Transcendental Etudes

Kirill Gerstein

23.9931.49
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Original Recording Format: DSD 64

 It’s very much been a personal journey. For a pianist, the Transcendental Etudes  cycle is one of the most towering mountain peaks of the literature. I was inspired by one of Ferruccio Busoni’s aphorisms, that “Bach is the alpha and Liszt is the omega of piano playing”. And Liszt definitely is the omega: almost without exaggeration, everything in modern piano writing – starting with the 19th  century piano technique, and beyond – was invented by Liszt in the decades that he was busy with the Transcendental Etudes . There’s something very touching about the fact that he came up with the musical material of these pieces when he was a 15 year-old boy. Those first, 1826 versions of the Etudes are very advanced for a 15 year-old, but in another way also rather naive. In 1837 comes the nearly unplayable, incredibly virtuosic second version, but even though they have been technically transformed, the pieces stick with the same musical material – the themes, the basic shapes – of the first version. And finally comes the 1852 version, the picture of these pieces in Liszt’s adulthood: whatever might have been overwrought in the second version is now streamlined and really perfected, and that is the version I’ve recorded. So the pieces are already a journey in that sense – and it’s a huge journey for me as a pianist to experience the challenges in the Etudes firsthand so to say, while internalizing them

Tracklist

1.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - I. Preludio
00:53
2.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - II. Molto vivace
02:17
3.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - III. Paysage
04:19
4.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - IV. Mazeppa
07:25
5.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - V. Feux follets
04:00
6.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - VI. Vision
06:08
7.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - VII. Eroica
04:33
8.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - VIII. Wilde Jagd
05:39
9.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - IX. Ricordanza
09:16
10.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - X. Allegro agitato molto
04:58
11.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - XI. Harmonies du soir
08:43
12.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - XII. Chasse-neige
05:42

Total time: 01:03:53

Additional information

Artists

Genres

,

Label

Qualities

Channels

, ,

Original Recording Format

Cables

van den Hul

Digital Converters

DAD AX

Composers

Mastering Room

B&W Nautilus Loudspeakers

Microphones

Sonodore RCM402, DPA 4006

Producer

Stephan Cahen

Recording Engineer

Stephan Cahen, Dirk Fischer

Recording location

Konzertsaal der Siemens-Villa Berlin-Lankwitz

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD64

Recording Software

Merging

SKU

MYR019

Release Date September 9, 2016
SKU MYR019

Press reviews

MusicWeb International [Recording of the Month]

Extraordinary pianism that strikes a perfect balance between impetuosity and insight; bar-raising sonics, too.

HRAudio.Net

“With this album, Kirill Gerstein confirms his prominence as a pianist, giving ample proof of his supreme musical insight in what may be called Liszt’s life. Indeed, these transcendental studies cover a major part of his creative life.

In the liner notes Gerstein explains how he understands and visions the score, thereby giving clues to his interpreting the 12 different parts. I encourage everyone to read them for a better understanding of his approach.

For me, it takes a truly great pianist, like Kirill Gerstein, to not only being able to technically highlight the material, but also to reveal the emotional depths and the transcendental nature of these Etudes.

Together with the spotless recording of Myrios Classics, guided by the uncompromising ears of Stephan Cahen, this performance has become a memorable reading indeed!

Performance and Multichannel Sonics: 5 of 5 Stars Rating.”

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