, January 2009
LISZT: Organ Works, Vol. 1 8.554544
LISZT: Organ Works, Vol. 2 8.555079
The key Liszt works which were originally written for organ include the Prelude and Variations on ‘Weinen, Lagen, Sorgen, Zagen’, the Prelude and Fugue on the name ‘BACH’ and Fantasia and FUGUE ON ‘Ad nos salutarem, undam’. Andreas Rothkopf opens the first disc with the last-named piece, and gives a magnificent account: the delayed entry of the pedals is a thrilling moment and the climactic fugue no less exciting. The Prelude and Fugue on ‘BACH’ and the ‘Weinen, Klagen’ Variations are similarly spectacular and demand great virtuosity, which is fully forthcoming here. The other pieces are transcriptions, some made by the composer, some by others. But they all take full advantage of the rich palette of these two magnificent organs, from the dark-hued Trauerode, to the romantic Consolations. The Concertstück is in fact an arrangement of the most famous of these piano pieces (it was originally in D flat). The Evocation à la Chapelle Sistine is an elaborate fantasia on Allegri’s Miserere and Mozart’s Ave verum. But the most surprisingly effective transcription here is of the Legend of St Francis Preaching to the Birds, where the organ effects are more exotically descriptive than in the piano version, while the chorale sounds richly expansive on the organ. Throughout both CDs the performances are very fine indeed and the recording in the demonstration bracket. The back-up documentation, too, is excellent.