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Franz Liszt: Années de Pèlerinage / Lewenthal

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse"
>Liszt, Franz : Album d'un voyageur, S 156
>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, S 161 "Italie"
>Liszt, Franz : Venezia e Napoli, S 162
>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage no 3, S 163
>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The American pianist Jerome Lowenthal has been known as a great exponent of Liszt for many decades, performing the solo repertoire and concertos throughout the world in the most prestigious venues, and with the world's great orchestras and conductors. Now in his late-70s, Lowenthal has taken on the challenge of recording Liszt's great cycle, Années de pèlerinage. In addition to performing the complete "three years," Lowenthal plays the spectacular early version of Les Cloches de Geneva, and the appendix to the "Italian" book, Venezia e Napoli. As a bonus, Lowenthal is joined by his daughter, pianist Carmel Lowenthal, for a rare recording of the four-hand version of Books II and III of Liszt's charming Christmas Tree Suite. These other Jerome Lowenthal recordings are also available on Bridge: Tchaikovsky: The Music for Piano and Orchestra (with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sergiu Comissiona) BRIDGE 9301A/B; and Christian Sinding: Music for Piano BRIDGE 9306.

"'Les jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este' in Book 3 is as exquisite a performance as can be imagined. The shimmering surfaces of the musical textures never obscure the underlying philosophical seriousness implicit in the work." -International Record Review

All Music Guide - Patsy Morita
Jerome Lowenthal's musicianship is what is to be admired in this set of Liszt's Années de pèlerinage, released in time for the 2011 Liszt anniversary. Approaching 50 years of public performing, Lowenthal has a great maturity of interpretation, something that is often missing in recordings of Liszt, in this cycle of pieces or most of his other compositions. Most performers will bring wild energy or flamboyance to the music, and many listeners have come to expect only that. Lowenthal gives these mini-tone poems more depth by paying attention to the changing characters and moods in each, as well as to the shaping and voicing within phrases. Even at its most dramatic, Lowenthal is able to differentiate lines of music, bringing out the left or right hand or a melody line that might otherwise be lost in the shuffle. He also does this with a true sense of direction and musical expression. In the more thoughtful moments, the gradations of color and lightness of touch are splendid. There is a lovely softness in the first movement of the Deuxième année, and a feather-like sound in "Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este" in the Troisième année. He still has the energy of a younger player, even if in those most virtuosic of passages his playing isn't as crystal clear as that of a younger performer and is still able to make an impression, notwithstanding.

Coming after the varied nature and excitement of the Années, the Weihnachtsbaum selections, which fill out the recording, are a real contrast. Even though it's for four hands at the keyboard (Lowenthal is joined by his daughter, Carmel), the texture is not as thick as the Années sometimes get, and the temperament in each is much less complex and changeable. It provides a bit of refreshment after the grander effort. Lowenthal's Années is a good choice for anyone looking for a more meaningful interpretation of the entire cycle.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-).



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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse"
  • Performer: Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1848-1855

>Liszt, Franz : Album d'un voyageur, S 156
  • Performer: Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1848-1855

>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, S 161 "Italie"
  • Performer: Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1838-1861

>Liszt, Franz : Venezia e Napoli, S 162
  • Performer: Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1859

>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage no 3, S 163
  • Performer: Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 38 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1877-1882

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 5. Scherzoso
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 6. Carillon
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 7. Schlummerlied
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 8. Altes provenzalisches Weihnachtslied
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 9. Abendglocken
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 10. Ehemals
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 11. Ungarisch
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876

>Liszt, Franz : Weinachtsbaum :: , Heft 2 & 3. no 12. Polnisch
  • Performers: Carmel Lowenthal (Piano); Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (2010-01-??&2010-03-??_2010-)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1873-1876