I have long had mixed feelings about Liszt's piano music; but ,out of curiosity I ordered these four sets of Liszt studies by Trifonov on the strength of a review in my newspaper. The CDs arrived yesterday. They changed my evening. Trifonov' s playing made me understand the poetry in Liszt music in the same way that Angela Hewitt made me understand the joy in J.S. Bach compositions through her second recording of the Goldberg Variations.
As I was listening to Trifonov's playing a second time, I became curious about Liszt and looked for my copy of "The lives of the Great Composers" by Harold Schonberg, the former music critic for the New York Times. In his chapter on Liszt, Schonberg is at his best in guiding us through the long and protean life of this immensely talented musician. In particular, in one passage, Schonberg makes clear why Trifonov's piano interpretation of these four set of studies is so absorbing why so many other interpreters soon make us lose interest.
Schonberg writes: "The music has genuine fascination, but one of the difficulties in understanding is that it is so heavily dependent on performance. This is especially true of the piano music [...] and today there are very few who have the combination of 'diablerie' and imagination to bring it off. A pianist who approaches the notes literally is lost. The music then sounds like empty rattling scales and arpeggios. If a pianist uses too much leeway, on the other hand, the music can sound vulgar and self-indulgent. Liszt's piano music needs pianists of unbounded technique, of daring (those careful pianists who never take a chance because they fear to hit a wrong note can never be convincing Liszt players)), of great sonority, of delicate shadings, of exhibitionism and extroversion tempered with an ability to float an aristocratic line, of steady yet flexible rhythm. It is not only the pianistic layout that is difficult. Much more difficult these days is an identification with Liszt's mind and world."
In his December 2016 interview with the Australian magazine 'Limelight' after receiving the Instrumental Album of the Year Award, Trifonov gives the following reply to the question "If you had to chose favorites, which of the Transcendental Etudes give you the greatest satisfaction in recital?":
"They all give me a lot of nerves! But when I play them by myself then 11 is my favorite. It has an incredible array of colours, it tells a captivating story and it 's very poetic - a poem in its fullest sense."
"The music has genuine fascination, but one of the difficulties in understanding it is that
- Audio-cd (9 september 2016)
- Aantal schijven: 2
- Label: Deutsche Grammophon
- Looptijd: 117 Minuten
- ASIN: B01FYHNG5Y
- Klantenrecensies: 58 klantbeoordelingen
- Plaats op Amazon-bestsellerlijst: #4.075 in Muziek (Top 100 in Muziek bekijken)
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