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Liszt: Symphonic Poems / Michael Halász, New Zealand So


Release Date: 07/25/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557846   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This third volume of Naxos' ongoing series of Liszt tone poems under Michael Halász is easily the best so far. These pieces have such a bad reputation today that I suspect listeners may be surprised to discover that they contain quite a bit of really attractive music. Festklänge begins with one of Liszt's most arresting ideas, remarkably modern in character with harmony that doesn't have to be chromatic to sound interesting. Halász and the New Zealand Symphony deliver a sparkling performance, impulsive and rhythmically taut, and the work sounds much shorter than its 18-minute length might suggest. That is no mean achievement in music that admittedly has structural issues and tends to drag in less enthusiastic hands. Read more />

Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne also goes very well. The natural sonics capture the atmospheric opening (with its then-novel bass drum rolls) very effectively. If you know your Sibelius, you will recognize these first few minutes as the conceptual forebear of the Finnish composer's En Saga. Yes, the work's various sections tend to lie side by side rather than flow inevitably into one another, but it's a lovely piece that doesn't deserve its current neglect in the concert hall. Hunnenschlacht is just plain fun: a noisy battle followed by an organ-led apotheosis. Once again Halász and company deliver the goods, with fine playing and a vivid sense of drama. Also, to their credit, they don't linger over the less-interesting music representing the "good guys". In short, these are intelligent and effective performances that deliver maximum bang for your buck. Give them a shot.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Festklänge, S 101 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 18 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand (05/24/2005 - 05/26/2005) 
2.
Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, S 95 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1854; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 29 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand (05/24/2005 - 05/26/2005) 
3.
Die Hunnenschlacht, S 105 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand 
Length: 14 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand (05/24/2005 - 05/26/2005) 

Sound Samples

Festklange, S101/R418
Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne (What is Heard on the Mountain), S95/R412
Hunnenschlacht, S105/R422: Hunnenschlacht (Battle of the Huns), S105/R422

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