- Bernard Haitink Collection
- Liszt Symphonic Poems - Bernard Haitink, London Philharmonic Orchestra
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Liszt is all too often viewed disdainfully as a third-rate composer. I would suggest, however, that this appraisal is almost invariably solicited by the failings of the performance. Particularly true of his piano music, the cheap, spectacular, and virtuoso aspects are far too disproportionately weighted against the astonishing wealth of his harmonies, his structural innovations, plus his melodic richness. He was not only one of the great and - by far! - one of the most original composers of the 19th Cent., but also one of the most important, especially as viewed from an historical perspective. Along with Wagner, music would not be where it is today had Liszt never lived; so much so, that Wagner himself openly admitted he knew nothing about harmony until he met Liszt. It takes a first-rate musician to reveal the greatness and originality in Liszt's music - to shade (without actually losing them completely) the virtuoso elements into the background, and treat this as real music! One only need listen to Cortot's recording of the Sonata, and compare this to most of the nibble-fingered, prize-winning young Russians, who - focused on their own glory - brush off this work whilst busily flaunting their musically-empty techniques. Unfortunately though, Liszt was not a great orchestrator, so he frequently asked other composers to orchestrate his works. For this reason, many of these Symphonic Poems have been left by conductors behind the back shed for much of the 20th Cent., due to these orchestral hurdles. But Haitink brushes these weaknesses aside with consummate aplomb. Indeed, his readings of these 4 Poems are extremely colourful, without ever tainting the inherent musical integrity therein, so thankfully we're not subjected to tawdry and vulgar stunts here. The performances are musically reverential, solid, and at all times convincing, while the orchestral sound is rich and sonorous, capturing an excellent sound stage. Many thanks HDTT!!
The CD versions of these pieces by Haitink have sometimes got lukewarm reviews from the critics. These HDTT versions have much improved sound and reveal Haitink at his best in his grasp of the architecture of the music and being able to bring out to good effect Liszt's scoring. The LPO play with aplomb. Warmly recommended.
I love Liszt’s symphonic music.
Title: Liszt Symphonic Poems - Les Préludes - Orpheus - Tasso
Artist(s): Bernard Haitink conducts The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Recording Info: Transferred from a 15ips 2-track tape
Released 1968 by Philips Records
1 Symphonic Poem No. 3 After Lamartine 14:57
2 Symphonic Poem No.4 10:55
Tasso, Lamento E Trionfo
3 Symphonic Poem No.2 After Byron 20:42
Total Time: 46:34