New Releases, Catalog Gems and Interactive Websites Provide Multiple Platforms to Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Franz Liszt
Anniversaries have always been a useful time to assess and celebrate an artist’s life and output. 2011 features many important anniversaries including on October 22nd the 200th anniversary of the birth of pianist, composer, teacher and conductor Franz Liszt. Well-known for both his virtuoso playing and prolific compositional output, Liszt was a man of many talents who drew on many sources of inspiration and in turn inspired legions of later musicians and composers. Deutsche Grammophon and Decca have a long history of recording the works of Liszt and with a number of new and catalog titles will celebrate the multifaceted life of this singularly great man.
Decca started the celebration in May with an all-new recital of selected works for solo piano by Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire. Including works both familiar and rare, Freire brings his customary elegance to the Consolations, Hungarian Rhapsody no. 3, Ballade no. 2 in b minor and much more. “…What he [Freire] does is so beautiful, he seems the return of some great master, someone like Josef Hoffman, in how he combines an exquisite touch – every note is a drop of gold – with great discipline and muscular solidity.” – Boston Sunday Globe
This past June Deutsche Grammophon & Decca combined resources to release Liszt: The Collection. This 34-CD box set, while not a complete collection given the vast size of Liszt’s output is a remarkably broad selection of the composer’s works. The box is divided into sections devoted to Works for Piano and Orchestra; Orchestral Works; Solo Piano Works; Organ Works; Lieder; and Sacred Choral Works. Mixed throughout are rarities (especially among the Sacred Choral Works) which only a Deutsche Grammophon & Decca box set could offer.