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Rubinstein: Piano Quartets

Rubinstein: Piano Quartets


Rubinstein:

Piano Quartet in F major, Op. 55bis

Piano Quartet in C major, Op. 66


Leslie Howard (piano), Rita Manning (violin), Morgan Goff (viola) & Justin Pearson (cello)

Pianist Leslie Howard is acclaimed as ‘a virtuoso in the true Romantic style with its emphasis on musicality as much as bravura’ (The Guardian). He is joined here by three of his frequent string collaborators for two forgotten masterpieces of the Russian nineteenth-century chamber music tradition by renowned pianist-composer Anton Rubinstein.

In recent years there has been something of a revival of Rubinstein’s music, but previously it had fallen into total neglect outside Russia from around the early 1920s. However in his day Rubinstein was a hugely important figure: the first international professional Russian composer. His influence is almost incalculably vast on the succeeding generations of Russians who benefited from his grasp of Western musical forms allied to an excellence of craftsmanship and an easy melodic fluency. Although a thoroughly cosmopolitan composer, Rubinstein could also incorporate the occasional Russian folk-song or an echo of Russian church music.

The Piano Quartet in F major was dedicated to Berthold Damcke, the music critic who had championed Rubinstein during the late 1850s in the public argument fomented by the composer and critic Aleksandr Serov, whose printed taunts of Rubinstein and his non-nationalistic style seem largely to have been fuelled by anti-Semitism. The Piano Quartet in C major was one of Rubinstein’s most popular works in its day.

“this is an impassioned, convincing first recording.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2014 ****

“the quartets are pleasant, yet unremarkable works in an early Romantic idiom that is somewhere between Mendelssohn and Schumann.” The Guardian, 1st May 2014 ***

“The playing is especially potent in the dramatic sweep of the C major, in which Rubinstein’s romantic creative urge is all the more confident, complementing Lisztian passion and bravura with colour and harmonic dexterity that lend it individuality.” The Telegraph, 2nd May 2014 ***

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Hyperion - CDA68018

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano: New Discoveries 3

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano: New Discoveries 3

Romancero espagnol, Trois Chansons, Two further pieces from Christus, Wilde Jagd – Scherzo, Album-Leaves, and several first and second thoughts.


Liszt:

Romancero espagnol, S695c

Christus, S498c: Two Pieces

Magnificat, S182a

Trois Chansons, S510a

Album-Leaf 'Andantino in A flat major', S166p

Album-Leaf in G major, S166q

Variations 'Tiszántuli szép léany', S384a

Lyubila ya [Wielhorsky] (first version), S577i

Schlummerlied, S186/7a

Valse-Impromptu, S213bis

Marche des pelerins de la symphonie Harold en Italie de Berlioz, S473

Einzug der Gäste auf der Wartburg S445/1

Adagio non troppo, S151a

Album-Leaf 'Andantino in E flat major', S163a/2

Album-Leaf 'Andante in E flat major', S167r

Album-Leaf in C major 'Lyon', S167s

Album-Leaf 'Quasi mazurek in C major', S163e

Album-Leaf 'Adagio – religioso in C major', S164l

Album-Leaf 'Agitato in G major', S167l

Album-Leaf 'Andante religiosamente in G major', S166j

Album-Leaf 'Tempo di marcia in E flat major', S167o

Album-Leaf 'Fugue chromatique' – Allegro in G minor, S167j

Album-Leaf in E flat major, S167k

Album-Leaf in G minor, S166l/2

Album-Leaf 'Langsam in C sharp minor', S166o

Album-Leaf 'Moderato in D flat major', S164k

Album-Leaf 'Vivace ma non troppo in D flat major', S167g

Album-Leaf 'Larghetto in D flat major', S167p

Album-Leaf 'Schlusschor des entfesselten Prometheus' – Andante solenne in D flat major, S167q

