Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses

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Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses
Saskia Giorgini (piano)

[ Pentatone / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 28 January 2022

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After two song albums together with Ian Bostridge, pianist Saskia Giorgini returns to PENTATONE with a solo recording of Franz Liszt's Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. Liszt is often seen as a showman, but much of his music reveals his introspective, searching nature. This is demonstrated above all in Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, one of his most ambitious, contemplative and enigmatic compositions, inspired by Lamartine's eponymous poetry, Liszt's Roman Catholic faith as well as the 1848-1849 revolutions. To Giorgini, "this music is deeply humane and sincere, tender, but also full of the most sorrowful, violent, painful moments that Liszt ever put into music." Its ten movements constitute a quest for the deeper meaning of human existence, clothed in music of ravishing beauty.

Saskia Giorgini is one of the most promising pianists of her generation, who has won several competitions and is hailed for her technical command and the beauty and poetry of her sound. Her PENTATONE discography features well-received recordings of Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin (2020) and Respighi Songs (2021), together with Ian Bostridge.

"Giorgini's affinity with this reflective music is evident from the outset. Formidable technical ability is matched by the architectural sense, harmonic sensibility and coloristic range this sprawling music demands. Her shaping of climaxes demonstrates complete control of pace and dynamics, on a Bösendorfer which never sounds brash." BBC Music

"Her masterful authority immediately captures your attention in the carefully sculpted climaxes of the opening 'Invocation'. So does the pianist's subtle textural differentiation in the sparer, more introspective 'Ave Maria'...Well worth hearing." Gramophone

"Giorgini first made her name by winning the international Mozart competition in Salzburg five years ago, but she is clearly a very fine Lisztian, too." Guardian

"This is a brilliant recording. Saskia Giorgini is clearly a supremely talented pianist who thinks very deeply about the music she plays here. The recording is clear and bright, and the Bösendorfer piano is well suited to this repertoire." MusicWeb