From a Historic Piano Duel to a Finger-Blurring New Album

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What had been the origins of the album?

Lots of people appear to suppose, fairly naturally, that it happened due to the well-known Liszt and Thalberg duel. However no, although it does include work featured in that duel. For a very long time, I wished to do a disc of Liszt operatic transcriptions, and I additionally wished to discover Thalberg. However the extra I studied Thalberg and his transcriptions, the much less profitable they appeared to me. A number of his opera transcriptions aren’t held collectively effectively; these on the album [the “Mosè” and a fantasy on Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”] are his two successes by an excellent margin.

So I caught to what I knew of Liszt; I did “Hexaméron” on the 92nd Avenue Y in 2007, and [Bellini’s] “Norma” and [Verdi’s] “Ernani” I’ve been enjoying without end. He was extra profitable than Thalberg as an architect; he knew the right way to form works of this sort from starting to finish. There are just a few examples of Liszt rambling. I believed it greatest stylistically to stay to Italian opera, for homogeneity, or I might have added his association of the “Faust” waltz [originally written by Gounod], the “Liebestod” [Wagner] and, if I used to be very courageous, the “Tannhäuser” overture [Wagner again].

Is there nonetheless a prejudice towards what’s been perceived as Liszt’s empty-headed bombast?

Liszt has been pooh-poohed so much — for his overt virtuosity, I assume. I can’t consider a greater phrase, however virtuosity ought to be one thing very optimistic. Possibly he’s been criticized for his extreme writing. However I feel that anyone who hurls that criticism at Liszt ought to do this at Paganini, too, don’t you suppose? However virtuosity has all the time been thought-about half and parcel of violin enjoying and never of the piano — regardless that Liszt was the larger musician. If you happen to take the time to essentially take a look at Liszt’s writing and his accomplishments, he virtually gave us the symphonic poem. He’s on the root of the harmonic explosions of the twentieth century; Liszt and Wagner actually began all of it.

However Liszt has been polarizing. I’ve copies of the previous Urania data that my dad had of the symphonic poems, the “Dante” and “Faust” symphonies, and he used to simply put on these out. He was slightly militant about Liszt. However then I’ve a buddy who was a live performance presenter in Montreal who actually, actually didn’t like Liszt; he thought all of it was a circus. Besides yearly he placed on a efficiency of the “Via Crucis.” He beloved late Liszt; it was stripped of the surplus, stripped to its necessities.

The unavoidable query: How are you doing on this loopy time?

Like all of my colleagues, or most, there’s been a colossal lack of earnings. My spouse and I needed to have recourse to loans, which have saved us afloat. Fortunately, there are some concert events on the horizon. If I’m admitted on the border, I’ve the primary two and a half weeks of October enjoying in Europe. That’s actually encouraging.

And I do have a recital on Sept. 25 close to Montreal, with an viewers. It’s the Lanaudière Festival; they made up a mini competition with 5 occasions, and I’m certainly one of them. It’s in a city referred to as Joliette, and the live performance was relocated to the cathedral. I’m together with two items by Enescu, a chorale and a “carillon nocturne,” which could be very attention-grabbing, particularly contemplating it was written by somebody who shouldn’t be identified for his pianistic manufacturing. It’s nothing however harmonics results, and in a church, it’ll be good.

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