Interpretively speaking, this newly remastered 1994 recording of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes is one of the most rewarding in the catalog. …[Aquilles Delle Vigne’s] approach combines elements of Arrau’s tonal heft and rhetorical breadth and Cziffra’s more volatile, impetuous virtuosity. You hear this in the first etude: booming bass notes and rippling scales—Arrau; pounced upon, slightly accelerated chords—Cziffra. No. 2’s implied countermelodies in the left hand? Arrau. No. 2’s fiery broken chords between the hands? Cziffra.
However, it’s better not to oversimplify and pigeonhole my responses to Delle Vigne’s technically masterful and thoroughly internalized interpretations, but rather to describe what makes them distinct. Mazeppa fuses headlong intensity (the roller-coaster-like, frighteningly accurate octaves) and poetic purpose (the variety with which the arpeggiated chords are spaced and voiced). Note also the natural ebb and flow of Feux Follets’ rubato—and what a pleasure to hear Eroica’s opening measures meted out in tempo, with each disparate element so perfectly characterized. The untitled Tenth etude has tremendous sweep and shape, spiced with sharp accents on the appoggiaturas, while Chasse-neige’s central climax builds in long-lined arcs.
This is big, poetic, and thoroughly captivating Liszt playing. © 2013 ClassicsToday.com