Tuesday, 4 August 2009

292. Franz Liszt - Paraphrases & Transcriptions (1840s onwards)


Title: Masterpieces For Solo Piano Vol. 2
Performer: Earl Wild
Year: 1968
Length: 17 minutes


Well this is really just one transcription, a transcription of parts of Mozart's Don Giovanni for the piano called, Reminescences de Don Juan. And it is a pretty great piano suite of themes from the opera.

Even if this isn't exactly Liszt's original work it still bears his strong mark, the way the various themes from the opera intertwine with no respect for the plot line makes the work pretty interesting.

It is fun, if you know the opera, going through it and identifying all the sections and getting fascinated by Liszt's variations, it is not only a great piano piece but it reminds you of just how musically great Mozart's opera is.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Liszt's composing music on music, being taken as such, was nothing new. Nevertheless, Liszt invested a particular kind of creativity. Instead of just overtaking original melodies and harmonies, he ameliorated them. In case of his fantasies and transcriptions in Italian style, there was a problem which was by Wagner addressed as "Klappern im Geschirr der Perioden". Composers such as Bellini and Donizetti knew that certain forms, usually periods of eight measures, were to be filled with music. Occasionally, while the first half of a period was composed with inspiration, the second half was added with mechanical routine. Liszt corrected this by modifying the melody, the bass and - in cases - the harmonies.

Many of Liszt's results were remarkable. The Sonnambula-fantasy for example, a concert piece full of charming melodies, could certainly not have been composed either by Bellini or by Liszt alone. Outstanding examples are also the Rigoletto-Paraphrase and the Faust-Walzer. The most delicate harmonies in parts of those pieces were not invented by Verdi and Gounod, but by Liszt. Hans von Bülow admitted, that Liszt's transcription of his Dante Sonett "Tanto gentile" was much more refined than the original he himself had composed.

Liszt was the second pianist (after Kalkbrenner) to transcribe Beethoven's symphonies for the piano. He usually performed them for audiences that would probably never have an opportunity to hear the orchestral version.

Lang Lang plays part 1:

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