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Franz Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, nos. 1-10 / Michael Korstick, piano

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses (10), for piano, S. 173 (LW A158)
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Franz Liszt's mystical piano cycle, Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses takes its title from a collection of poems by the French romanticist Alphonse de Lamartine and underwent an unusally long period of gestation, written over a period of two decades. Liszt's religious and abiding preoccupation with poetic themes in his creative works was in part fueled by his passion for the works of and friendship with de Lamartine. Given a splendid interpretation by pianist, Michael Korstick.

American Record Guide, May/June 2016
Korstick, like Osborne, strikes a middle ground, but in different ways. Always attentive to subtleties in the quieter music, but willing to let loose with full power when the music requires it, Korstick makes the work a monumental experience. This becomes evident when the 'Invocation' is played louder and with more dynamic sweep that any of his rivals.

The longest, best known piece, 'Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude', is molded into a vast luscious tone poem by the pianist. The other performers mentioned are good here as well, but Korstick is the juiciest, most succulent of all and wins my admiration for his unbridled emotionalism. Things are generally on a par for the next three movements, but with 'Funerailles' Korstick is unbeatable - particularly with the way the engineers have captured the deep bass of the central section. I still retain admiration for Rose and for Horowitz in this movement.

I have no hesitancy declaring Korstick now my favored performance of this complete work. While I would place Rose second, I remind readers that his set also includes both sets of the rarely performed Christmas Tree, along with the other pieces mentioned above. I must also give full praise for the sound of the Steinway D piano, and the awesome way the engineers have recorded it.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sendesaal des DeutschlandRadio Köln (07/16/2013-07/18/2013).



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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses (10), for piano, S. 173 (LW A158)
  • Performer: Michael Korstick (Piano)
  • Notes: Sendesaal des DeutschlandRadio Köln (07/16/2013-07/18/2013)
  • Running Time: 83 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1848-1853