- Gute nacht, transcription for piano (after Schubert, D. 911/1), S. 561/1 (LW A50/1)
- Rondeau fantastique sur un thème espagnol (El contrabandista), for piano, S. 252 (LW A33)
- Aida: Danza sacra e duetto finale, transcription for piano (after Verdi), S. 436 (LW A276)
- Ballade, for piano No. 2 (II) in B minor, S. 171 (LW A181)
- Ave Maria, transcription for piano (after Schubert), S. 558/12 (LW A42/12)
- Hungarian Rhapsody, for piano No. 12 in C sharp minor (aka "No. 2"), S. 244/12 (LW A132/12)
- Der Müller und der Bach, transcription for piano (after Schubert, D. 795/19), S. 565bis/2 (LW A128/2)
- Erlkönig (II), transcription for piano (after Schubert, D. 328d), S. 558/4 (LW A42/4)
- Mädchens Klage, transcription for piano (after Schubert, D. 871), S. 563/2 (LW A109/2)
Now that Valentina Lisitsa has proved herself in some of the toughest concerto repertoire and won herself a devoted following, initially via YouTube but eventually through her critically acclaimed recordings on Decca, she can relax. That is, if relaxing is playing a recital of virtuoso solo piano pieces by Franz Liszt, one of the most demanding composers for the instrument and apparently an ideal match for Lisitsa's prodigious talents. She has the right balance of sensitivity and showmanship to make Liszt's music work, first of all as genuine musical expressions that have the power to move, and secondarily as fiery displays of technique that have the power to excite. The program is an agreeable mix of Liszt's ornate transcriptions of five of Franz Schubert's lieder, an arrangement of the "Danza sacra e duetto finale" from Giuseppe Verdi's "Aïda," the seldom heard "Rondeau fantastique sur un thème espagnol, El contrabandista," the "Ballade No. 2 in B minor," and the "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12," offering a well-rounded potrait of the Romantic master. In a sense, though, this is equally a portrait of Lisitsa, showing all of her abilities in pieces that run a wide expressive range and demonstrate her physical power and subtlety of interpretation. Perhaps her most compelling performance here is of "Erlkönig," which she brings off with such immediacy and intensity, it raises the hairs on the back of the neck. But for sheer fun, the "Hungarian Rhapsody" is a terrific closer for this versatile artist.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
From the first note to the final stop, this recording exposes one to the genius of Liszt and the virtuosity of Valentina Lisitsa! I wholeheartedly recommend it to snyone who loves great music performed with flawless expression and execution. Lisitsa is a gift of God to the world of music.