One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance



We are currently offering in excess of 51,800 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Mephisto Waltzes: No. 1 (The Dance at the Village Inn) (before 1861) [11:07] No. 2 (1880-81)[11:07] No. 3 (1883)[8:44] No. 4 (1885)[2:53]
Mephisto-Polka (1882-83)) [4:26]
Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude (Harmonies poétiques et religieuses) (1845-52) [17:11]
Bagatelle sans tonalité (1885) [2:42]
Variations on “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” * (1862) [15:04]
Cyprien Katsaris (piano)
rec. Teldec Studios, Berlin, April 1980 and April 1982*
WARNER APEX 2564 67410-2 [73:15]

Experience Classicsonline

First a moan - this is another Apex reissue with abysmal documentation - a mere four-page leaflet with just the works’ titles and no notes whatsoever. If companies, such as super-budget Naxos, can provide programme notes, then why can’t Warner Classics? Surely it would not be too difficult for them to insert a link to a Warner Classics web site and to programme notes to allow listeners to learn about the music. I suggest that this is important considering that the music here is programme music and needs explanation for full appreciation. Liszt’s musical description of Faust’s activities is after Lenau, not Goethe; how many people have heard of Lenau’s Faust? This music is quite probably new to a majority of customers especially to purchasers of super-budget CDs.
But to the business in hand. This present collection might have been called, ‘Music Sacred and Profane’ Since, as the old saying goes the Devil always had the best tunes; let’s deal with the Profane first.  
The first two of Liszt’s four Mephisto Waltzes, composed for orchestra, were later arranged for piano, piano duet and two pianos, whereas Mephisto Waltzes 3 and 4 were written for piano only. Of the four, the first is the most popular and has been frequently performed and recorded.
The First Mephisto Waltz is also known as The Dance at the Village Inn. Liszt includes the following descriptive note in the score. It is taken from Lenau’s version of the Faust legend:- 

"There is a wedding feast in progress in the village inn, with music, dancing, carousing. Mephistophelesand Faust pass by, and Mephistopheles induces Faust to enter and take part in the festivities. Mephistopheles snatches the fiddlefrom the hands of a lethargic fiddler and draws from it indescribably seductive and intoxicating strains. The amorous Faust whirls about with a full-blooded village beauty in a wild dance; they waltz in mad abandon out of the room, into the open, away into the woods. The sounds of the fiddle grow softer and softer, and the nightingale warbles his love-laden song."
This First Mephisto Waltz sounds diabolical enough on the orchestra but it loses very little of its intensity in the piano version especially as Katsaris’s fleet fingers capture all its voluptuous devilishness.
The Second Mephisto Waltz written some twenty years after the first is cast in a more modern-sounding idiom. It anticipates Scriabin, Busoni and Bartók. Liszt begins and ends the work with an unresolved tritone. This musical interval has become associated with the Devil and this Waltz overall is more violently and voluptuously expressive than its predecessor. Mephisto Waltz No. 3 pushes the harmonic language even further. The music is pulled violently between time signatures and opposing keys. Humphrey Searle, in his book The Music of Liszt, considers this piece to be one of Liszt's finest achievements. The Fourth Mephisto Waltz remained unfinished at the composer’s death and was not published until 1955. Liszt worked on it in 1885. It is usually performed in a version (S.216b) combining the completed fast outer sections, omitting the incomplete slow middle section.
Two other piano pieces, considered simpler and less challenging, and both associated with the Mephisto Waltzes are included in Katsaris’s programme. The manuscript of the Bagatelle sans tonalité bears the title "Fourth Mephisto Waltz". It may have been intended to replace the Fourth Mephisto Waltz when it seemed that Liszt might not be able to finish it. The Mephisto Polkathough not a waltz, follows the same program as the other Mephisto works. It is a somewhat lighter-hearted, tongue-in-cheek take on the concept although one might detect a wicked sardonic intent. 

To the Sacred - and to Liszt’s sublime Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude (‘The Blessing of God in Solitude) from his Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. This lovely work must contain some of the most beautiful pianissimo passages in the whole piano repertoire. All is peaceful reverie; lyrical with rippling arpeggios but with an ardent religioso climax. A lovely moving, flowing performance this, to be set beside Marc-André Hamelin’s on Hyperion. Bach’s cantata, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (Weeping, Lamenting, Sorrows, Fears) (BWV 12) inspired Liszt to use a bass line within it (and in the ‘Crucifixus’ of Bach’s Mass in B Minor) and to transcribe it for piano following the death of Liszt’s daughter Blandine. The music speaks eloquently of tears and mourning but there is also much anger here - it is as though the composer is shaking his fist at a malignant Providence for bestowing so much grief on him.
An eloquent Liszt recital of sacred and profane piano music.
Ian Lace 

















































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.