The July 2011 releases from EMI Classics and Virgin Classics, drawn from their illustrious catalogues, offer an enormous variety of music suited for all tastes – perfect for hours of satisfying summer listening. Liszt – The Piano Collection, a beautifully packaged ten-CD set, celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of composer/virtuoso Franz Liszt, one of the greatest pianists of all time, and a composer whose works were, by turns, dazzlingly difficult, emotionally gripping, and transcendent.
Franz Liszt (1811-86) was one of the very greatest piano virtuosos of all time. He created works that not only required extreme dexterity but also demanded a strong sense of emotion and musicianship. Together with his sensational piano music, Liszt’s flowing hair and good looks caused audiences to adore and idolize him, but he was also an artist of questing spirituality and a forward-looking composer whose advanced harmonies opened a window through which many future composers would pass.
To honor Liszt’s 200th birthday and celebrate the ingenuity and diversity of his works, EMI Classics is pleased to release an exclusive ten-CD set uniting his major works for piano – such as the famous Sonata in B minor – with a number of less frequently heard pieces. The beautiful boxed set features world-class recordings from some of the most celebrated pianists of the past and present, including Leif Ove Andsnes, Aldo Ciccolini, Georges Cziffra, and Lionel Rogg. The collection includes selections from his Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), a set of three suites where Liszt’s complete musical style is evident, from virtuosic fireworks to transcendent spirituality.