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Liszt: Pièces Tardives / Immerseel, Istomin


Release Date: 12/14/2004 
Label:  Zig Zag   Catalog #: 40902   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van ImmerseelSergei Istomin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here is a large swath of potently seductive Romantic agony consummately performed on period instruments—to arresting effect—and rendered in palpably immediate sound exceeding the usual “wide dynamic range” to loom as an aural equivalent to 3D, which is the more remarkable for being no more technologically sophisticated than thoroughly passé and (we’re told) swiftly vanishing stereo. That is, this is something that aimed high and hit its target with startling resonance. Questions for the listener may well be, “Do I have a taste for this? Do I, in fact, possess a tolerance for such a ghostly program at such a generous length?” For the crafty selection from Liszt’s late, spectral prehensions offers a keen balance of eldritch nostalgia Read more and frank morbidity—the equivocally evocative Wiegenlied cheek-by-jowl, for instance, with the mournfully caressing Schlummerlied im Grabe (aka First Elegy, usually heard in its spinoff version for solo piano). And through the five arrangements for cello and piano, the haunted twilight is suffused with a mellifluous croon. The arrangements are all by Liszt, for whom these pieces obviously had great import—the First Elegy, for instance, was scored not only for piano, or cello and piano, but for violin and piano, and for the combination of piano, cello, harp, and harmonium... For the present album, Immerseel has chosen two Erards from his collection—an instrument from 1886, the year of Liszt’s death, and a baby grand from 1897 used in the five cuts with Istomin, who plays a late 18th-century cello. On first hearing, the basses may seem hollow, the trebles thin, until one becomes accustomed to the unaccustomed clarity of the lower register and the delicate sweetness of the upper lending an expressive fillip to a program already rife with ambiguous charms. Sound is taken very close in uncramped spaciousness—like being right there. Be there! Highest recommendation.

Adrian Corleonis, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1.
La notte for Piano, S 699 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1864-1866; Rome, Italy 
2.
Wiegenlied for Piano in E minor S 198 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Rome, Italy 
3.
Elegy no 2 for Violin/Cello and Piano, S 131 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Sergei Istomin (Cello), Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878 
4.
Nuages gris for Piano, S 199 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Rome, Italy 
5.
Romance oubliée for Violin/Viola/Cello and Piano, S 132 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Sergei Istomin (Cello), Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880 
6.
Am Grabe Richard Wagners for Piano, S 202 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Rome, Italy 
7.
Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth for Violin/Cello and Piano, S 382 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Sergei Istomin (Cello), Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1883 
8.
Csárdás (2) for Piano, S 225: no 2, Csárdás obstiné by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Rome, Italy 
9.
Abschied for Piano, S 251 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Rome, Italy 
10.
La lugubre gondola for Violin/Cello and Piano, S 134 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Sergei Istomin (Cello), Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882-1885 
11.
Unstern: sinistre, disastro for Piano, S 208 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: after 1880; Rome, Italy 
12.
Elegy no 1 for Cello and Piano, S 130/R 471b by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Jos van Immerseel (Piano), Sergei Istomin (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Weimar, Germany 

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