Major Works By Franz Liszt is a Live Concert Recording in Pure DSD 256 Stereo from pianist László Borbély. It is his latest album at NativeDSD on the Hunnia Records label.
Liszt is the greatest innovator of music history ever. Studying his works and performing them I always experience the boundless freedom with which I can approach them. This, of course, does not and cannot mean that Liszt should be played with all kinds of tasteless ‛exaggerations’. At the same time, it is a requirement for all performers to follow the intentions of the author and still present a new quality to the audience. The ‛vacuum’ between the printed and sounding music is a kind of ‛no-man’s-land’ which intrigues me as a pianist. Why? Because in this field we have no protection, that is, borderline cases and critical situations are constant. Even if my previous observation sounds exaggerated, I remind the listener that without this lack of insurance the artist’s approach is not worth a bean. Not only that, but art itself would be useless, irrespective of its genre. A composer who ignores trends dares to proceed forward from the fermented musical idiom, and offsets music history with a renewal of musical language devoid of ‛spleen’ or decadence. This was Liszt and this is what he still means for us.
New wine into new bottles, paraphrasing the Bible. Liszt, defying the world, listening only inward, re-created the language of modern music with his own spiritual-mental dimensions. Let us consider why Liszt, the embodiment of the Romantic artist, should want to become a part of something where he could not develop his own creative energies? All this intention for renewal radiates from his music. This is exactly what I’m interested in as a performer: what makes a musical shape, which might look even displeasing or amorphous at first sight, become noble, pure, concrete in an artistic sense that has validity? How can a dream be real and the reality of the world transformed into a dream? And how can all this radiate? Liszt is looking for answers to all these questions, and it is not by chance that he invokes as his main inspirational forces Senancour, Byron, Dante, and last but not least Goethe, in these large-scale works, which represent, it is no exaggeration to state, the best of his oeuvre.
László Borbély, Piano
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:59:12
Close microphones: 2x Neumann M-149 Tube Room microphones: 2x Schoeps MK2 H
|Original Recording Format
Mixed and Mastered on ATC Monitors
|December 1, 2023
Hungarian pianist László Borbély is an artist whose recordings I look forward to finding. He plays with strength, conviction, and dynamic propulsion. Yet he knows when to dial it down with delicacy and finesse. His various recordings for Hunnia Records are always welcome, and very much enjoyed, in our listening room.
In this album, Borbély returns to Franz Liszt in gorgeous performances of three major compositions: Vallée d’Obermann S.160/6; Après une lecture du Dante, S.161/7; and Sonata in B Minor, S.178.
His playing is propulsive, technically precise, emotionally charged. That this is a live performance adds to the energy of the performance. That this is a live performance it is remarkable the technical perfection of Borbély’s playing throughout. If he’s made any mistakes of articulation, I’ve not picked up on them. Instead, I’ve simply reveled in the music and the wonderful sound quality that Hunnia recording engineer Balázs Tóth has captured…
All sounds very natural and realistic. I am thoroughly caught up by the music, the performance, the sound quality and the realism of the recording. Bravo! That this is a Pure DSD256 recording no doubt adds immensely to this listening experience: the sound is utterly transparent, dynamics are immense, transients are brilliantly well defined, the timbre of the piano sounds spot on. Recordings of piano are hard, and this recording is truly exceptionally excellent.
Highly recommended! If you don’t know Liszt, or you somehow think you don’t like Liszt, you should get this album as a great introduction. If you do enjoy Liszt, get this album for a truly special treat. And if you can playback DSD256 files, get this album in it’s Pure DSD256 format for a spectacular aural extravaganza.
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