Liner Note Translation
Engineer, Executive Producer, Recording Editor, Recording Producer
Liner Note Translation
Composer, Liner Notes
Piano, Primary Artist
Transcription, for Franz Liszt, was in equal measure a means of celebrating the genius of Beethoven and of meditating on his works. It was also a way of provoking a well-nigh titanic confrontation between the resources of the pianist and his instrument and the immense potential of the orchestra. Thus the power of the interpreter’s conception, his understanding of the essence of the work, become the crucial factor in Liszt’s approach and in the adventure offered to the listener.
For the third volume of his complete set of Liszt’s transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies, Yury Martynov has chosen a piano of 1867 made by Blüthner, whose instruments were much admired by Liszt. The fourth and fifth volumes in the series will be released in early 2015 and early 2016 respectively. Yury Martynov will also record a Prokofiev programme on a modern piano, which will be issued by Zig-Zag Territoires in the autumn of 2014.
If these transcriptions are a contest between Beethoven and Liszt, under Martynov’s fingers, Liszt is the winner. It isn’t that he emphasizes the music’s technical demands (although one hardly ceases to be aware of them in these muscular yet always lithe readings) but that his playing seems to stress the idea that a forward-looking Classical composer is being filtered through the sensibilities of a similarly forward-looking Romantic.
Martynov doesn’t sound like anyone else, and his lovely, bright-sounding Blüthner, nicely recorded by Zig-Zag in a church in Haarlem, in the Netherlands, contributes to making this a unique listening experience.
One is left thinking not about what a piano cannot do, compared to Beethoven’s orchestra, but about what an orchestra cannot do, compared to Liszt’s piano. That’s as it should be. Look out for this release, and for the two that will follow it. Very highly recommended.
The bottom line is that Martynov’s formidable keyboard command and strong musical personality draw you in and compel you to listen. I await this cycle’s remaining volumes with curiosity and anticipation.
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