sviatoslav richter plays liszt’s transcendental études

A selection of my favourites from Liszt’s Transcendental  series, recorded in Prague on June 10, 1956 and broadcast on Czech Radio.

Tracklisting with times:
00:00 – Étude No. 1 (Preludio)
00:58 – Étude No. 2 (untitled – Molto vivace)
02:52 – Étude No. 3 (Paysage)
08:29 – Étude No. 5 (Feux Follets)
12:03 – Étude No. 11 (Harmonies du Soir)

Heartbreaker Franz Liszt circa 1860 (Franz Hanfstaengl/Wikimedia)

Heartbreaker Franz Liszt circa 1860 (Franz Hanfstaengl/Wikimedia)

“On a snowy day in Berlin, two days after Christmas 1841, Franz Liszt strode out onto the stage at the Berliner Singakademie concert hall. He sat at his grand piano in profile, beads of sweat forming on his forehead. He was 30 years old, at the height of his ability, and he was about to unleash a mania—a mania not in the sense of “Beatlemania”, or any of the other relatively mild musical obsessions, but a mania viewed as a truly contagious, dangerous medical condition that would affect women in Germany, Italy, France, Austria, and elsewhere.

“Using his whole body—his undulating eyebrows, his wild arms, even his swaying hips—Liszt dove into Händel’s “Fugue in E minor” with vigor and unfettered confidence, keeping perfect tempo and playing entirely from memory. It was the start of the phenomenon later called “Lisztomania,” and the women in the audience went mad.”

Read THIS ARTICLE on the romantic power of music like Liszt’s…