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Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Sonata in B minor S178 [34:57]
Concert Étude No.1 Il Lamento [12:46]
Concert Étude No.2 La Leggierezza [6:09]
Daria Telizyn (piano)
rec. St John's Smith Square, London, 16/17 May 1987
24bit/192kHz High Definition Stereo (playable on all Blu-ray and DVD-A players with 24/192 capable DACs)
Reviewed in this format.
Standard CD available CR3705-2
CLAUDIO DVD-A CR3705-6 [53:53]

During her short life Daria Telizyn drew plaudits comparing her to Horowitz, particularly in this sonata. Some critics fell over themselves with excitement at her playing. She was born in 1960, drew this attention at the age of 26, but died in 2005 having not quite reached her 45th birthday. She recorded very little, illness curtailed her performing, and much of the commentary on her and her playing, including the out-of-date insert, is based on the same few on-line sources. There are a handful of YouTube videos of her performing mostly the Liszt works on this disc. Given the promise she displayed her career can well be described as meteoric. In one respect she was lucky. Her key interpretation, the Liszt Sonata, was recorded extremely well in a splendid acoustic. Would that the same could be said of, for example, Solomon and Rubinstein, in any of their central repertoire.

The Liszt Sonata is unique, not only in Liszt's output, but in the entire piano literature. There are longer pieces but few on a larger scale conceptually. He was a very original composer and also one of the main creators of modern piano technique. As a performer he was a pianistic rock-star. He composed works that allowed him to display his spectacular technical skill. In the case of this tightly argued sonata he also created a work that sorts the sheep from the goats interpretatively. George Sajewych's note is sufficiently detailed for this to be clear. The big question, given how many other performances are available (Presto Classical list 246 at present), is whether Telizyn deserved the praise heaped on her back in 1986. I think she did for the simple reason that I could not stop listening throughout the full 35 minutes. This is a hugescale performance which sounds completely coherent beginning to end. It would be foolish to suggest it is the only great performance but it is certainly worth one's time and money. The two Études are interpreted at the same high level.

As for the recording, it is up to the usual extremely high standards of Claudio records. It sounds like a piano in a good acoustic, which it was, and if your system is capable of playing the DVD Audio version, it sounds better than any CD I have heard.

Dave Billinge



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