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Penguin Guide, 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.

Norbert Tischer
Pizzicato, January 2002

"Andreas Rothkopf plays all these pieces with a good sense of their architecture and their tonal possibilities, supported in this by the 1894 Wilhelm Sauer organ, which is perfectly suited to Liszt's works."

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, September 2001

"[The Organ's] majestic tones do full justice to the music here, and Naxos provides fine sound in an acoustical environment not always favorable to clarity."

Adrian Jack
BBC Music Magazine, August 2001

"Budget-priced Naxos can afford to be more comprehensive and spread Liszt's organ music over two discs, and indeed, it's good to have St. Francis preaching to the birds, which works so well on the instrument, as well as the three Consolations, originally for piano...If you want the B-A-C-H Prelude and Fugue, the Evocation and Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, Naxos will do nicely."

Benjamin Epstien

This CD represents Naxos' promising attempt to embark on another anthology devoted to organ music, this time the organ works of Franz Liszt. Vol. 1 of this series is a balanced program of the composer's lesser and better known works... Prof. Rothkopf well demonstrates his skill as both a pianist and organist (the latter evidenced by numerous prizes and study with Marie-Claire Alain). The hallmark of his performance is "playing out the space" while bringing out the orchestral colors, dynamics, and tempos that make this an enduring piece...The program ends with another Liszt warhorse, the variations on Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen. Again, this is a work for piano that Liszt later arranged for organ (1863) - and again, Prof. Rothkopf does not disappoint. Especially worth mention is the 98-stop Wilhelm Sauer instrument played here...[this organ is] a masterpiece that is truly representative of Sauer and especially suited for Liszt...a wonderful acoustic setting."

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