Aimard Juxtaposes a Selection of Liszt’s Works with Compositions by Liszt’s Contemporaries and Successors, Available October 4, 2011
French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard honors Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday (October 22, 1811) with his most ambitious recording for Deutsche Grammophon to date, The Liszt Project. Over the course of more than two hours of music Aimard compares and contrasts works for solo piano by Liszt with a thought-provoking selection of works by Wagner, Berg, Scriabin, Bartók, Stroppa, Ravel and Messiaen. This is Aimard’s fourth solo album for Deutsche Grammophon and follows his highly acclaimed recordings of Bach, Messiaen and Ravel. This 2-CD set will be available October 4, 2011.
2011 has and will continue to see many recordings and concerts that celebrate the 200th birthday of pianist, composer and conductor Franz Liszt. Pierre-Laurent Aimard honors Liszt in a distinctly personal fashion: the juxtaposition of Liszt with works by a wide-range of other composers. The first disc takes its inspiration from Liszt’s monumental Piano Sonata in B minor. For comparison Aimard includes other single-movement sonatas by Berg, Wagner (Piano Sonata in A flat major – for the album of Frau Mathilde Wesendonck) and Scriabin (his startling Black Mass sonata). The other Liszt works included are a selection of late piano pieces, many as harmonically daring as the other composers’ works.
The album pays homage not only to Liszt as a composer but also to him as a performer: Liszt is credited with being among the first performers to present recitals in the modern sense of the word and Aimard carries on the tradition. The second disc of the set is a true recital in that it does not just bring together a number of works but rather devises a larger musical essay based on a theme.