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Franz Liszt’s two piano concertos amply display both his extraordinary pianistic ability and his originality as an influential Romantic composer. The first is a path-breaking tour de force whose four movements, played without break and thematically linked, moved Bartók to acclaim it as “the first perfect realisation of cyclic sonata form”. The second is equally brilliant but more integrated.
The Totentanz (Dance of Death), perhaps inspired by an Italian fresco, is a powerful series of variations on the Medieval Dies irae chant.
In 2005 Nebolsin won the First Richter International Piano Competition in Moscow and was awarded a special prize for the best performance of a Mozart piano concerto.
Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124/R455
Allegro maestoso - Tempo giusto
Allegro marziale animato
Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S125/R456
Adagio sostenuto assai
Franz Liszt: Totentanz, S126/R457
“Nebolsin, winner of the first Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in 2005, is a virtuoso of power and poetry. Try the scintillating final pages of the E flat Concerto in which Petrenko, always an alert partner, catches the ball and runs with it.”
“… in Totentanz…Nebolsin… steers a brilliantly assured course through the music's ultra-abrupt contrasts of roaring darkness, virtuoso scintillation, and uneasy lyrical calm, so that everything seems to hang together quite naturally.”
“Not only can the performances hold their own with the very best of the same three works but the individual concertos compare with those by the likes of Katchen and Richter. They are that good. And if the opening of Totentanz doesn't quite make you jump out of your skin quite like Raymond Lewenthal's, Nebolsin and Petrenko are almost as chillingly shocking. The fugato (Var 5) is attacked with thrilling pace and precision on a par with the very best. Nebolsin, winner of the first Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in 2005, is a virtuoso of power and poetry. While allowing the music to breathe, he plays in long paragraphs without, as it were, having to come up for air. Try the scintillating final pages of the FirstConcerto in which Petrenko, always an alert partner, catches the ball and runs with it. Recorded sound is exemplary. At super-budget price, the disc is a real bargain.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.