/06 06:04 PM
08/29/06 06:04 PM
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UK
jpw101 Offline
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I've only recently 'got' this piece, I listened to it many times without really understanding it, but since getting hold of Andsnes' recording (EMI), everything is falling into place. Never realised until now that the coda is essentially the first subject, recast in the major. Amazing... it was there all along, and I never spotted it. Like the Fed-Ex arrow.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562707
08/30/06 12:42 AM
08/30/06 12:42 AM
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li, new york
Skriabin Offline
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Quite a beautiful cadenza.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562708
08/30/06 01:01 AM
08/30/06 01:01 AM
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li, new york
Skriabin Offline
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I've seem to have misred, I thought this was a thread about the second polonaise.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562709
08/30/06 12:36 PM
08/30/06 12:36 PM
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Antonius Hamus Offline
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Fortunately, Andsnes was really my introduction to this piece, or so I'd recall... Though his Liszt album would be more than worth getting even if it didn't have the ballade...

Fiorentino is another good one... Unfortunately, I haven't heard Arrau...

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562710
08/30/06 03:54 PM
08/30/06 03:54 PM
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Santa Fe, NM
AaronSF Offline
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Horowitz plays this ballade. I know he's not to everyone's taste, but I like his interpretation.


August Förster 215
Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562711
08/30/06 05:46 PM
08/30/06 05:46 PM
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Cleveland, Ohio
Hank Drake Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by AaronSF:
Horowitz plays this ballade. I know he's not to everyone's taste, but I like his interpretation.
So do I. There is also rare recording of this work by Ervin Nyiregyhazi. It was issued on LP in the 1970s and has not been issued on CD. It's superb, but a totally different interpretation than Horowitz.


Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
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Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562712
08/30/06 07:49 PM
08/30/06 07:49 PM
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Reaper978 Offline OP
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Quote
Ervin Nyiregyhazi
Why don't these people get any recognition? All the fame goes to Kissin, Horowitz, Yundi Li, Lang Lang, and Cliburn. I've heard tons of pianists that sound just as good or better than these, and they get absolutely no coverage whatsoever. Orozco, anyone? The guy recorded all the Rachmaninoff piano concerti and executed them without mistakes, with obvious ease, and with extremely passionate interpretations. I just don't get it.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562713
08/30/06 08:20 PM
08/30/06 08:20 PM
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Posts: 1,721
Cleveland, Ohio
Hank Drake Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Reaper978:
Quote
Ervin Nyiregyhazi
Why don't these people get any recognition? All the fame goes to Kissin, Horowitz, Yundi Li, Lang Lang, and Cliburn. I've heard tons of pianists that sound just as good or better than these, and they get absolutely no coverage whatsoever. Orozco, anyone? The guy recorded all the Rachmaninoff piano concerti and executed them without mistakes, with obvious ease, and with extremely passionate interpretations. I just don't get it.
Nyiregyhazi's career fizzled in the 1930s mostly because he was flat out loony-tunes. He made a brief comeback in the 1970s, but the technique was faded. By 1980, he had disappeared from sight quite willingly.


Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell
Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562714
09/01/06 11:54 AM
09/01/06 11:54 AM
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Posts: 312
Baltimore, MD, USA
pianistcomposer Offline
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A great piece...I was inspired to learn it by Arrau's 80th-Birthday recital. And I normally am not all that "gaga" over Arrau. But he digs that piece out of the earth with his guts.


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Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562715
09/01/06 04:24 PM
09/01/06 04:24 PM
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Santa Fe, NM
AaronSF Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Hank Drake:
Quote
Originally posted by AaronSF:
[b] Horowitz plays this ballade. I know he's not to everyone's taste, but I like his interpretation.
So do I. There is also rare recording of this work by Ervin Nyiregyhazi. It was issued on LP in the 1970s and has not been issued on CD. It's superb, but a totally different interpretation than Horowitz. [/b]
They resurrected poor Nyiregyhazi about 30 years ago (early to mid 70s). Someone had heard about the legend, then found out he was living in near poverty as an alcoholic. As I recall the story, they convinced him to sober up long enough to produce a Liszt album (I think it was a double album). It was possible to discern these very interesting, very idiosyncratic interpretations lurking under his then-deteriorating technique. His interpretations were rather eccentric but never boring. Later I think he produced a recording of his own opera transcriptions, which I haven't heard.


August Förster 215
Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562716
09/01/06 05:54 PM
09/01/06 05:54 PM
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Cleveland, Ohio
Hank Drake Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by AaronSF:
[QUOTE]They resurrected poor Nyiregyhazi about 30 years ago (early to mid 70s). Someone had heard about the legend, then found out he was living in near poverty as an alcoholic. As I recall the story, they convinced him to sober up long enough to produce a Liszt album (I think it was a double album). It was possible to discern these very interesting, very idiosyncratic interpretations lurking under his then-deteriorating technique. His interpretations were rather eccentric but never boring. Later I think he produced a recording of his own opera transcriptions, which I haven't heard.
That is correct. The Liszt double album, on Columbia, was recorded in 1977, and it's pretty bizarre. There was a second release on Columbia, featuring works be Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Blanchet, that was recorded at the same sessions. The opera album was done a year later.

But the Liszt Ballade No. 2 was recorded at earler sessions, in the early '70s, for the international piano archives, and this album shows him in much better form.


Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell
Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562717
09/01/06 09:35 PM
09/01/06 09:35 PM
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pianoanne Offline
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Does anyone know where I could find information about the piece? I've heard that it has a programmatic reference to Greek mythology, but I don't know the details.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562718
09/02/06 01:15 AM
09/02/06 01:15 AM
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Antonius Hamus Offline
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"information about the piece?"

I'd recall that Arrau explains the piece in his discussions with Joseph Horowitz.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562719
09/02/06 03:43 AM
09/02/06 03:43 AM
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I've never really "gotton" this work; the smoldering, brooding opening definitely draws me in but the ensuing development/climax simply don't fulfill the promise of the (pianistic) "foreplay" rendering it an overall unfulfilling experience. wink Maybe I just need to listen to some other interpretations. laugh

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562720
09/02/06 04:08 AM
09/02/06 04:08 AM
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Antonius Hamus Offline
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"the ensuing development/climax simply don't fulfill"

The only really satisfying rendering of the climax is by Andsnes (of those that I've heard, that is; likely Arrau's is another one, and perhaps Bolet's).

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562721
09/02/06 07:45 AM
09/02/06 07:45 AM
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Reaper978 Offline OP
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Quote
I've never really "gotton" this work
I really can't help but say that most people probably don't, and will not. It's not a normal piano piece by any stretch, though that's one of the reasons I love it. It's very, very odd, but I think it is a work of pure genius, beauty, anger, despair, everything. It foreshadows the atonality (the rolling chromatic base-line is both strange and incredible) and unpredictability of modernism.

Re: Liszt's Ballade no. 2 ---> Wow. #562722
09/02/06 09:43 AM
09/02/06 09:43 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by apianonne:
Does anyone know where I could find information about the piece? I've heard that it has a programmatic reference to Greek mythology, but I don't know the details.
I don't know about the Greek angle, but it 'fits' remarkably well into the Campbell poem "Lord Ullin's Daughter":

http://www.rampantscotland.com/poetry/blpoems_ullin.htm

It probably is purely coincidental, but as a programme - it works.

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