adamdea

Well Brahms obviously

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What with this being some sort of anniversary, I wonder whether it's time we addressed the question that dare not speak its name - what is the bloody point of Liszt? or to put it more mildly what if any works of Liszt could you really not do without?

I will confess to quite liking -largely for comedy value and if I'm in the right mood- the first piano concerto and the Mephisto waltz.

otherwise I'm struggling.

What am I missing? Should I really listen to les annees de pelerinage? Is it possible that people play the fantasy and/or fugue for organ voluntarily and with love for the audience? Does anyone care about the transcriptions?

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I love quite a few Liszt pieces.

Forget the piano concertos, they are just populist crappola, imho.

The piano sonata is astonishing. Try Nojima on Reference Recordings or any of several recordings by Bolet.

The long choral piece "Christus" is amazing.

The chamber music inhabits a mysterious world all its own, especially the later works. Try Hungaroton HCD 11798.

The later piano works also inhabit a very different and very strange world - try Youri Pochtar on Opus 111 OPS 30-93.

If you want to hear some of his smaller piano works at their considerable best, try Arnaldo Cohen in volume 1 of Naxos' complete piano series. A reviewer in the Fanfare magazine called it one of the best Liszt recitals ever recorded, and I can understand why.

Jorge Bolet is perhaps most reliable all-round recommendation for Liszt piano playing. Well worth exploring.

Yes, there is some truly wonderful music penned by Liszt - but the performer has to be equal to it.

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Agree with Jerry.... the sonata is essential music. Yundi Li, Peter Donohoe, Michael Pletnev and Martha Argerich my favourites.

And some of the late piano music is in a different world.

But I have to admit some of the other solo piano music leaves me cold

But Liszt + orchestra = train wreck.

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Horowitz did some sublime performances of Liszt's Soirees de Vienne

I also love the Preludes - a little sentimental but beautiful - I remember this from the film Tampopo where it plays such an evocative role. So don't rule out all his orchestral works! (Highly recommend the HVK recording with Smetana's Vltava & Sibelius's "Belly, Ass & Smelly Sand" :D

There's also the Dante Symphony (Barenboim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiElvzlH4jY)

But... on the whole I have to say I prefer Brahms... there's the requiem, alto rhapsody, lots of first rate chamber music, excellent symphonies, two fantastic piano concertos and a good violin concerto, plus plenty more I'm sure I've missed out...

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Actually I had forgotten about the Piano Sonata. Haven't listened to that in a while. Perhaps time for a new version although I am generally a Richter loyalist. Time for Spotify I think

I also have the feeling I have a Brendel disk of late piano stuff I have only played once.

Anyway thanks for the recommendations.

What I was gently pointing to was that of all the "great" composers he seems to be the one whose place in the pantheon seems most likely to be the result of the FIFA voting system. Anyway apologies if i have offended any ardent Lisztophile, but i think i probably listen to more Orlando Gibbons.

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Bigwarts' music has not figured in my listening program for years. Have to agree with MB that he's a train wreck with orchestral. And as I don't like classical piano that much, it means his piano stuff has no foothold in my affections. He's also the composer whose face I find the most disturbing... anyway I'd stop here now as he was Wagner's father-in-law.:zip: I have always wondered how much more evolved the latter Wagner heirs might have turned out had Richard married another woman and not that barracuda Cosima.:zip: His 'Isolde' Mathilde Wesendonck was so much more regal.

SS

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what is the bloody point of Liszt? or to put it more mildly what if any works of Liszt could you really not do without?

What am I missing?

This:

[video=youtube;MWGpU9fGT_A]

The tone poem Les Préludes - but ONLY in the version by Ferenc Fricsay. He brings to the work a wonderful timing and sense of drama and grandeur. If it doesn't knock your socks off, have someone check you for a pulse. (I still have that LP tucked away somewhere).

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Stick with Liszt and give him a chance. My father hated his music, so for years I had a closed mind to it. I quite enjoy much of his output now. The Faust Symphony is absolute crap though - avoid. There are quite a few light pieces - true - but there are heavier works as well. The Sonata in B minor is a fine piece - search out Sviatoslav Richter for this. The large organ pieces are thrilling if played on a suitable instrument (such as a French Cavaille-Coll) by someone with sufficient technique to transcend the pedestrian. The piano piece Das Nebelsterne, a true rarity, is chilling and prophetic to the point of genius. So, all in all, please don't give up on Liszt - he was a better composer than my Dad thought, anyway!

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Guest Pac67

Liszt: Stabat Mater

I don't care much for his piano music or attempts at symphony works, but some of his chamber works and massed choral pieces such as Stabat Mater would be sadly missed from my record collection.

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on a slightly different note, he was supposedly an exceptional pianist and teacher himself.

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I didn't realise this thread was about Liszt, took me a while to find a Liszt thread on here!

Does anyone know of any good versions of his Grandes études de Paganini? I heard La Campanella by Yundi Li and loved it.

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Thanks. It's taking me a while to get to grips with the Sonata in B. I understand it's meant to be a great piece but I just don't get it (yet). I've tried Jerry's recommendation of Nojima on Reference Recordings so far for that and La Campanella.

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I played one of the Hungarian Rhapsodies at Scalford 2013 to a good reception. Worth the occasional blast :dunno:

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