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Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies / Misha Dichter

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Hungarian Rhapsodies (19) for Piano, S 244
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"This is the most technically accomplished set of the complete (Liszt) Rhapsodies that I have yet heard." Gramophone Magazine

"It has been my goal to transcend the technical aspects of these fiendishly difficult works to give the listener the joy of hearing an effortlessly-played series of tone poems. I hope that to some extent this has been successful." - Misha Dichter

BBC Music Magazine
Taking the music seriously while avoiding portentousness, Dichter offers scintillating flair and sharp-focus characterisation of each work.

His delectably light-fingered dismissal of every heavyweight demand is complemented by an occasional imaginative flourish and interpolation (including a brief but amusingly gruff commentary at the cadenza point of No 2). He can thunder and whisper, coax and command with the best of them, even when his very scrupulousness can sometimes lead to a certain dryness (the opening pages of No 10) and draining away of an intrinsic gypsy wildness. However, for those who find Cziffra's devastating swagger and scorching bravura ("as if a grenade had been tossed into the piano") too much, Dichter may well supply an answer. I should add that I am grateful for the inclusion of Rhapsodies Nos 16 - 19, music of another, darker world, one tinged with the bitterness and desolation central to Liszt's late years. Dichter has written his own inspiring essay and Newton Classics' transfers are as clear as a bell.


Extraordinary Talent of Dichter enhances Liszt Rhapsodies for Liszt Year 2011
Misha Dichter, pianist extraordinaire, performs the Rhapsodies of Franz Liszt. This cd invites the dedicated aficionado to keep it for reference in the study of the Hungarian Rhapsodies.

The nineteenth century genius Franz Liszt was the first artist to make his living by giving concerts. He pursued a prodigious composing and performing schedule from age 9 continuously throughout his life. Liszt charged through his life with exploration and pioneering in both music and personal pursuits. He was unconstrained by convention; rejected from the prestigious French schools, he studied privately and explored harmonies and techniques which prepared him to bridge the musical world from the classical period to the modern. Liszt lived and traveled in the major cities of Europe, astounding audiences with his artistic prowess as a composer, performer, and teacher.

The recording for this 2-CD presentation dates from 1977—85, with Misha Dichter establishing a definitive library collector’s item. His picture on the cover appears dated from that era also. Dichter’s career at the pinnacle of his profession has been maintained for decades. Some of the music has a curious sound—an empty auditorium, or old microphones in the 70s, or something leaves the quality of sound uncertain. His performance of these difficult, creative, pioneering compositions is unassailable. Mr. Dichter wrote the cover booklet in 2011, and happily the English version is first. More discussion of the individual Rhapsodies by this master would help distinguish favorites beyond the famous Second, and would enlighten the listener and student. A very interesting comment reminds us that the Rhapsodies, while perhaps considered Liszt’s least valuable work, have become the most popular in our day.

The ordinary piano student avoids Liszt because of the enormous intervals requiring large hands, and for the complexity and difficulty of the pieces. When a student is ready for the intricacies of Liszt’s artistry, the Rhapsodies await. As celebrations of the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth abound in 2011, this collection of the Nineteen Liszt Rhapsodies remains on center stage.

Submitted on 10/19/11 by howsweetthesound 
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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Hungarian Rhapsodies (19) for Piano, S 244
  • Performer: Misha Dichter (Piano)
  • Notes: La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (05/1977); La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (11/1985); La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (12/1980)
  • Running Time: 137 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1846-1885