Saturday, 22 October 2011

Happy Birthday, Franz Liszt!

Two hundred years old today, yet both as youthful and as woefully misunderstood as ever... Click here for some thoughts on that matter. In the meantime, here is the truly legendary recording of the First Piano Concerto from Sviatoslav Richter, Kyrill Kondrashin, and the LSO, all on incendiary form:

Here is Krystian Zimerman, exquisite in the late, visionary, Nuages gris, so greatly admired by Debussy and Stravinsky:

That philosopher-king amongst pianists, Claudio Arrau - it is only puritanical arrivistes who disdain Liszt's music - performs the fourth Transcendental Study, 'Mazeppa':

And finally, on film, Arthur Rubinstein in the third Liebestraum. Sound leaves something to be desired, but listen through the distortion and the rewards are great: