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Liszt: 12 Etudes d'Execution Transcendante


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Audio CD, July 27, 2010
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.1 Prélude (Presto)0:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.2 Molto Vivace 2:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.3 Paysage (Poco Adagio) 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.4 Mazeppa (Presto) 7:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.5 Feux Follets (Allegretto) 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.6 Vision (Lento) 6:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.7 Eroica (Allegro) 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.8 Wilde Jagd (Presto Furioso) 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.9 Ricordanza (Andantino)10:14Album Only
listen10. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.10 Allegro Agitato Molto 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.11 Harmonies Du Soir (Andantino) 8:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. 12 Etudes D'exécution Transcendante, S.139 - No.12 Chasse Neige (Andante Con Moto) 5:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

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ALICE SARA OTT – BIOGRAPHY
“Indeed, what was so impressive was how she was able to channel her obvious talents with such self-assuredness, maturity and élan, drawing an impressively nuanced tonal range from the piano and achieving a pleasing musicality throughout the afternoon.”
Chicaco Classical Review, 3 June 2013 (Concert review)
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Liszt: 12 Etudes d'Execution Transcendante + Chopin: Complete Waltzes + Beethoven
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0020109Z8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Not the best method to produce sound.
Klaus Mueller
Miss Ott leaves out the last two in each of these passages.
Andre Gauthier
What a beautiful interpretation of Liszt.
R. Fryer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Pelkonen on February 12, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Etudes are piano studies, designed to instruct the listener and the player in various aspects of the instrument and piano techniques. For Liszt, these works were another opportunity to show his worth as a composer while giving his slew of students at Weimar a living, breathing textbook from which to improve themselves. The pieces range from three-minute reflections to ten-minute keyboard bacchanals. Along the way, Liszt incorporates everything he knew. As a composer, he thinks orchestrally on the piano, using ten fingers to create the illusion of multiple instruments playing in counterpoint.

Ms. Ott plays these formidable pieces with a liquid, singing tone, flying up and down the keyboard as she tackles Liszt's wide octave leaps, arpeggios, trills, and other demands upon the hands. From the opening Prelude, (No. 1) she plays this music with a combination of technical finesse and wild abandon, keeping sight of Liszt's overall architecture as she rides her piano into the dizzying heights of his imagination.

It's all here in these twelve works: the hand-crossing gallop of Mazeppa (No. 4), tolling pre-Wagnerian funeral bells of Vision (No. 6), the insistent rhythms of The Wild Hunt (No. 8). Ms. Ott unleashes her Romantic soul on the melancholy meanderings of Ricordanza (No. 9), playing the trills and arpeggios with a liquid ease and plenty of legato. Harmonies de Soir (No. 11) seems to melt into nothingness at its close.

The final Etude, Chasse Niege (No. 12) features a cascade of notes at each end of the keyboard, oceanic swells of arpeggiated chords with the main theme singing majestically, somewhere in the middle. Here, Liszt is using the "third hand" trick, playing the main theme with the thumbs as the hands roam the keyboard. In the hands of Ms. Ott, what might be a cheap effect becomes a study in virtuosity, played with the utmost in musicanship and consummate taste.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andre Gauthier on July 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've heard little of Ms. Ott since this CD debuted some years ago. She was, I believe, 19 at the time she recorded the album. These "etudes" are studies in human emotions. They are as far from Chopin in some ways as one can get, though his too are emotional in the extreme when played well. No one can have the life experience to make "Chasse Neige" viable at age 19. It is an end of life piece. Feel free to disagree, but you'll never convince me otherwise. I've only heard these pieces in concert once with Jorge Bolet. It was a staggering evening - and he chose to play them out of order, not because of their difficulty but to make emotional sense of his interpretations.

Ms. Ott's readings are occasionally brave, but she is not able to bring the necessary grandeur to the larger pieces in the set without the aid of DGG's engineers. Why was it necessary to do all the etudes? The slower ones are often winning. With the possible exception of the first, pretty much a c major arpeggio, if you will, and the 10th in f minor, she's simply not up to the bigger pieces. Wilde Jagd seems good at times, off center at others. "Vision", one of my very favorites, gets lost with too much pedal which is not needed if the hands are used properly.

Who was the ill informed A&R person at DGG that decided THIS was a good DEBUT CD for Ms. Ott?

As I've said, sometimes things seem to work. But if you want to hear just how badly things can be sluffed over, go to number four, "Mazeppa". The main theme is huge handfuls of chords surrounded by alternating thirds played with the second and fourth fingers of each hand alla blind octaves. These are Liszt's instructions. I believe there are lots of edits here that make it dull from the outset.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John J. Puccio TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Franz Liszt (1811-1886) wrote his Etudes d'execution transcendante in 1826, revising them in 1838 and again in 1851. They are a set of short solo works daunting for even the most-experienced pianist, so why Alice Sara Ott at age nineteen chose to record such demanding music is anybody's guess. She says "I am, after all, a lion born in the year of the dragon!" She is certainly an accomplished virtuoso; maybe she wanted the challenge. Or maybe it was youthful exuberance, and she was just showing off. In any case, she succeeds beyond her years.

Recorded by DG in June, 2008, the reproduction captures the piano quite close up, producing a detailed yet never bright, hard, or edgy sound. Indeed, there is a warm, natural glow to the notes, and while the piano looms fairly large, it does not stretch across the entire front of one's listening room.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Arsov on June 3, 2011
Format: Audio CD
What's more interesting, Alice's performance is surprisingly mature for a 19-year old girl. Sounds incredible, but it's actually a simple calculation: as Bryce Morrison himself tells us in his liner notes, Alice, a product of an interesting cross-breeding between a German father and a Japanese mother, was born in 1988 in Munich; and the present recording was made in 2008. Well, this makes Alice twenty, that's true, but in something between interview and exam with Mr Morrison, which gives the impression of being too carefully prepared, she mentions that she was 19 when she recorded the Transcendentals for her DG debut. Presumptuous little girl! By the way, another fascinating detail from the liner notes: Alice apparently has made a habit of performing the complete cycle in concert, and in combination with Beethoven's Waldstein or Appassionata! Rather a superhuman effort!

Despite these impressive for her tender age credentials, I was very sceptical, to say the least, about this recording. However, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised, if not exactly exhilarated. Leaving aside great technique and huge sound as things rather easy to achieve in a modern recording studio, in terms of musicianship Alice is rather ordinary, with but a few and rather unsuccessful attempts at originality; perhaps the most annoying example is the ending of 'Mazeppa' where a jarring tempo change occurs. That said, considering how many times how violently have these works been raped by moronic banging, Alice is a wonderful and consistently musical exception. Despite the fiasco at the finale, her 'Mazeppa' is a dramatic and powerful interpretation. So are her renditions of the A minor study and 'Vision', neither of which is as rushed as usual.
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