Album-Leaf 'Magyar in D flat major', S164e/3

Prozinsky Fragment for piano, S701v

Album-Leaf 'Allegretto in A major', S167n

Album-Leaf in A major, S166a

Album-Leaf in E major, S167t

Album-Leaf 'Andantino in E major', S163d/ii

Album-Leaf 'Purgatorio' – Andante in B minor, S166r/1

Album-Leaf 'Aus dem Purgatorio des Dante Sinfonie' – Lamentoso in B minor, S166r/2

Album-Leaf 'Introduction to the Grande Étude de Paganini No 6', S141/6bis

Cadenza, S695f

Album-Leaf 'Aus den [Erster] Mephisto-Walzer, Episode aus Lenaus Faust' – Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, S167m

Wilde Jagd – Scherzo, S176a


Liszt was born 200 years ago in 1811, and to begin his bicentenary birthday celebration, Hyperion presents a disc of works that have been recorded, and indeed heard here, for the first time. Leslie Howard has long been acknowledged as the foremost Liszt scholar and performer in the world today, and this disc is a perfect example of his tireless work on behalf of the composer.

“Wayward, expansive, luridly colourful, [Liszt] still needs his advocates. Leslie Howard is one of his most devoted: long-serving, skilful, eloquent in his interpretations of the vast piano output.” The Observer, 16th January 2011

“These CDs...amount to something more than the latest necessary purchase for completists: indeed this latest batch of previously unknown or long-forgotten items assembles into a pleasingly comprehensive musical portrait...As ever, [Howard] allows the composer's spontaneous, improvisatory streak to speak as naturally as it likes, and needs to.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2011 ****

“All of this intriguing new material is presented with the discernment and sympathy which have become the hallmark of Howard's Liszt series.” International Record Review, January 2011

“The collection opens with a real find in the three-movement, 20-minute-long Romancero espagnol...The music is quite extrovert, dramatic and harmonically adventurous...Clearly tackling Liszt anew in the studio has revitalised Howard's pianism.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2011

“An extraordinary tour de force of pianism, musical detective work and scholarship, well recorded and impeccably annotated as always. It honours Liszt's memory in the best possible way by illustrating his many-faceted genius.” Classic FM Magazine, May 2011 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2011

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67810

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano: New Discoveries 2

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano: New Discoveries 2


Liszt:

Préludes et Harmonies poétiques et religieuses S171d

Concerto sans orchestre S524a

Album-Leaf: Magyar in B flat minor S164e/2

Ungarischer Marsch in B flat major S229a

Pensées ‘Nocturne' S168b

Album-Leaf in D major, S164h

O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst!, S540b

arr. Leslie Howard

Album-Leaf 'Preludio', S164j

Album-Leaf in A flat major, S166l

Album-Leaf, S167h


As was remarked in the first supplementary volume to the Hyperion Liszt Series (CDA67346), there was an understanding that new discoveries would be issued from time to time; research into manuscript holdings in various libraries has revealed that works which were first thought to be rough sketches are in fact playable, virtually completed pieces. The Sketchbook N5, held in the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv in Weimar, contains complete drafts and sketches to a number of such works, including a set of eight pieces presented here under the title Préludes et Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (given in brackets by Liszt) in order to avoid confusion with the single piece of 1833–4 of similar name. This is not so much an early version of the famous Harmonies poétiques et religieuses as a set of eight early works whose themes were to crop up variously across a range of later compositions. With the Concerto sans orchestre we are probably dealing with the first complete version of the piece which would eventually become Concerto No 2; the musical material will be familiar, though almost all of the textures were greatly altered over the years. The things immediately apparent are the work’s originality and freshness – qualities which Liszt managed to retain through all the revisions – and that this is already a splendid work in its own right. The Album-Leaf: Magyar in B flat minor was composed for Ignaz Moscheles, and its musical material is almost identical to part of the eleventh of the Magyar Dalok. The Ungarischer Marsch in B flat has remained unpublished, and although the manuscript contains suggestions of instrumentation, no orchestral score of the piece has come to light. Pensées again comes from Sketchbook N5, the only completed work in its final pages, and is a little gem dating from late in 1845. Album-Leaves by Liszt continue to turn up at auction or on odd pages amongst collections; four of these are presented here. The familiar piano version of the song O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst! remains Liszt’s best-loved melody: the third of the Liebesträume. But that transcription differs considerably from the song, and the piece has been conjecturally reconstructed here from a variety of sources.

