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The Liszt Project: Bartok, Berg, Messiaen, Ravel, et al. / Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano

Audio Samples

>Liszt, Franz : La Lugubre gondola I, for piano (in 6/8), S. 200/1 (LW A319a)
>Wagner, Richard : Sonata for Piano in A flat major (for M. Wesendonck), WWV 85
>Liszt, Franz : Nuages gris (Grey clouds)
>Berg, Alban : Sonata for Piano, Op. 1
>Liszt, Franz : Unstern (Evil star)
>Scriabin, Alexander : Sonata for Piano no 9 in F major, Op. 68 "Black Mass"
>Liszt, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178
>Liszt, Franz : Aux cypres de la Villa d'Este I, threnody for piano (Annes III/2), S. 163/2 (LW A283/2)
>Bartók, Béla : 4 Dirges, BB 58, Sz. 45 (Op.9a)
>     4. Nénie
>Liszt, Franz : Legendes (2) for Piano, S 175
>     1. Saint François d'Assise
>Stroppa, Marco : Miniture estrose
>     Tangata manu
>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage no 3, S 163
>Ravel, Maurice : Jeux d'eau
>Messiaen, Olivier : Catalogue d'oiseaux
>     Le Traquet stapazin
>Liszt, Franz : Annees de pelerinage, premiere annee, S 160 "Suisse"

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : La Lugubre gondola I, for piano (in 6/8), S. 200/1 (LW A319a)
>Wagner, Richard : Sonata for Piano in A flat major (for M. Wesendonck), WWV 85
>Liszt, Franz : Nuages gris (Grey clouds)
>Berg, Alban : Sonata for Piano, Op. 1
>Liszt, Franz : Unstern (Evil star)
>Scriabin, Alexander : Sonata for Piano no 9 in F major, Op. 68 "Black Mass"
>Liszt, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178
>Liszt, Franz : Aux cypres de la Villa d'Este I, threnody for piano (Annes III/2), S. 163/2 (LW A283/2)
>Bartók, Béla : 4 Dirges, BB 58, Sz. 45 (Op.9a)
>Liszt, Franz : Legendes (2) for Piano, S 175
>Stroppa, Marco : Miniture estrose
>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage no 3, S 163
>Ravel, Maurice : Jeux d'eau
>Messiaen, Olivier : Catalogue d'oiseaux
>Liszt, Franz : Annees de pelerinage, premiere annee, S 160 "Suisse"
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Pierre-Laurent Aimard honours Franz Liszt's 200th birthday (October 22, 1811) with his most ambitious recording for Deutsche Grammophon to date. In this extensive 2-CD set, Aimard juxtaposes a selection of Liszt's works with compositions by Liszt's contemporaries and successors who were inspired by the Hungarian composer. Recorded live in Vienna's Konzerthaus over two evenings, Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Liszt project is a pinnacle of the Liszt Year commemorations.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard honours Franz Liszt's 200th birthday (October 22, 1811) with his most ambitious recording for Deutsche Grammophon to date. In this extensive 2-CD set, Aimard juxtaposes a selection of Liszt's works with compositions by Liszt's contemporaries and successors who were inspired by the Hungarian composer. Recorded live in Vienna's Konzerthaus over two evenings, Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Liszt project is a pinnacle of the Liszt Year commemorations.

"The brilliant French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard has an ingenious knack for juxtaposing old and new works to tease out fascinating resonances. “The Liszt Project” pays homage to Liszt in his bicentennial year by alternating his works, including rarities, with scores by Wagner, Berg, Scriabin, Ravel, Bartok, Messiaen and Marco Stroppa." -The New York Times

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
In Franz Liszt's bicentennial year, numerous recordings and reissues of his music have appeared as a matter of course, but perhaps none is as unique, intriguing, and instructive as Pierre-Laurent Aimard's 2011 album, The Liszt Project, which presents pieces by the Hungarian master with compositions by other composers that bear his influence. Such works as Liszt's widely emulated Sonata in B minor and some of his highly chromatic, tonally unstable pieces can be shown to have exerted a powerful effect on Richard Wagner, Alban Berg, and Alexander Scriabin, particularly in their piano sonatas. Furthermore, some of the more picturesque and evocative keyboard pieces have shaped the musical ideas and techniques of such modernists as Béla Bartók, Maurice Ravel, and Olivier Messiaen. Divided between two CDs, the program's organization makes clear the points of comparison between Liszt's pieces and those of others, and any attentive and imaginative listener can make the connections quite easily, if not through any theoretical knowledge then at least through recognition of similar harmonies and sonorities. Liszt is often cited as a catalyst in his time, having persuaded many of his colleagues and followers to adopt his innovative methods. But Aimard shows how far-reaching his personality truly was, a force composers reckoned with well into the 20th century. Deutsche Grammophon's reproduction is clean and resonant, and the piano's various tone colors are remarkably well-captured. N.B.: the back cover gives a misleading order of the pieces found on the CDs, but the correct track listing is given in the accompanying booklet.

Financial Times
Aimard has long established himself as the thinking person's pianist. His Liszt Project juxtaposes a selection of Liszt's works with compositions by contemporaries and successors who were inspired by him... It's a strong idea, sustained by the Frenchman's fastidious pianism, but it comes across more as a lecture-recital than a satisfying listening experience.

Gramophone Magazine
In the main, the later the Liszt the more impressive Aimard is... he is ideally persuasive that no composer stayed younger in his desire to make something new... Aimard's reading of the B minor Sonata is distinguished - intellectually satisfying, as it should be, as the most intelligent and far-reaching of all post-Beethoven sonatas on a large scale.

Classic FM Magazine
Aimard is a supremely intellectual pianist and his intense, rigorously thought-out playing illuminates the two programmes... Aimard's approach is purposefully cool in order to highlight the structural elements of the piece and while there's some exquisite hushed playing, the thunderous climaxes don't build with quite enough abandon.

BBC Music Magazine
This impressive double album is surely one of the most intelligent recorded contributions to the Liszt Bicentenary of 2011... Nothing in Aimard's performances is done for mere effect: throughout, he projects Liszt with a solidity and refinement of invention. A superb achievement.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna (05/2011).



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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : La Lugubre gondola I, for piano (in 6/8), S. 200/1 (LW A319a)
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1884.
  • Running Time: 5 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1884

>Wagner, Richard : Sonata for Piano in A flat major (for M. Wesendonck), WWV 85
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 06/1853

>Liszt, Franz : Nuages gris (Grey clouds)
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1881

>Berg, Alban : Sonata for Piano, Op. 1
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1907-1908

>Liszt, Franz : Unstern (Evil star)
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1886.
  • Running Time: 6 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1886

>Scriabin, Alexander : Sonata for Piano no 9 in F major, Op. 68 "Black Mass"
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1912-1913

>Liszt, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1851-1853

>Liszt, Franz : Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este I, threnody for piano (Annés III/2), S. 163/2 (LW A283/2)
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1877

>Béla Bartók (Composer) (1881 - 1945) : 4 Dirges, BB 58, Sz. 45 (Op.9a) :: 4. Nénie
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1908-1911

>Liszt, Franz : Légendes (2) for Piano, S 175 :: 1. Saint François d'Assise
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1863

>Stroppa, Marco : Miniture estrose :: Tangata manu
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage no 3, S 163
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1877

>Ravel, Maurice : Jeux d'eau
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1901

>Messiaen, Olivier : Catalogue d'oiseaux :: Le Traquet stapazin
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1956-1958

>Liszt, Franz : Années de pèlerinage, première année, S 160 "Suisse"
  • Performer: Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Piano)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1848-1855