Liszt: My Piano Hero

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FRANZ LISZT
Liszt: My Piano Hero
Lang Lang (piano) / Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Valery Gergiev

[ Sony Classics / CD ]

Release Date: Sunday 25 September 2011

"There is some quite exquisite playing here (Consolation No. 3, 'Un sospiro' and the rarely-heard Romance 'O pourquoi donc' that opens the programme) and bursts of electrifying dexterity (Grand galop chromatique and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6). The First Concerto is exciting and hard driven though not without a real sense of repose where required." Classic FM Magazine

"His approach to the piano is predominantly affectionate and respectful. While capable of producing massive sounds, he very seldom loses tonal control; indeed, his tone is frequently seductive." BBC Music Magazine, November 2011 ***

"There is some quite exquisite playing here (Consolation No. 3, 'Un sospiro' and the rarely-heard Romance 'O pourquoi donc' that opens the programme) and bursts of electrifying dexterity (Grand galop chromatique and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6). The First Concerto is exciting and hard driven though not without a real sense of repose where required." Classic FM Magazine, November 2011 ****

"Lang Lang's glittering career now moves from dubious beginnings...to an increasing range and maturity...His stealthy tempo for "La campanella" allows for a super-glitter and articulacy that even the most seasoned pianist might envy, while in "Un sospiro" his relaxed poetry and technique are masterly at every level. His Schubert-Liszt "Ave Maria" has all the communicative ardour that has endeared him to millions." Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011

"His talents are most generously indulged, however, in the Paganini study "La Campanella", a showcase of effusive flurries, sudden shifts of mood and rippling trills sweeping the entire length of the keyboard, all delivered with a restrained but dashing brio." The Independent, 8th September 2011 ****

"Lang Lang's gifts get a fruitful showcase in Liszt's Piano Concerto No 1, performed with the Vienna Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev. None of the parties proves too bombastic...In the slow pieces we can take some comfort in our star pianist's delicacy, however, when Liszt is being the showman, Lang Lang's extreme virtuosity keeps removing the music's soul" The Times, 3rd September 2011 ***

Tracks:

Romance 'O pourquoi donc', S169
Grande Étude de Paganini, S. 141 No. 3 'La Campanella'
Consolation, S. 172 No. 3 in D flat major
Grand galop chromatique, S219
Liebestraum, S541 No. 3 (Nocturne in A flat major)
Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 6 in D flat major
Un Sospiro from 3 Concert Studies, S144 No. 3
Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 15 in A minor 'Rákóczy Marsch'
(Horowitz version)
Ave Maria, S558 No. 12 (after Schubert)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S124
(Vienna Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev)