Album: Various Artists, The Liszt Legacy (Deutsche Grammophon)


Rather than featuring interpretations of Liszt pieces, this oddest of Liszt bicentennial tributes attempts to illustrate across 10CDs his influence not just as composer, but as instigator of a performance tradition of flamboyant virtuosity.

Alternatively, we could just regard it as an excuse for Deutsche Grammophon to issue on CD some long-unheard 1950s recordings by forgotten piano virtuosi such as Benno Moiseiwitsch, Egon Petri and Raymond Lewenthal. In general, Petri's muscular, dramatic readings of material like Bach's "Toccata & Fugue in D minor" contrast with Moiseiwitsch's more pictorial, illustrative approach to Schumann's "Carnaval" and "Kinderszenen" cycles, while Alicia De Larrocha's focus on her native Spanish repertoire of Granados and Turina helped establish it as a serious concern. Most impressive of all, Claudio Arrau's florid, involving delivery of Beethoven's "Appassionata" and "Moonlight" sonatas is virtually definitive.

Download This: Moonlight Sonata; Appassionata Sonata; Toccata & Fugue in D minor; Carnaval