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Liszt : Intégrale des Poèmes symphoniques - Vol. 2
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Les poèmes symphoniques sont des oeuvres de formes libres, d'inspiration généralement littéraire, et ancrées dans un univers romantique. Quantitativement, ils constituent le legs le plus important de Liszt dans le domaine symphonique. Des premiers opus de 1849 aux ultimes partitions de 1882, le compositeur a donné libre cours à son imagination, et fait figure de véritable créateur du genre. Cette intégrale dirigée par Bernard Haitink est demeurée la plus cohérente de toutes les interprétations enregistrées jusqu'à ce jour. --Lina Patch
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This first CD offers us the Poems number 8, 9 and 10, each running over for a significant timing, but they generally failed to hold my attention that much. "Heroide funebre" is a 27:02 work with essentially two sections to it. The lead off idea is expressed in minor keys of great, loud and noisy music, even bombastic, if you will. At about the 09:17 or o mark, the key abruptly changes to the major, letting in a flood of light and Hope that brightens the whole picture quite a bit. But, trouble is this work, and several others is that there really isn't much in the way of solid thematic material and thus the momentum never really becomes established. As Liszt had been criticized in his own day for banging on the piano. But, enough of this one and on to the second track, which holds the Poem #9, "Hungaria," running for 23:09 and it fares better in the hands of the great Maestro Haitink
"'Hungaria" presents it's main theme, a march , that will take on bigger dimensions later, at about the 01:17 to 02:47 point before a transition takes over for a while. Around 06;20 or so, a solo violin enters to snag center stage and plays a dark, brooding melody, exhibiting the passion that inflames the heart s f the Hungarians, presumably. Within the 9-10 minute area, the big main theme receives a massive brass weighted fanfare in it's honor and then swings right into the main theme again, but now in the form of a festive and triumphant victory march, complete with these little standing cymbal splashes I like so much. There is a fair amount of Les Preludes in "Hungaria," which helps the later quite a bit. But, happily for us, the tedium and boredom finally comes to an end, and after a second go around with all that brass and percussion pounding away in our heads, we come to the close of "Hungaria." thank God! If you like loud, in your face action, then the first two poems are for you, but I suspect most of us would quickly grow tired and turn elsewhere. Liszt didn't write masterpieces every time he sat down to compose.
CD #2 contains the "Hunnenschlacht," plus the poems "Die Ideale," "From the Cradle to the Grave," and the "Mephisto Waltz #1" Overall, this 2nd disc fared better to me than the #1 did. As for timings, "Hunnenschlacht = 14:53, "Die Ideale," = 26:49, "From the Cradle......."= 13:42 and the Waltz runs for a n 11:00 flat. these works on disc #2 were recorded I think in the early 1970's as were the ones on CD #1, although the information is not clear.
Perhaps my favorite of all the poems of Liszt is this 1857 work, "Hunnenschlacht," The Battle of the Huns." It was inspired by a Mural of Wilhelm von Kaulbach in a Berlin gallery depicting the battle between Attila the Hun's forces and those of the Roman Catholic Emperor Theodoric in 451. Truth is, Theodoric wasn't yet born and the hoards were repelled by Pope Leo I, the "Great," saving Rome from destruction in 452. But, the composer took freedoms from his so-called poetic license and "embellished the tale, just a tad. L.O.L. In any event it worked as the orchestra plays out a mighty battle , with charges, retreats and, of course, holy chorales pleading Heaven's intercession on behalf of the "good guys," which was, as we can hear, successful. The finale consists of the triumphant organ blazing out the chorale conclusion, which Haitink and his LPO bring off majestically in the closing seconds. The unidentified recording venue has a fine big throaty pipe organ that dominates the climax nicely.
"Die Ideale," runs a rambling 26:49 and is a multifaceted composition in a few segments, and dating from the same year of 1857 and presented in Weimar along side the composer's "Faust Symphony". Liszt temporarily sets aside the brass and percussion for a lyrical and string based long treatment rendering to the listener, tenderness, melody and a gentler and calmer canvas. it works well, as the LPO gets to show off it's superb string choir for an extended set of passages. The music is more "pastoral, "than anything else, and is generally restive, dreamy and smooth, a welcomed event to say the least.
Well, I've just about had all I can take from this 2 CD pack of Liszt. I find these works uninteresting, droll, bombastic, heavily overwrought with grandstanding and, despite the splendid conducting and playing by the artists involved , I see little hope for salvaging any real benefit from listening any further. I will order the Volume I, and hope fr better things from it, but I cannot and will not recommend these selections to you. Buy them if you wish but don't blame me for any disappointments you my experience. Good luck, best wishes and God bless all, Tony. BARELY A 2.5 Star rating----Sorry.
As I stated in my review of the first set, these are difficult to understand completely because of the general literary and cultural illiteracy that plagues America, particularly the youth. All the poems have a literary inspiration - Hamlet, Orpheus, Faust, the "Hero" of German Literature. Listening to these without knowing the story or person behind it is like eating wonderful without knowing what it is.
Son muy pocas palabras para describir 6 poemas sinfonicos, La batalla de los hunos es soberbia, Heroide funebre y Hungaria y lo mas expresivo de la tradicion hungara, Die ideale, hamlet y de la cuna a la tumba son sencillamente sorprendentes, Haitink ademas grabo y se incluye en este CD el vals mefisto N°1, asi se convierte en una coleccion imperdible.
Un CD doble, precio economico, la mejor calidad, la mejor interpretación una seleccion no disponible en otro lado, imperdible.