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Liszt Recital / Wolfgang Manz

Liszt / Wolfgang Manz
Release Date: 03/27/2012 
Label:  Telos   Catalog #: 141   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



LISZT Vallée d’Obermann. Ricordanza. Wilde Jagd. Harmonies du soir. Chasse-neige. Rigoletto Paraphrase. Lse Jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este. Rhapsodie Espagnole. Consolation No. 3 Wolfgang Manz (pn) TELOS 141 (71:26)


At first glance, I felt the urge to steel myself. Like literally dozens of releases over the past couple of years, here was yet another chestnut-packed Liszt potpourri, this one including four Transcendental Read more Etudes, two pieces from Années de pèlerinage, the Spanish Rhapsody , and the Rigoletto Paraphrase , with the most famous of the Consolations . But I was happily mistaken. From the very first notes of Vallée d’Obermann , it was instantly clear that this was the real deal—Liszt playing of culture, conviction, and distinction. Wolfgang Manz, who teaches at the Nuremburg Conservatory and is a visiting professor at the Leeds College of Music, has a reasonable number of recordings to his credit, including several of the two-piano literature with Rolf Plagge. As I listened to this recital, recorded last November in Bavaria, I found myself doing something I very rarely do: stopping the CD after practically every cut to listen again, not for details I might’ve missed, but simply to imbibe the beautiful music-making.


There is, of course, virtuoso technique here aplenty, serving genuine bravura playing, and a veritable arsenal of attack and release strategies to keep everything fresh and bright, measure after measure. But these are details of piano playing that never obtrude. Manz’s performances are about one thing, and one thing only: the poetic idea—expressed with crystalline clarity, infinite nuance, and tremendous nobility. Despite its paroxysm of energy and power, Wilde Jagd always remains elegant, with a poise that might be called aristocratic. The snow swirls of Chasse-neige convey a nearly palpable chill, but ultimately seem but a metaphor for mysteries of endless cold, suggested rather than revealed. The sensuously unfolding hues of Harmonies de soir cannot disguise a passionate yearning so ecstatic, it threatens to lift the heart and carry it away. I don’t know of another performance of this splendid piece more deeply committed or profoundly moving.


In the sole opera-based work here, the Rigoletto Paraphrase , the words “Bella figlia dell’amore” insinuate themselves into the ear. The variegated colors of the Spanish Rhapsody circle with the hauteur of straight-spined Flamenco dancers. And in that late masterpiece of musical painting, Les Jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este , the bright sun of the Roman Campagna seems to dance in the play of light above the splashing “thousand fountains.”


There is no straining for subtle inferences here, no fetishized dynamics or contours. This is bold, vital, robust music-making with great arches of phrase, soaring singing lines, and scant ambiguity of meaning, all of it redolent of the grand style. Among the many mixed piano recitals to emerge from 2011, surely Wolfgang Manz’s is among the half dozen finest. I keep returning to it, always with pleasure, and suspect you may too.


FANFARE: Patrick Rucker
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Works on This Recording

1. Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 9, Ricordanza by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
2. Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 8, Wilde Jagd by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
3. Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 12, Chasse-neige by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
4. Transcendental Etudes (12) for Piano, S 139: no 11, Harmonies du soir by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Weimar, Germany 
5. Rhapsodie espagnole for Piano, S 254 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1863; Rome, Italy 
6. Consolations (6) for Piano, S 172: no 3 in D flat major, Lento placido by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849-1850; Weimar, Germany 
7. Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse": no 6, Vallée d'Obermann by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848-1854; Weimar, Germany 
8. Années de pèlerinage no 3, S 163: no 4, Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867-1877; Rome, Italy 
9. Paraphrase on Quartet from Verdi's "Rigoletto", S 434 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Wolfgang Manz (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Weimar, Germany 

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