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LISZT, F.: Soirees italiennes / Paganini Etudes / Impromptu brillant sur des themes de Rossini et Spontini (Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 30)

Composer(s):Liszt, Franz
Artist(s) Luisi, Gianluca, piano
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Instrumental
Catalogue 8.570984
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
 
 
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8.570984
 

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Review By ,Bösendorfer,October 2009

It must have been a constant battle for Franz Liszt to titillate his audiences with works of ever increasing technical bravura, often resorting to paraphrases to maintain the unending flow. He turned to Mercadante to provide the themes for the six sections that form the Soirees italiennes, the attractive melodies mixing lyric passages with moments of hair-raising difficulty. Il galop and Il brindisi stand beside the charm of Il pastore Svizzero (The Swiss shepherd), and a brilliant Bolero brings it to a conclusion. It was seeing the great violin virtuoso, Paganini, that drove the seventeen year old Liszt to seek the same level of perfection in his piano playing. As a tribute he wrote his Etudes d’execution transcendante as a set of six studies that were published in 1840, but enlarged and somewhat simplified for the version we normally hear and published in 1851.

The disc is played, appropriately, by an Italian pianist, Gianluca Luisi, who gives very literal readings that show an affinity with Liszt in brilliant mode, but is at his best in those passages that thrive on affection. Playing a superb Bosendorfer piano, the recorded sound has the required weight and impact.

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