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Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses
     

Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses

by Steven Osborne
 
Anticipating the developments of his maturity, Franz Liszt's "Harmonies poétiques et religieuses" is an important transitional piece, if not especially coherent or profound. Liszt's sentimentality and chronic showmanship prevent this set of pious reveries from achieving the deepest spiritual dimensions. But there are many reflective moments in this work that indicate

Overview

Anticipating the developments of his maturity, Franz Liszt's "Harmonies poétiques et religieuses" is an important transitional piece, if not especially coherent or profound. Liszt's sentimentality and chronic showmanship prevent this set of pious reveries from achieving the deepest spiritual dimensions. But there are many reflective moments in this work that indicate a growing seriousness and even presage the dark emotions and austerity of his final period. While the "Invocation," "Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude," and the "Cantique d'amour" are predictably ecstatic in their climaxes, each contains sustained passages of calm introspection. Liszt's transcriptions of his choral works -- "Ave Maria," "Pater noster," and the "Hymne de l'enfant à son réveil" -- along with the "Miserere, d'après Palestrina" are comparatively unembellished and striking in their purity. Liszt's religiosity dominates "Harmonies," but he offsets it with three poetic musings on sorrow and death. The "Pensée des morts," "Funérailles," and the "Andante lagrimoso" are surprisingly stark and subdued, and look forward to the muted late piano works. In Steven Osborne's thoughtful interpretations, Liszt's excesses are somewhat minimized and his subtleties are solidly reinforced. Osborne's low-key approach may seem antithetical to Liszt -- perhaps too Chopin-esque -- but the results are at least tasteful and often more intriguing than a flashier reading would permit.

Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Bryce Morrison
Few more radiantly or deeply considered Liszt recordings have ever been made.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
Label:
Hyperion Uk
UPC:
0034571174457
catalogNumber:
67445

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses (10), for piano, S. 173 (LW A158)

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