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Liszt: Sonate; Ballade No. 2; Bagatelle Sans Tonalite; La Mort D'isolde; Mephisto-valse No. 1

Goerner,Nelson / Liszt
Release Date: 10/12/2010 
Label:  Cascavelle   Catalog #: 3101   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nelson Goerner
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If, like me, you missed Nelson Goerner's splendid 1999 and 2007 single-disc Liszt releases for Cascavelle the first time around, here they are again, compiled as a "two-fer" for the composer's 200th birthday year. The Argentine pianist dives into the opening etude's "warm-up" arpeggios at full speed without sacrificing line or shape, and effortlessly sustains and controls the following etude's molto vivace directive to the point where you easily can perceive the work's rhythmic and tonal relationship to the Scherzo of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. If Paysage finds Goerner falling somewhat short of Arrau's poetry, his impressive textural contouring and sense of sweep in Mazeppa and in Vision's climaxes manages to yield less Read more clattery results than usual. Feux Follet's supple right-hand double notes are supported by shapely left-hand melodies, while the unnamed tenth etude is breathtakingly brisk and poetic. In addition, Harmonies du Soir and Chasse-Neige match Laszlo Simon (once attributed to Joyce Hatto, for those who don't remember!) bar by bar for eloquence and sensitivity.

Even in a catalog bursting at the seams with excellent Liszt Sonata recordings, Goerner's stands out with distinction. His innate dramatic sense, judicious tempo relationships, and characterful yet subtle contrasting themes add up to a most satisfying whole. What is more, he finds the right balance between Liszt's explicit expressive markings and his own instincts in regard to nuance and rhetorical projection. For example, the big chorale theme's return at the end, often vulgarly drawn out, is played in tempo yet retains its full grandeur.

The B minor Ballade similarly unravels on a high pianistic and interpretive level. So does the Bagatelle sans tonalité's acerbic filigree, along with the Wagner Liebestod's appreciably varied tremolos and catchy inner voices. And while there may be more pulse-quickening Mephisto Waltz No. 1's to be had (Janina Fialkowska's shimmering lightness in the opening pages, Vladimir Ashkenazy's hair-raising skips, Samuel Feinberg's roller-coaster tempo fluctuations), any self-respecting pianist would be happy to claim Goerner's rock-solid technique and stylish aplomb. Highly recommended.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nelson Goerner (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852-1853; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the 
Length: 28 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2. Ballade for Piano no 2 in B minor, S 171 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nelson Goerner (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the 
Length: 15 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3. Bagatelle ohne tonart for Piano, S 216a "Mephisto Waltz no 5" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nelson Goerner (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
4. Isolde's "Liebestod" from Wagner's "Tristan", S 447 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nelson Goerner (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the 
Length: 6 Minutes 54 Secs. 
5. Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, S 514 "Mephisto Waltz no 1" by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Nelson Goerner (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859-1860; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/2007 
Venue:  Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of the 
Length: 11 Minutes 38 Secs. 

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