One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

 

BUY NOW 

AmazonUK  

 

 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Sonata in B minor (185) [33:38]
Grandes Etudes de Paganini (c.1848) [24:03]
George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (piano)
rec. 15-18 May 2006, Snape Maltings. DDD
LINN CKD 282 [57:41]


 

There is of course far more to Liszt than the shallow, generally held view that he was a virtuoso first, a creative artist second. Not that there is anything wrong with virtuosity, which was a significant driving force during the romantic era. The concept of 'the artist as hero' remains potent to this day, not least when we encounter an artist who can do justice to the towering demands of the Paganini Studies. And there is no question that George-Emmanuel Lazaridis does so.

The recorded sound from Linn is excellent, finding that always elusive balance between detail and atmosphere. In fact this balance is a critical consideration in a recording of these compositions, whose emotional, technical and expressive range is so wide – this is so with the Sonata especially. For the piano tone sounds particularly well, and the first climactic section of the Sonata is thrilling in terms of both sonics and performance. Rarely can a piano recording have generated such sheer impact.

It is no exaggeration to suggest that the Sonata in B minor is the summit of Liszt's achievement as a composer of piano music. He completed it in 1853, soon after he had settled at Weimar as Kapellmeister, and gave its dedication to another great piano-composer, Robert Schumann. The first performance took place in Berlin in 1857, when the pianist was Liszt's protégé, Hans von Bülow.

While undoubtedly a virtuoso showpiece for those talented enough to perform it, the Sonata is far more than a 'display of fireworks'. The music’s thirty-minute span contains an astonishingly wide range of moods, some of them inward and restrained. Moreover, the work closes with an extended epilogue, a veritable meditation. It is understandable, therefore that this music is the most challenging that Lazaridis performs in this new recording. He copes well with the demands, particularly so the technical demands, but technique is only the half of it. If there are doubts they lie in the direction of interpretation and concentration, rather than technique, and it is true that a great artist like, say, Jorge Bolet (Decca), can offer more insights.

The more obvious pyrotechnics of the Paganini Studies suit Lazaridis to perfection, as they did the composer-pianist before him. If it really was Liszt’s intention to make himself ‘the Paganini of the violin’ then this performance confirms it. The range of approaches exploits many aspects of the piano and Lazaridis is a match for them all. As an example, his poetic rendition of La Campanella is beautifully judged, and as such is the highlight of the whole disc.

Terry Barfoot

BUY NOW 

AmazonUK  

 

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.