“his stylistic understanding is always impeccable, and as recorded here his Steinway makes a warmly appealing sound” BBC Music Magazine

“Leslie Howard is once again an ardent and reflective champion in both his playing and in his brilliantly informative essay; he also promises further discoveries. Hyperion's sound and presentation is immaculate as ever” Gramophone Magazine

“So we learn more about this extraordinary composer, thanks to that rare combination of Howard's scholarly musicianship … and fearless keyboard technique, allied to the ongoing commitment of Hyperion Records - without which the entire musical world would be so much the poorer” International Record Review

“Howard's playing is so refined that even the almost impossible passages of the Concerto are made to seem easy and this is simply the best recorded piano sound I've heard in years” The Times

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67455

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 43: Deuxième Année de Pèlerinage

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 43: Deuxième Année de Pèlerinage


Liszt:

Années de pèlerinage, 2ème année, Italie (7 pieces), S. 161

Venezia e Napoli (3 pieces), S. 162

Au bord d'une source (Années de pèlerinage I, S. 160 No. 4)


This, the forty-third volume (and sixty-fifth disc) in Leslie Howard's Liszt encyclopaedia, includes the Second Book of the composer's Années de Pèlerinage, a work which derives its considerable inspiration from the art and literature of Italy. Here we find the final versions of the three Petrarch Sonnets and the famous Dante Sonata.

Alongside these works we have Venezia e Napoli, an ingenious set of encore pieces, and the intriguing coda to Au bord d'une source (from the Swiss volume of the Années) which Liszt penned for the young Italian composer/pianist Giovanni Sgambati in 1863.

“This disc is studded with pleasures, even (especially in the Petrarch sonnets) with flashes of ecstasy. Fine sound too” Fanfare

“A familiar enough masterpiece yet typically spiced by Howard with some fascinating side-steps and discoveries” Gramophone Magazine

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67107

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 44: Early Beethoven Transcriptions

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 44: Early Beethoven Transcriptions


Liszt:

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, S463a

Adelaïde de Beethoven, S466a (First Version)

Cadenza for the 1st movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, S389a

Marche funèbre de la Symphonie heroïque de L. van Beethoven – Partition de piano, S463e

Symphony No. 6 in F major 'Pastoral', S463b

Adélaïde de Beethoven, S466b (Second Version)

Symphony No. 6 in F major 'Pastoral', S463c

Symphony No. 7 in A major, S463d

Capriccio alla turca sur des motifs de Beethoven: Ruines d'Athenes S388 (1846)

Symphonie Fantastique, S470 (from Berlioz, Op. 14)


First to allay fears of any duplication of material with Leslie Howard's previous release of Liszt's transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies (CDA66671/5): these early transcriptions were made more than twenty years before their revisions, and Liszt's approach was originally even more demanding upon the performer. His earlier thoughts emerge as more dramatic and present many different solutions to the problems of faithfully transcribing great masterpieces. A comparison of the versions is fascinating and revealing, both for our knowledge of Liszt and his art and for the many insights into Beethoven himself which Liszt offers. The disc also includes the only piano transcription attempted by Beethoven of one of his own symphonies. Not strictly within the remit of this series perhaps, but this miniature is included not only to demonstrate Beethoven's approval for such an endeavour, but also to show exactly how masterful is Liszt's handling of the problems faced – his transcriptions are by far the more faithful!

