The program of Marcello Mazzoni’s interesting Live contains an extremely significant cross section of Liszt’s immense piano production.

Some of the latest piano works were taken from a Recital held in Nancy in August 2019, together with the previous Totentanz.

The “last Liszt”, that of the final decade of his long existence, has been the object of study and research for some years now, but he is not always understood and performed comme il faut. Even often considered as “minor” 

Instead it is a special music, pure virtuosity (in the noble and comprehensive sense of the term), it is not different from the production of some previous decades. The difference is that what in the past was -also, but not only- finger virtuosity and sometimes effects research, is now harmonic and timbral virtuosity. But the achievement of the emotional tension and the mental and spiritual involvement between the performer and audience remain the same, even more demanding.

The Late piano works also explore unknown sound levels, in the less beaten registers of the keyboard, almost on the edge of infrasound and ultrasound, as if one wanted to go “beyond” the 88 keys, but especially they investigate harmonic paths at that time not fully known and presaging shocking news.

Our ear today, is evolved thanks to listening the musical literature of the 1900s and the new millennium, from jazz and more various genres, as well as popular music from the whole world, with all the rhythmic, harmonic and melodic innovations included in it, perhaps we can’t imagine what an incredible shock it could have been, 140 years ago, to see the score and listening to the incipit of a piece like Nuages Gris and the augmented fourth (which is nothing more than a substitute for the tritone) assumed as a melodic cell.

Therefore, it is not “easy” music at all, which – in addition to the enjoyment of listening carefully – requires the participation of a real musician – and Mazzoni is, and in an extraordinary way – as a medium for such revolutionary innovations.

Moreover, it is no coincidence if, perhaps into the best manual: “A history of Western music” -the title is no coincidence, because written by an American musicologist, Donald Jay Grout, who has the ability to look at everything that happened in the Old Continent with the due separation of not being culturally part of it-, the choice of the cover image in the Italian version was precisely that who shows the final measures of Nuages ​​Gris; just to symbolize the keystone represented by this work.

That is, the more than worthy evolution of the Liszt “apostle of the tritone” (rather apostle of the devil) and more generally of the diminished seventh, a real must of the 19th century.

In this sense, the Totentanz and the First Concert (masterfully performed by Mazzoni, this latter in Modena in January 2020) are albeit previous works – but always in continuous updating, so that their creation took in both cases more than twenty years -, with a totally different pianism that usually represents the acrobatic Liszt best known to the public; they are fantastically tied like knots, the “pianostar” of the early part of his life, and the prophetic intellectual of the later years. The whole always revolving around absolute perfection in the interaction between form and substance, which is the Sonata, the true keystone of the Liszt catalog, as well as of all nineteenth-century musical literature. And of those that we can hear and detect repeatedly, on this CD, musical omens and harmonic descendants.

TRACKLIST

Piano Concerto No.1, S.124 | 21’04”
Orchestra Filarmónica di Brasov
Aldo Sisillo, direttore – Marcello Mazzoni, pianoforte
Reggio Emilia, Teatro “Cavallerizza”
Festival dei Pianasti Italiani, Gennaio 2020

La lugubre gondola S.200/1 | 04’34”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

Resigenazione S.187 | 01’47”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

Mephisto Waltz No.4 S.216b | 02’47”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

Trübe Wolken (Nuages Gris) S.199 | 02’41”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

In festo transfigurationis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, S.188 | 02’08”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

Totentanz (Paraphrase über Dies Irae, solo version ) S.525 | 15’19”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

Romance Oubliée S.132 | 04’46”
Nancy, Grands Salons de Hotel de Ville
Nancyphonies, Agosto 2019

Luca Ciammarughi presenta:
il compositore Franz Liszt e il Concerto n.1 | 07’00”

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