Notes and Editorial Reviews
Kirill Gerstein, during this project, described Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes as “one of the most towering mountain peaks of the piano literature. Transcendental Etudes can be seen as a distillation of mid-19th century Romanticism, capturing its otherworldly experiences and spirituality. The pieces are a reworking of Liszt’s earlier Douze Grandes Etudes, which Liszt began composing when he was only fifteen years old. For this new recording, Gerstein has focused on the word “transcendental” as the key to interpreting this cycle. Gerstein goes beyond the virtuosic requirements and explores the ways Liszt goes outside of the usual to depict images of the visionary, the
otherworldly, and the impressionistic. He also explores the relationship between the etudes to show the dramatic arc of the set when performed altogether. Kirill Gerstein is a multifaceted pianist who has quickly ascended into the highest order of classical musicians. His masterful technique and discerning intelligence lend themselves well to his musical curiosity which continually inspires him to explore various repertoire which spans centuries and genres.
This is a superb studio account of Liszt's pianistic vade mecum, a recording (on a beautifully voiced instrument) that is able to stand alongside the benchmark recordings of this formidable opus. He is no mere showman but a storyteller who, even at the height of Liszt's ferocious challenges, lets the music breathe, controlling the ebb and flow with enormous skill.
– Gramophone Read less
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Transcendental Etudes, S. 139: No. 4, Mazeppa
Transcendental Etudes, S. 139: No. 10, Allegro agitato molto
Transcendental Etudes, S. 139: No. 12, Chasse-neige
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