Kissin Plays Liszt
Recorded between 1987 and 2003, the selections on Kissin Plays Liszt are representative of the Russian pianist's extraordinary virtuosity and the Hungarian composer's wide range of styles and expressions. These live recordings from New York and Tokyo have been compiled in a double-disc package to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt's birth, and Evgeny Kissin's extraordinary grasp of the repertoire guarantees that the music is as exciting and moving as possible. Several of the pieces are among Liszt's best known, such as the "Mephisto Waltz No. 1," the "Liebestraum No. 3," and selections from the increasingly popular "Transcendental Etudes," along with the Schubert transcriptions, but these are never dull in Kissin's hands. Indeed, Kissin's liberties in concert may at times seem self-indulgent and excessive, but surely these can be forgiven in Liszt, especially because they often reveal new possibilities and new perspectives on Liszt's innovative approaches. While this is not the only Liszt album that should be heard to celebrate the bicentennial year, it is one of the more compelling reissues that warrants a hearing, and serves as a reminder that Kissin is still one of the most impressive interpreters of Romantic piano music.