Liszt: Études d'exécution transcendante (CD)

Current Stock:
Boris Giltburg

Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante enshrine the spirit of High Romanticism, embodying extremes of expressive drama and technical virtuosity. His encyclopedic approach to technique is shown at its most dazzling in this cycle, heard here in the 1852 revision which Liszt himself declared ‘the only authentic one’. Integration of musical and technical elements is absolute, and the music’s narratives are supported by dramatic physicality, an orchestral richness of sonority, and an exceptional colouristic quality.

Boris Giltburg’s recordings for Naxos received numerous praises and awards. Recently he won Best Soloist Recording (20th/21st century) at the inaugural Opus Klassik Awards for his recording of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Carlos Miguel Prieto, coupled with the Études-tableaux. In May 2018 Naxos released his recording of the Third Piano Concerto and Corelli Variations with the same forces, which has already garnered spectacular reviews including a Gramophone Editor’s Choice award.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Franz Liszt
1. Verdi - Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert, S434/R267

12 Études d'exécution transcendante, S139/R2b
2. No. 1 in C Major, "Preludio"
3. No. 2 in A Minor, "Fusées"
4. No. 3 in F Major, "Paysage"
5. No. 4 in D Minor, "Mazeppa"
6. No. 5 in B-Flat Major, "Feux follets"
7. No. 6 in G Minor, "Vision"
8. No. 7 in E-Flat Major, "Eroica"
9. No. 8 in C Minor, "Wilde Jagd"
10. No. 9 in A-Flat Major, "Ricordanza"
11. No. 10 in F Minor, "Appassionata"
12. No. 11 in D-Flat Major, "Harmonies du soir"
13. No. 12 in B Minor, "Chasse-neige"

14. 3 Études de concert, S144/R5: No. 2 in F Minor, "La Leggierezza"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Classical Music Collector:

One can admire virtuosity for its own sake, but Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes are so much more than just showy stuff: one can enjoy them at many levels. Primarily they are miniature tone poems, ranging in manner from the melodramatic Wild Hunt and technically outrageous Mazeppa, to the glorious Harmonies du Soir and deft Feux Follets. Historically they are also relentlessly ground-breaking in their pianistic inventiveness. Indeed, it is very easy to forget how hard the pianist is working, and in this new recording by Boris Giltburg his skill is such that one is only aware of the musicality—genuinely transcendent. Many pianists have made their names playing this repertoire, including Cziffra, Bolet, Berman, and Arrau, and Giltburg clearly is in line to join their pantheon. This is a release of the first-rank, and a major landmark in Naxos’ recording history: an essential purchase whether you are a fancier of masterly pianism or simply an admirer of fine musical imagery. If it wins the still underrated Liszt more admirers, all the better.

- Chris Dench