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Liszt at the Opera / Louis Lortie, piano

Notes & Reviews:

The exclusive Chandos artist and award-winning pianist, Louis Lortie continues his critically acclaimed exploration of piano works by Liszt, turning to opera transcriptions, paraphrases and fantasies that with their technical innovation revolutionized composition for the piano.

Financial Times, 19th October 2013
A dollop of old-fashioned showmanship is required to make these concoctions as alluring as the originals and Louis Lortie has it in spades.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2013
Lortie's technique is not in question...But this music requires more than dedicated technique. When Liszt is in glitter mode...Lortie's sparkling and swarthy playing is impressively glamorous. The problems come when a greater breadth and nobility is required...But then, Wagner's Liebestod is conveyed with an intensity missing elsewhere.

The Guardian, 21st November 2013
As so often with Lortie, virtuosity is never an end in itself and he is often at his most subtly expressive when Liszt is at his most introverted and restrained. Had Liszt attempted a transcription of the Tristan Prelude, it would have been more ornate than Lortie's, but the latter is a beautiful piece of writing, played with intense sensuality.

New York Times, 15th January 2014
Some of the most dazzling and complex piano works of the 19th century. Louis Lortie, a fantastic Lisztian, performs them with confidence and clarity.

American Record Guide, March/April 2014
Jorge Bolet, Leslie Howard, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet come to mind first, along with the tons of performers whose programs include at least of few of these transcriptions. Lortie does a program of perhaps the best known from Wagner, Mozart, Gounod, and Verdi. Chandos also offers its usual plush sound, literate notes and, as an added bonus, a cover reproduction of the 1886 caricature from La Vie Parisienne of Liszt at the piano. Since Liszt never made a transcription of the Tristan Prelude, Lortie has supplied his own. What he has done with it is most effective. Liszt's Liebestod transcription is beautifully done.



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