Sunday, February 13, 2011

Franz Liszt - Symphonies - Solti, Lopez-Cobos







On this disk are three separate orchestras under various conductors, all of famous symphonic works by Franz Liszt. The Faust Symphony from 1986, the symphonic poems from 1978 (analogue), and the Dante Symphony from 1982.
Liszt's Faust Symphony is really three character studies, from Goethe's drama of the same name, rather than a traditional symphony. The Symphony, like Les Preludes, has a lot of inventive and memorable melodies. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti give a clean performance with few to no loose ends. First class performance. The two symphonic poems Les Preludes and Prometheus have not had such impassioned performances such as this one of the London Philharmonic under Sir Georg Solti. The famous Les Preludes has such great motives of many moods: passion, pastoral, triumphant; and all so inventive. Solti perhaps takes the maestoso a bit too "Maestoso", but exhilarating nonetheless. Prometheus, lesser known, is also very fiery, with occasional instrumental recitatives of lyricism. The playing is excellent all around, and the music is captivating. Liszt's Dante Symphony, based on Dante's Divine Comedy, is played here under Jesus Lopez Cobos with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande. In two movements (Inferno and Purgatorio), this is a work not nearly as popular or as fleshed out as the other works on this disk. Certainly not as thematic, but instead, Liszt creates musical depictions of the places described. The Inferno begins just that way, with wild playing by Cobos, and eventually descends into lyricism. Purgatorio begins off-kilter and unresolved with solos for harp, while the middle section is chorale-like. It ends with a view of heaven with the heavenly chorus singing a portion of the Magnificat. The forward looking harmonies make a dramatic and interesting depiction of heaven. Included is Liszt's alternate loud ending as well. Three separate fiery performances of 4 Liszt symphonic works is hard to beat. Even with the Dante Symphony not attaining the highest of heights, this disk is an excellent choice.


flac, cover


  1. I've been listening to Les Preludes: Is there a recording error at 2:30?

    Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing this!

  2. I hope not. But files can get corrupted during download. Use the repair tool in Winrar please.

  3. Or maybe a performance error? Because then I listened to other versions and when the main motif (with trumpets) starts it sounds different.

    Sorry for my English and my lack of proper musical vocabulary.




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