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Holiday gifts from Piano Street

Why not spend some of the remaining time of this Liszt-year at the piano with two of his most loved pieces, Liebestraum and Consolation no 3?

New Piano Street Edition! FREE DOWNLOADS:
Liszt Consolation no 3
Liszt Liebestraum (Nocturne no 3)

Listen to Arrau and Berezovsky!

About Liszts Transcendental Etudes

The Transcendental Etudes S. 139 began in 1826, as a set of youthful and far less technically demanding exercises called the tude en douze exercices (Study in twelve exercises) S. 136. Liszt then elaborated on these pieces considerably, and the far more technically difficult exercises called the Douze Grandes tudes (Twelve Great Studies) S. 137 were then published in 1837. The Transcendental Etudes S. 139 are revisions of his Douze Grandes Etudes. As the third and final version, this set was published in 1852 and dedicated to Carl Czerny, Liszts piano teacher, and himself a prolific composer of etudes. The set included simplifications, for the most part; in addition to many other reductions, Liszt removed all stretches of greater than a tenth, making the piece more suitable for pianists with smaller hands and less technical skill. However, the fourth etude of the final set, Mazeppa, is actually more demanding than its 1837 version, since it very frequently alters and crosses the hand to create a galloping effect. When revising the 1837 set of etudes, Liszt added programmatic titles to all but the Etudes Nos. 2 and 10. These titles are in French and German. Later, one of Liszts editors Ferruccio Busoni gave the name Fuses (Rockets) to the Etude No. 2, and the name Appassionata to the Etude No. 10; however, Busonis titles are not commonly used or well known.

About the Arrau recordings

Arrau was entering his seventies when these performances were tapedin quadin March 1974. An omnicompetent technique was intact, while expressiveness, suggesting the wisdom of a lifetime, blossomed. Feux-follets is punctilious yet quirky, leisurely and glowing, which is to say, not hustled. Mazeppa evinces more a canter than a gallopvirtuosically scintillant if not pyrotechnically coruscatingbut still grandly compelling. If you want the fast-forward spin, try Freddy Kempf (BIS 1210, Fanfare 26:5). The remaining tudes are magisterial in any company, that is, even the best of todays pianists could learn from them. Paysage is all rapture; Ricordanza (which Busoni compared to a bundle of faded love letters) is a steady spate of surprises and felicities, like fond memories awakening; the expressive crescendo of Harmonies du soir takes ones breath. And so on.
- Fanfare Magazine

About the Berezovsky recordings

Liszts Douze Etudes dexcution transcendante and pianist Boris Berezovsky were made for one another: under the extreme difficulty of execution and acrobatic tour de force of the Etudes Transcendantesis hidden a romantic musician steeped in poetry, Liszt. And behind the diabolical virtuosity and fantastic digital agility of the pianist, there is a performer of extreme sensitivity, Boris Berezovsky. We should not be obsessed with his curriculum vitae as an ace of the keyboard he was born in 1969, studied with pianist Elisso Virsaladze at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow where he won the Gold Medal in the Tchaikovsky Competition and has since then led an international career because with time Boris has learnt to sublimate his impressive technique and to simply put it at the service of the music. This film reveals to us a Berezovsky who is literally unequalled in his mastery of the terrible pitfalls of the Etudes Transcendantes he even breaks a piano string and immerses us in the Romantic world of Liszt.

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The Hungarian Liszt..? Exclusive interview with pianist Klra Wrtz
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