“One can only marvel at Leslie Howard's tireless advocacy of Liszt, and the way he constantly overcomes the multitude of technical obstacles in his path” Gramophone Magazine

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67111/3

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 51: Paralipomènes

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 51: Paralipomènes


Liszt:

Paralipomènes à la Divina Commedia

Dante Sonata 1st version

Prolégomènes à la Divina Commedia

Dante Sonata 2nd version

Sposalizio, S. 157a

1st version

Grand Solo de concert

1st version

Élégie pour piano seul

Romance oubliée, for piano, S. 527bis (short draft)

Fantasia & Fugue on B-A-C-H, S529

1st version

Weihnachtsbaum, S. 185a

À la chapelle Sixtine, for piano, S. 461

1st version

Ungarische Nationalmelodien, S243

Après Une Lecture Du Dante, Fantasia Quasi Sonata, S. 158c

3rd version


Two CDs of exceptional rarities. Throughout his career Liszt was an inveterate reviser of his works and much of his best-known output exists in earlier suppressed versions. These are often of great interest in themselves - containing music which was later excluded or, in the case of works commenced in the 1830s and '40s, piano-writing which was later simplified. Of particular note here is the genesis of what later became the Dante Sonata, one of Liszt's most important works.

“All the music on these two well-filled discs is recorded here for the first time. Absorbing for the scholar specialist” Classic CD

“A formidable achievement, splendidly recorded” Penguin Guide

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67233/4

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 53a: Music for Piano & Orchestra 1

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 53a: Music for Piano & Orchestra 1


Liszt:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124

Fantasia on a theme from Beethoven's 'Ruins of Athens', S122

Totentanz, S126 for piano & orchestra

final version

Grande fantaisie symphonique on themes from Berlioz's ‘Lelio', S120

Malédiction, S121 Op. 452

Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, S125a, Op. post.

Grand Solo de concert

Hexaméron, S392

Polonaise brillante, S367

Hexaméron – Morceau de concert 'Grandes Variations de bravoure sur la marche des "Puritains" de Bellini', S365a


This set and its companion (CDA67403/4) are perhaps the most important releases in Leslie Howard's complete survey of Liszt's piano music. In addition to such well known works as the mature Piano Concertos (two of the most popular works in the nineteenth-century Romantic repertoire) and the other lesser known but familiar pieces, several items here receive their first recordings; as a result of Leslie Howard's indefatigable research we can now hear orchestral versions of Hexaméron and the Grand Solo de concert for the first time. Also in new versions are the recently discovered Concerto in E flat, Op posth, and De Profundis. A re-examination of the manuscripts has led our pianist to make refinements to the published scores which provide a more accurate reflection of Liszt's intentions. All these issues and more are documented in Leslie Howard's characteristically thorough notes.

“Exemplary, and superbly recorded” BBC Music Magazine

“Hyperion's production, as always, is superb. For the Lisztian, this is indispensable” Fanfare

“Howard's dedication is clear in all his playing here, with clear, crisp articulation vividly caught in finely balanced sound” The Guardian

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67401/2

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano: New Discoveries 1

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano: New Discoveries 1


Liszt:

Zigeuner-Epos S695b

Célèbre mélodie hongroise S243a

Postludium – Nachspiel – Sursum corda!, S162f

La Lugubre Gondola (draft), S199a

Album-Leaf in F sharp minor, S163a/1

Album-Leaf in A major 'Friska', S166k

Album-Leaf in G major 'Dante-Symphony progression', S167f

Sunt lacrymae rerum, S162d

Aux anges gardiens 'Den Schütz-Engeln', S162a/1bis

Krakowiak, S166m/4

Mazurek, S166m/3

Lilie, S166m/1

Album-Leaf 'Freudvoll und leidvoll', S166n

Hyrc, S166m/2


Liszt was a very prolific composer. Having already recorded 95 CDs of his 'complete' piano music, the indefatigable Leslie Howard, after deep burrowings in the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv in Weimar has found more - enough in fact to fill this supplementary disc, including the Album of Princess Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, the Zigeuner-Epos, the original La lugubre gondolaand other rare pieces. Needless to say all are first recordings.

