Lugansky - Liszt Piano Works (24/88 FLAC)
Lugansky – Liszt Piano Works (24/88 FLAC)

Composer: Franz Liszt
Performer: Nikolai Lugansky
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Naïve
Release: 2011
Size: 868 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Étude n°12 in B flat minor from Douze études d’exécution transcendante, S. 139
01. Chasse-neige

from Douze études d’exécution transcendante, S. 139
02. Etude n°10 in F minor

Étude n°3 in G sharp minor from Grandes études de Paganini, S. 141
03. La Campanella

from Les Années de pèlerinage, première année : Suisse S. 160
04. Vallé d’Obermann

from Les Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année : Italie, S. 161
05. Sposalizio

from Les Années de pèlerinage, troisième année, S. 163
06. Les jeux d’eau de la Villa d’Este

from Les Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année : Italie, S. 161
07. Sonnet de Pétarque 123

08. Isoldes liebestode (Wagner) S. 447

Étude n°5 in B flat from Douze études d’exécution transcendante, S. 139
09. Feux follets

10. Valse oubliée n°1 S. 215

Recorded: June 2011 at Potton Hall, UK

The great Russian virtuoso Nikolai Lugansky presents his recording to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt (1811-1886) – an album of popular piano pieces including La Campanella, Valse oubliée, his version of Isolde’s Liebestod by Wagner, some of the Douze études d’exécution transcendante, and several gems from Années de pèlerinage, among them Vallée d’Obermann, Sposalizio, Les jeux d’eau de la Villa d’Este and Sonnet de Pétrarque 123.
An acclaimed recording artist, Nikolai Lugansky has recently signed an exclusive contract with the Naïve-Ambroisie label. The Moscow-born pianist put together this disc, his first devoted entirely to Liszt’s music, with a seriousness, freedom and concern for overall unity worthy of the composer himself. His last release – an all-Chopin recital for Onyx – was described by The Guardian as “unquestionably thrilling”, and his recording with violinist Repin of Sonatas by Franck, Grieg and Janáček (Deutsche Grammophon, October 2010) was hailed by Gramophone as “a quite magnificent performance”. It also won the Prize for best Chamber Music recording at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2011. Nikolai Lugansky won the Diapason d’Or for his recordings of the complete Chopin Études and Preludes, and the Rachmaninov Preludes and Moments musicaux, as well as an Echo Klassik Deutscher Musikpreis for his 2005 recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 3. Capable of great refinement and sensitivity in Mozart and Schumann, and breathtaking virtuosity in Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, Lugansky is a pianist of extraordinary depth and versatility. Recent and upcoming engagements include concerto projects with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Andris Nelsons, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko, Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and NHK Symphony Orchestra all with Charles Dutoit; recitals at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Moscow State Conservatory, London’s Wigmore Hall, Prague’s Rudolfinum and the Wiener Konzerthaus; and chamber music collaborations with Vadim Repin and Leonidas Kavakos.

Of the numerous Liszt albums issued to mark the composer’s bicentenary, this is among the most striking. Nikolai Lugansky is a fine – if occasionally cool – interpreter of his work, blending lyricism with panache and just the right sense of daring, so that you’re often conscious of huge technical challenges braved, then overcome. The programme is essentially a selection from the Etudes d’Exécution Transcendente and the three books of Années de Pèlerinage, with the late Valse Oubliée and the transcription of the Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde thrown in. Some of it is wonderfully restrained, particularly the performance of Chasse-neige with which the disc opens, where the sheer beauty of Lugansky’s playing belies the work’s difficulty. Just occasionally – in the Liebestod, and in Petrarch Sonnet 123 – you wish he’d let rip a bit more. But there’s a performance of Vallée d’Obermann that is overwhelming in its cumulative power, and an account of Feux Follets that is awesome in its technical dexterity. A flawed disc, though the best of it is an absolute knockout.

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