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Liszt: Sonata In B Minor, Etc / Claudio Arrau

Release Date: 01/15/2002 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 464713   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Claudio Arrau
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Claudio Arrau's 1970 Philips recording of Liszt's B minor Sonata, not to be confused with his hard-to-find 1985 digital remake, remains unmatched in its fusion of technical finish, personal poetry, and spiritual depth. Under Arrau's immaculate, amazingly even and supple fingers, the piano's percussive components are transformed into fluid, organ-like sonorities that resonate from the bottom up. You may cavil with a rubato here or an italicized phrase there, yet there's nothing remotely self-regarding about this pianist's trembling theatricality. His bardic style both clarifies and reads between Liszt's lines without stepping upon or second-guessing them. Once you submit to Arrau's demanding journey, you'll be rewarded and nourished for Read more years to come.

The Bénediction de Dieu either can be powerfully sublime or static and trite, depending on the pianist. Arrau's serious, full-bodied approach pays profound dividends as he sings out the left-hand melody in long arcs against the right hand's caressing double notes. Likewise, his slower-than-usual Gnomenreignen comes off more like a tone poem than an étude, and Waldesrauschen's murmuring filigree has gorgeous color and quiet strength (notice the longing with which Arrau inflects its rising chromatic melody).

To fill out the recital, Philips includes Vallée d'Obermann, arguably the high point of Arrau's great 1969 Philips Liszt recital (when will this be reissued singly?). It's instructive to hear how Arrau projects the music's brooding angst and harmonic tension through means of color, touch, and timing, in contrast to the pronounced tempo fluctuations and textural rewrites Vladimir Horowitz imposed on the score. While both approaches are convincing, Arrau's faith in Liszt's urtext results in a final peroration that organically flows from what came before, rather than sounding like a tacked-on octave étude. Philips' 24-bit transfers reveal more tape hiss than previous CD editions and show a brighter if slightly harsher top end. No Liszt lover should be without these transcendent performances. And even if you don't love Liszt, Arrau's singular artistry will win you over. [2/17/2002]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Claudio Arrau (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852-1853; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1970 
Venue:  Johannesstift, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 32 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses, S 173: no 3, Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Claudio Arrau (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1852; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1970 
Venue:  Johannesstift, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 6, Vallée d'Obermann by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Claudio Arrau (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/1969 
Venue:  Detmold, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Concert Etudes (2) for Piano, S 145 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Claudio Arrau (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1862-63; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/1970 
Venue:  Johannesstift, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 51 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Wonderful March 30, 2013 By Robert Neil See All My Reviews "I have heard a number of artists play the B minor Sonata of Listz including Evgeny Kissin and Emil Gilels but seldom have I heard it played so ravishingly as claudio Arrau." Report Abuse
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