Musica & Dintorni

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Among the great composers of the 19 century, Franz Liszt (Doborjan 1811 - Bayreuth 1886), and his immense sphere of artistic output, is certainly the least known.Of course his Second Hungarian Rhapsody and Dream of Love are very well known, but very few of his other compositions have reached popularity or have been as frequently performed as those of Chopin, Shubert, or Brahms.
There are many reasons for this gap berween the composer and the general public; however, the most important one is; the great difficulty in performing his piano compositions. And as a great deal of his music was written for this instrument, there are, therefore, few pianists who are able to overcome these extreme difficulties and so present only rare occasions for listening to his music. This has led to a serious absence of his music in concert halls.It is, therefore, with great interest that one listens to a pianist and virtuoso like Jolanda Sarti, who has demonstrated with this recording to possess all the qualities which classify her among the few pianists able to adequately penetrate the complex Liszterian harmonic structure and to express not only the acrobatic virtuosity of his movements, but the intense hidden poetry.The programme that has been chosen is very intense and challenging. The
Transcendental Studies, from which the Prelude is taken (Opus n. 10 in A minor), and Evening Harmonies are (apart from the nervous and explosive, but aphoristic prelude) compositions of ample bredth permeated with that harmonic sumptuousness and pompous phasing that greatly influenced Wagner and Richard Strauss.At this point it seems that the piano alone completely embodies all the power and tones of an entire symphonic orchestra, with specific imitative echoes (the beginning of "Distant Bells" from Evening Harmonies) and with very intensive explosions of sound and musical chords that at times go beyond the natural limit of five fingers, requiring the pianist to play more than one key with the same finger. It is perhaps in these complex and very difficult pieces, very similar to the symphonic poetical form, that Mrs. Sarti reveals her greatest talent.Exuberant temperament, technically well-prepared, and great expositive lucidity are the qualities that allow her to master even "Funérailles" (taken from Harmonies Poetique et Religieuses). In this piece, as well, Liszt imitates specific orchestral sounds: such as trumpets and horns, etc, which clearly underline the symphonic role played by his pianoforte.The long, dramatic octave pedal, very much like that in Chopin's celebrated Polonaise in A-flat major, builds into incumbent, tremendous explosions with both hands, and once again finds a prompt and adequate response by the Interpreter of this recording.In Petrarca's Sonnets, composed both as a lieder and piano composition, Liszt makes the instrument perform another unexpected transformation. If the piano had previously assumed the tones and sonority of an orchestra, it is now as melodious, inspiring, and touching as a true operatic voice. There is always a strong theatrical component in Liszt - adequately perceived and performed with ample and inspired musical phrasing by this Pianist from Modena.

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