Pierre-Laurent Aimard honours Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday (October 22, 1811) with his most ambitious recording for Deutsche Grammophon to date. In this extensive 2-CD set, Aimard juxtaposes a selection of Liszt’s works with compositions by Liszt’s contemporaries and successors who were inspired by the Hungarian composer. Recorded live in Vienna’s Konzerthaus over two evenings, Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s Liszt project is a pinnacle of the Liszt Year commemorations.
“There’s intelligent method in this two-disc mega-recital...Disc two ingeniously pairs four works from Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage collections with descriptive pieces by Bartok, Marco Stroppa, Ravel and Messiaen, highlighting poetic, formal, textural and gestural similarities galore. Aimard’s readings are characterised by a clarity that allows detail and shape rightful pre-eminence.” Sunday Times, 16th October 2011
“Bombarded as we are by Liszt recordings in his anniversary year, this is refreshingly different. Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is also a skilled maker of programmes...Since large quantities of Liszt in one sitting can be indigestible, this is an excellent way into the B minor sonata and sections of Années de pèlerinage.” The Observer, 16th October 2011
“Aimard has long established himself as the thinking person’s pianist. His Liszt Project juxtaposes a selection of Liszt’s works with compositions by contemporaries and successors who were inspired by him...It’s a strong idea, sustained by the Frenchman’s fastidious pianism, but it comes across more as a lecture-recital than a satisfying listening experience.” Financial Times, 30th October 2011
“Aimard is a supremely intellectual pianist and his intense, rigorously thought-out playing illuminates the two programmes...Aimard's approach is purposefully cool in order to highlight the structural elements of the piece and while there's some exquisite hushed playing, the thunderous climaxes don't build with quite enough abandon.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2012 ****
“This impressive double album is surely one of the most intelligent recorded contributions to the Liszt Bicentenary of 2011...Nothing in Aimard's performances is done for mere effect: throughout, he projects Liszt with a solidity and refinement of invention. A superb achievement.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2012 *****
“In the main, the later the Liszt the more impressive Aimard is...he is ideally persuasive that no composer stayed younger in his desire to make something new...Aimard's reading of the B minor Sonata is distinguished - intellectually satisfying, as it should be, as the most intelligent and far-reaching of all post-Beethoven sonatas on a large scale.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2011