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Liszt: Episodes From Faust, Les Preludes / Conlon, Rotterdam Philharmonic


Release Date: 01/31/2012 
Label:  Apex   Catalog #: 665861  
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The novelty here is the original orchestration of the two St Francis Legends which are among Liszt's most popular piano pieces, but which started out in this orchestral form. It was as recently as 1975 at an auction that the autograph of this orchestral version—not only of the two Legends but of the Canticle that Liszt originally conceived to go with them—was acquired by a scholar, who at last was able to bring it to public attention. The orchestral writing is in Liszt's most colourful vein, and to take an obvious point the bird chirruping of St Francis's Sermon goes very naturally indeed on the flute, while the cor anglais is memorably used for the lyrical words of the saint. Though in both the pieces some of the harmonies are simpler in Read more this earlier version— increasing one's admiration still further for Liszt's extra inspiration at the keyboard—they make very welcome additions to the Liszt orchestral repertory. They will never replace the piano versions, but it is good to have them here in fresh, sympathetic readings, coupled with a pair of pieces normally separated, the Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust. The second one is usually described as the first "Mephisto Waltz", but is entitled in this Faustian context "Dance in the Village Inn", following on the "Procession by night". As in his earlier Liszt recordings, Conlon draws first-rate playing from the Rotterdam orchestra, helped by full-bodied, generally well-balanced sound.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [1/1987] Reviewing Erato 45256
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Works on This Recording

1.
Les préludes, S 97 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848/1854; Weimar, Germany 
2.
Episodes from Lenau's Faust, S 110: no 1, Der nächtliche Zug by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857–1861 
3.
Episodes from Lenau's Faust, S 110: no 2, Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke "Mephisto Waltz no 1" by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861; Weimar, Germany 
4.
Legends of St Francis (2), S 354 by Franz Liszt
Conductor:  James Conlon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; Rome, Italy 

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