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…

the match girl’s song of hope

It’s true
The heart beats lighter in a vacuum
I dreamed someday I’d burn, burn, burn
A flaming Me fanned by a You
That blue glow gutters, fades to grey
Ashen time ticks faintly on

Sex, a lonely bomb in my bag
Forgotten on the platform
My pulse racing
The last plane out of here

Please don’t leave yet
Gran, please hold on
I’m coming now
I’m coming
I’ll be there too,
Take it on with you
I’m coming now
I’m coming through

Cos one thing I’ve learned being burned is that
Love’s not about how we feel
It’s about how we deal with situations
When shit gets real
It’s way beyond desire
Real love works to heal
It doesn’t steal a kiss, delirious
Then turn, turn, turn, as you’re on fire,
To another
Hid behind the curtain (how, Lover?)
Sweep out the cinders (blown away)
and go (already far away)

It’s true
Real love spans worlds
Real love spans galaxies
Real love is greater than all that ties us to Earth from birth to death

But please don’t leave yet, Papa
Please hold on
I’m coming now
I’m coming
I’ll be there with you
Take it on too
I’m coming now
I’m coming
I’m coming now
I’m coming through
I’m close to you
With every heartbeat