This disc celebrates Liszt's Dante Symphonie and marks the bicentenary of his birth.
In his Dante Symphonie, Liszt evokes all three parts of the Divine Comedy: leading us, as Virgil, through Dante's Hell to Paradise via Purgatory. The Inferno opens with a theme hammered brass. This is the terrifying admonition engraved on the door of Hell: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter." The orchestra deploys dramatic effects to immerse the listener in the pains of hell and vortex of torment.
Ultimately we reach the Magnificat, the ultimate "Vision", one of Paradise, with a choir of angels who sing their hymn to the Virgin.
“[The recording] manages to be both wearingly in-your-face and strangely reductive...Allowing for this distorting mirror, the performances have fine qualities: Francois-Xavier Roth and his expert players unleash high drama in the Dante Symphony's 'Inferno' first movement, and bring a sense of its 'Purgatorio' successor.”
“a warmly recorded and lyrically flowing account of the tone-poem Orpheus”
“The brass of Les Siecles is never over-dominant...Roth builds up a good head of steam in the 'Inferno' finale, with a well-judged accelerando.”
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