Born in 1811 at Raiding in Hungary, Liszt moved as a child to Vienna, where he took piano lessons from Czerny and composition lessons from Salieri. In 1823, he moved with his family to Paris, from where he toured as a pianist. Influenced by the phenomenal violinist Paganini, he turned his attention to the development of a similar technique for the keyboard. In his day, he had no equal as a pianist.
Liszt not only wrote a great deal of original music for the piano; he also made many transcriptions of the work of other composers, and wrote pieces based on national themes. The Naxos cycle of Liszt's complete piano music now reaches Vol. 40. It features the exciting transcriptions Liszt made of scenes and arias by Giacomo Meyerbeer, the most successful opera composer in Paris during Liszt's time in the city. These works quickly took on an independent life as virtuoso piano pieces in their own right.
Follow this link for the complete Liszt Piano Music catalogue.
Whilst residing in Paris, Franz Liszt moved in the highest echelons of artistic and cultural life and claimed many notable friendships. One such was with Giacomo Meyerbeer, the leading exponent of French grand opera, and a figure of huge distinction. It was to Meyerbeer’s operas that Liszt turned in pursuit of a source of piano transcriptions, crafting some exemplary and very popular works. Les patineurs from Illustrations du Prophète, with its spectacular glissandi, has become a virtuoso recital piece, whilst Réminiscences duRobert le diable won immediate acclaim for Liszt at a recital he gave in Paris in 1841.
Listen to an extract from Les patineurs
Listen to Raymond Bisha's podcast about this month's latest release in the Liszt Complete Piano Music cycle
About the Artist
A Steinway artist, Sergio Gallo specialises in the repertoire of the Romantic period, especially Liszt and his contemporaries, including Schumann, Henselt, Brahms and Chopin. He has also championed the work of composers in Brazil, the nation of his birth. Gallo has performed with orchestras throughout the Americas and worldwide. Since his Brazilian national radio début in 1986 (Radio Cultura, São Paulo) and his European radio début in 1988 (Radio France, Paris), his performances have been regularly played on classical music radio channels around the world.
“Arnaldo Cohen is a poetically and imaginatively intrepid as he is technically coruscating, and all these performances offer refinement and ferocity in equal proportion...they have been excellently recorded.” – Gramophone
“Konstantin Scherbakov is a lifelong Beethovenian, and he brings all the needed qualities. His range of colour is huge, and his broad tempi allow him to suggest the spaciousness which is the essence of the exercise. His account of the Second Symphony is riveting, and he makes impressive sense of the much more daunting Fifth.” – Classic CD
“Naxos enter the winner’s enclosure yet again with this assured piano recital of highly attractive repertoire from Liszt. An eminently enjoyable disc that demands to be heard.” – MusicWeb International
“In the Seven Variations on a Theme of Rossini … the performance is so effervescent, so bubbling over with joy and wit, that at the end you almost feel like jumping out of your seat and applauding. It’s that good.” – Fanfare
“Russian pianist Dossin is a virtuoso of the first order who performs these pieces with clarity, good pacing, and musical sense… an impressive showcase of Russian literature, performed with technical virtuosity and great sensitivity.” – American Record Guide