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Liszt: Symphonic Poems Vol 1 / Noseda, BBC PO


Release Date: 09/20/2005 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10341   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Tovey disparagingly described Liszt's Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne as "an introduction to an introduction to a connecting link to another introduction to a rhapsodic interlude, leading to a free development of the third introduction, leading to a series of still more introductory developments of the previous introduction, leading to a solemn slow theme (which, after these 20 minutes, no mortal power will persuade any listener to regard as a real beginning), and so eventually leading backward to the original mysterious opening by way of conclusion." He has a point: the piece goes nowhere, which probably is why it's so seldom played. But it's an awfully pretty "nowhere", and listening to this cogent, alternately Read more exciting and atmospheric performance, it's difficult to understand its near total neglect. God knows there's worse stuff out there that gets played all the time, and as conductor Gianandrea Noseda demonstrated in his recent coupling of Dvorák concertos for this same label, he's an interpretive force to be reckoned with.

Indeed, as long as you don't take the "philosophical" aspects of this music too seriously, it really is fun. Noseda characterizes the various sections of Les Préludes with unfailing accuracy and creates a real rush of excitement at the big final peroration. He knows how important it is to keep Tasso's lament moving forward, but he also manages to keep the final triumph from sounding both overly bombastic or excessively inhibited, which is no mean achievement. And he has the sensitivity to shape Orpheus' somewhat meandering musical paragraphs with unobtrusive but unfailing confidence.

My only quibble concerns the playing of the BBC Philharmonic, which is very good for the most part but notably lacking in warmth and depth from the strings. Whether this is a function of their habitual coolness or of Chandos' current recording philosophy (which seems bent on making everything sound loud and brilliant, but also like band music) is difficult to say, but just compare Les Préludes to Fricsay on DG, or any of these works to Masur with the Gewandhaus orchestra, and you hear immediately what is lacking. Still, as I said, Noseda knows what he's doing, and this promises to be a fine series, any small reservations notwithstanding.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, S 95 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1854; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Les préludes, S 97 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848/1854; Weimar, Germany 
3.
Tasso - Lamento e trionfo, S 96 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1854; Weimar, Germany 
4.
Orpheus, S 98 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853-1854; Weimar, Germany 

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