Liszt was the first, but pianists of later generations also journeyed through the gigantic cosmos of the Wagnerian music drama with paraphrases and transcriptions for the piano. Severin von Eckardstein has brought together the best of these on his latest SACD. The result is a fascinating look at the reception history of Wagner's music and a colossal, three-dimensional listening experience to remember.
German pianist Severin von Eckardstein, playing a tonally atmospheric 1901 Steinway, evokes the world of Wagner in a rare way with this set of arrangements, conjuring candle-lit drawing rooms of the Romantic era. Highlights include Busoni’s rendition of the “Funeral March” fromRead moreGötterdämmerung, pianist-conductor Zoltán Kocsis’s arrangement of the Prelude from
Tristan und Isolde and, rather than Liszt’s more famous version, Moritz Moszkowski’s take on “Isolde’s Liebestod.” Best, though, are the arrangements from
Parsifal, particularly the “Transformation Music” by August Stradal, an acolyte of Liszt. Also included is American composer Sidney Corbett’s ghostly treatment of Kundry motifs from
Parsifal, fittingly dedicated to the late Hans Werner Henze.
Mostly Very GoodAugust 31, 2013By Paul Cwick (Sunnyvale, CA)See All My Reviews"Most of the tracks on this recording are excellent; beautifully recorded, of wonderfully lush piano arrangements of many of Wagner's better-known works. Although (and the liner-notes acknowledge this) it's not possible to fully capture the full tonal range of a full orchestra with a single piano, nevertheless the arrangers of the pieces did a remarkable job overall in capturing and adapting Wagner's rich, lush sounds to the piano. A wonderful addition to any serious collection of fine music. However.... ...it must also be admitted that there **IS** one track on the album that absolutely does NOT belong, in my opinion, and that is the absolutely dreadful 'Grabmal Kundry' by composer(?) Sidney Corbett. I honestly have no idea what this anachronistic, decidedly 'modern' piece is even doing on this album, as it is not a transcription of Wagner's work, and texturally and stylistically it clashes terribly with the other selections of this otherwise fine album, sticking out like a musical sore thumb. It barely even counts as 'music' at all, in fact (at least no more so than in the sense that an untrained four-year-old pounding random notes on a piano constitutes music--which, in fact, it sounds like.) Supposedly, the liner notes claim, the piece was 'inspired' by Wagner's 'Pasifal', although you'd never know it by actually listening to it. It seems a stretch, but even allowing for that, I could barely make it through one listen-through (I started wanting to skip to the next track after about the first minute and a half-that was about all I could tolerate.) So, if you can somehow manage to avoid listening to the dreadful Corbett track (which I would recommend, btw) and simply focus on the other tracks (the ones that are actually Wagner), then I would recommend this album most highly."Report Abuse