“Howard’s interpretation … displays irreproachable technical and digital mastery” American Record Guide

“excellently played and recorded … unmissable” Classic FM Magazine

“Lost treasures unearthed … This invaluable disc crowns Leslie Howard's Herculean Liszt cycle recorded on 95 CDs … [His] performances … are exemplary with all the commitment you would expect from a Lisztian of such tireless industry” Gramophone Magazine

“Liszt at his most unpretentious, fresh and direct … Howard is here at his warmest, bringing out how Liszt's genius developed” The Guardian

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67346

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 52: Ungarischer Romanzero

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 52: Ungarischer Romanzero


Liszt:

Ungarischer Romanzero S241a (1853)

Deux marches dans le genre hongrois S693 (cl840?)


Most Liszt catalogues fail to mention an important unpublished manuscript which is lodged in the Richard Wagner Museum in Bayreuth: a volume of Hungarian dance melodies arranged for the piano with varying degrees of harmonization, extension and elaboration. The pieces are based on music by several known and unknown composers of Hungarian light music– effectively dance-band 'standards' of the day. Liszt's manuscript consists of eighteen pieces, some of which are quite fully worked out, even though there are almost no markings of tempo, phrasing, fingering, pedalling, dynamics or other indications of touch. The title Ungarischer Romanzero, using a Spanish word to describe Hungarian melodies, signifies merely 'collection of Hungarian songs'. Many of the pieces are complete in the sense that, with a little imagination in terms of tempo and style, they may be played as they stand. Some contain notes written to remind Liszt how to proceed, and many of these continued figurations and varied reprises can be postulated without too much fear of undue liberty. The Deux marches dans le genre hongrois come from an untitled manuscript from Weimar which was published by the Liszt Society in 1954. They were composed at some point around 1840, and thus are roughly contemporary with the Marche héroïque dans le genre hongrois (Heroischer Marsch im ungarischen Styl), and they bear obvious musical kinship to that imposing work.

“These arrangements are quite elaborate and charming” Classic CD

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67235

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Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 37: Tanzmomente

Liszt Complete Music for Solo Piano 37: Tanzmomente


Liszt:

Tanzmomente von Johann Herbeck, S492

Löse, Himmel, meine Seele (Lassen) (first version), S494i

Dantes Sonett 'Tanto gentile e tanto onesta' (Bülow), S479

Élégie sur des motifs du Prince Louis Ferdinand de Prusse, S. 168

Drei Lieder zu Julius Wolffs Epos 'Tannhäuser' komponiert von Otto Lessman, S498

Löse, Himmel, meine Seele (Lassen) (second version), S494ii

Ich weil' in tiefer Einsamkeit (Lassen), S495

Tanzmomente No. 4 in A major (alternative text), S492/4bis

Zigeuner-Polka (Conradi), S481


Liszt's sheer industry is one of his most daunting characteristics; his enthusiasm, indeed his voracious appetite, for music of all sorts and conditions—whether as composer, conductor, pianist, teacher or transcriber—remains unparalleled.

The transcriptions featured on this disc are of works whose composers have faded almost entirely from recognition, yet Liszt never fails to imbue their compositional efforts with his own inimitable sparkle and flair.

Since 1985, Leslie Howard has been engaged on the largest recording project ever undertaken by a solo pianist—nothing less than the complete solo piano music of Liszt, a project which will total some eighty discs on the Hyperion label. By the end of 1995, Howard has completed 56 of these and been awarded a Grand Prix du Disque for no fewer than five volumes of the series.

“Here is a pleasant hour-plus of mid-century memorabilia for the general listener, teasing fare for the musical anatomist, and another indispensable album for the collector ... As befits such a program, Howard's graceful, extensive notes are full of quaint and curious lore. Hyperion's sound is spaciously, transparently immediate. Recommended” Fanfare

“Vol 37 is a record not only to which lovers of Liszt can return, but which should give pleasure to those who may never have heard of some of the composers transcribed but enjoy the minor, overgrown paths of the nineteenth century” Gramophone Magazine

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Hyperion - Liszt Complete Solo Piano Music - CDA67004

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