This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
No piano lover should pass up this seminal release.
Last available as part of Philips' deleted Great Pianists of the 20th Century series, Leon Fleisher's 1959 Liszt and Weber program gains a new lease on life courtesy of ArkivMusic.com's on demand reissue program, complete with original cover art and excellent notes by the late Konrad Wolff (who, like Fleisher, studied with Artur Schnabel). Fleisher's Liszt sonata is one of the great recorded versions. Although he pedals sparingly, the tumultuous sections surge with unrelenting energy and cumulative sweep, while the well-proportioned lyrical passages contain no dead spots. Strong harmonic awareness governs Fleisher's handling of bass lines, together with the pianist's
ability to shape Liszt's polyphony without overly intellectualizing the voice leading, as you hear in the fleet and crackling Allegro energico fugue. The pianist's passionate, intelligent virtuosity transcends the dry, flinty, somewhat constricted sonics.
As for Weber's vastly underrated E minor sonata, Fleisher's interpretation reigns supreme. Few, if any, have matched his feathery lightness and giddy brio in the Menuetto's outer sections and in the Finale's phantasmagorical, almost-Schumann-like figurations. Although eloquent simplicity characterizes Fleisher's way with Invitation to the Dance, the pianist takes nothing for granted. You'll notice how his subtle inflections vivify the frequent left-hand "oom-pah-pah" accompaniments, along with the right-hand scales' pearly evenness and songful flexibility. No piano lover should pass up this seminal release.
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Piano Sonata in B minor (Liszt)
Piano Sonata no 4 in E minor (Weber): II. Menuett
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