- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4)
- Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125 (LW H6)
- Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178 (LW A179)
- Mephisto Waltz (I & II), for piano No. 1 (Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke), S. 514 (LW A189)
The name of pianist Jorge Bolet is almost synonymous with the recorded works of Franz Liszt. Extremely active as a pedagogue in his earlier years, Bolet's recording legacy didn't truly hit its stride until the late '70s. This recording of the two Liszt concertos from 1979, therefore, marks the beginning of that chapter of Bolet's career and also the early conducting post of David Zinman with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra. Both of these concertos are a testament to Bolet's repute with Liszt. Shying away from a strictly technical or virtuosic interpretation of the two masterworks, Bolet's playing is filled with nuance, attention to the details of the score, and above all, musical insight. The second movement of the "First Concerto" in particular demonstrates the sentimental side of Liszt and Bolet's capacity to captivate and enthrall listeners with his long lines, lush harmonies, and warm sound. The Rochester Symphony Orchestra provides a splendid backdrop to Bolet's performance; balance between the orchestra and soloist always allows the piano to be heard without making the orchestra sound timid. Recorded nearly 20 years earlier, the sound quality in the B minor sonata is almost indistinguishable from the two concertos, a testament to the superb remastering. In the sonata, Bolet's playing is equally as passionate and musical, but somewhat weaker from a technical perspective with frequent wrong notes.