Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
New Discoveries - Volume 3
CD 1
Romancero espagnol S695c (1845) [20:26]
Zwei Stücke aus dem Oratorium Christus S498c (c1871) [23:30]
Magnificat S182a (1862) [4:09]
Trois Chansons S510a (c1852) [9:56]
Album-Leaf 'Andantino in A flat major' S166p (1847) [1:28]
Album-Leaf in G major S166q (1847) [2:24]
Variations 'Tiszántuli szép léany' S384a (1846) [2:32]
Lyubila ya de Wielhorsky – Romance S577i/bis (first intermediate version) (c1842) [4:15]
Schlummerlied S186/7a (version for Lachmund) (1882) [4:36]
Valse-Impromptu S213bis (1870s?) [4:48]
CD 2
Lyubila ya de Wielhorsky – Romance S577i/ter (second intermediate version) (1843) [3:16]
Marche des pčlerins chantant la pričre du soir de la Symphonie d'Harold [en Italie] composée par Berlioz S473i (c1836/7) [7:40]
Einzug der Gäste auf Wartburg – Marsch aus Richard Wagners Tannhäuser S445/1a (1876) [12:53]
Adagio non troppo S151a (c1824) [2:25]
Album-Leaf 'Andantino in E flat major' S163a/2 (1828) [2:20]
Album-Leaf 'Andante in E flat major' S167r (1850s) [1:31]
Album-Leaf in C major 'Lyon' S167s (1839) [0:25]
Album-Leaf 'Quasi mazurek in C major' S163e (1843) [0:19]
Album-Leaf 'Adagio – religioso in C major' S164l (1825) [0:36]
Album-Leaf 'Agitato in G major' S167l (1849) [0:51]
Album-Leaf 'Andante religiosamente in G major' S166j (1846) [0:57]
Album-Leaf 'Tempo di marcia in E flat major' S167o (1845) [0:22]
Album-Leaf 'Fugue chromatique' – Allegro in G minor S167j (1844) [0:18]
Album-Leaf in E flat major S167k (1840) [0:15]
Album-Leaf in G minor S166l/2 (1840s?) [0:11]
Album-Leaf 'Langsam in C sharp minor' S166o (1876) [1:12]
Album-Leaf 'Moderato in D flat major' S164k (1842) [0:12]
Album-Leaf 'Vivace ma non troppo in D flat major' S167g (1835) [0:17]
Album-Leaf 'Larghetto in D flat major' S167p (1883) [0:29]
Album-Leaf 'Schlusschor des entfesselten Prometheus' – Andante solenne in D flat major S167q (1883)[0:47]
Album-Leaf 'Magyar in D flat major' S164e/3 (1841) [0:14]
Prozinsky Fragment for piano S701v (1846) [0:45]
Album-Leaf 'Allegretto in A major' S167n (1842) [0:16]
Album-Leaf in A major S166s (1870) [0:37]
Album-Leaf in E major S167t (1870) [0:45]
Album-Leaf 'Andantino in E major' S163d/ii (c1840) [0:22]
Album-Leaf 'Purgatorio' – Andante in B minor S166r/1 (1857) [1:49]
Album-Leaf 'Aus dem Purgatorio des Dante Sinfonie' – Lamentoso in B minor S166r/2 (c1857) [1:13]
Album-Leaf 'Introduction to the Grande Étude de Paganini No 6' S141/6bis (1884) [0:24]
Cadenza 'Erster Mephisto-Waltzer' S695f (1880s?) [0:19]
Album-Leaf 'Aus den [Erster] Mephisto-Walzer, Episode aus Lenaus Faust' – Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke S167m (after 1859) [1:40]
Wilde Jagd – Scherzo S176a (first version of Scherzo und Marsch (1851)[16:02]
Leslie Howard (piano)
rec. 20-22 April 2009, All Saints' Church East Finchley, London
HYPERION CDA67810 [78:10+62:00]

All mammoth recording projects must resemble a mountain at their outset. Looking back on Leslie Howard's gigantic survey of Liszt's piano music, the great peaks were scaled and unknown plateaus and valleys revealed. Now, more than a decade on from the ostensible end of the project - for no international search for the continuing paper trail of a composer so intent on churning out manuscript can ever really be over - Howard presents another set mopping up loose Lisztian ends under the banner of 'New Discoveries'.

This is Howard's third volume of subsequently uncovered odds and ends, though the finds grow more academic and the newness of the material a little more dubious as time goes on. The bulk of the track-listing is taken up with tiny fragments of music, some familiar and some not, classed as album leaves or, as Howard has it, 'keepsakes'. Very few could be considered independent musical works and many are little isolated passages which could be drafts. One of those that seems almost complete is track 27, an album leaf named Purgatorio (Andante in b minor), an intriguing series of descending figures with a melancholic tone. Howard doesn't specify in his sleeve-notes which piece they may be connected to, and if this one is from a larger work it's not one I know.

One work appears in a number of guises. Howard suggests that Liszt must have had a special fondness for Lyubila Ya by Michael Wielhorsky (1788-1856) because of the couple of arrangements that Liszt made of the melody. We have three stages of the process here, though they're spread across the two discs, making comparisons a little difficult. What they do suggest is that Liszt was at his strongest when reining in his instinct to hurl ornamentation into his familiar variation format. It's a point underscored by a simplified version of the Valse-Impromptu, which is all the more affecting for its pared back delicacy and transparency. Of the more substantial pieces, the Romancero Espagnol includes a typical Lisztian mix of virtuosic variations and some moments of ear-catchingly inventive tonality. Two pieces from the oratorio Christus come from Liszt's own transcription of the work for the published vocal score, and Howard clearly believes that they have pianistic value in their own right. One other curiosity is the Variations Tiszántuli szép léany, a work published under Liszt's name and mentioned in contemporary catalogues of his music but some way below the quality of even Liszt's most pedestrian works. Howard isn't convinced it's bona fide, but includes it for completeness sake.

Completeness is the essence of this volume. To Lisztians, it's self recommending and anyone who has closely followed this Hyperion series will want this set. But this is specialist territory only and casual Liszt listeners are unlikely to have their picture of the composer broadened by it. Needless to say, Howard's playing is sensitive and enjoyable throughout.

Andrew Morris
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More Lisztian odds and ends, but this one's for completists only.