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Format: Audio CD|Change
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on March 2, 2012
This CD is about as close to perfection as any vocal disc I've bought (and believe me, I've bought *thousands*). In my opinion, Liszt's songs sound best when sung by a tenor voice, and Polenzani's lyrical but full-bodied voice is perfectly suited to this material. I cannot imagine anyone, living or dead, who could sing this material this well. My previous favorite version of these songs, with John Aler on Newport Liszt: Songs is wonderful, but Polenzani has an even more attractive voice.

Excellent partnership by Julius Drake, superb recording and presentation by Hyperion. I hope that these artists continue to record for Hyperion - how about some Richard Strauss?
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on May 18, 2015
The songs of Liszt have been a major recent discovery for me. I was first alerted to their quality at a Dallas recital by Matthew Polenzani a few months ago, leading to the purchase of this CD. It is a wonderful introduction to these often overlooked gems. All of them are worthwhile, some of them are really stunning, and Polenzani's singing does them full justice. Also, the collaborations by Julius Drake are full of drama and poetry, making the songs dialogues between voice and piano, not just accompanied vocal monologues. (The composer, after all, was one of the great pianists of all time.) As I was listening, I kept thinking, "Why aren't these marvelous songs better known?" The first reason may be that many of the songs are sufficiently long, involved, and often changing as they progress, so that when they were first performed in the 19th century, it was difficult for listeners in a concert hall to walk out with the songs firmly in their minds. By the time that recordings came along, which would give more chance to absorb the complexity of many of these songs, their moment may have passed. Indeed, many of them are too long even to fit on one side of a 78 RPM record, so that gave even more time for them to slip out of the public consciousness before the advent of LPs, much less CDs. Also, many of these songs really require the range and volume of an operatic voice, not a recital-hall lieder voice. But how many singers of that type have had the subtlety and nuance for these sophisticated songs, or even the interest to tackle them? I wish that Fischer-Dieskau and Schwarzkopf, who were superb in both opera and lieder, had paid more attention to them. However, today Polenzani and a few others have the voice, technique, sensitivity, and interest to bring them fully to life. Let's have more, please.
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on May 18, 2015
The songs of Liszt have been a major recent discovery for me. I was first alerted to their quality at a Dallas recital by Matthew Polenzani a few months ago, leading to the purchase of this CD. It is a wonderful introduction to these often overlooked gems. All of them are worthwhile, some of them are really stunning, and Polenzani's singing does them full justice. As I was listening, I kept thinking, "Why aren't these marvelous songs better known?" The first reason may be that many of the songs are sufficiently long, involved, and often changing as they progress, so that when they were first performed, it was difficult for listeners in a 19th-century concert hall to walk out with the songs firmly in their minds. By the time that recordings came along, which would give more chances to absorb the songs, their moment may have passed. Indeed, many of them are too long even to fit on one side of a 78 RPM record, so that gave even more time for them to slip out of the public consciousness before the advent of LPs, much less CDs. Also, many of these songs really require the range and volume of an operatic voice, not a recital-hall lieder voice. But how many singers of that type have had the subtlety and nuance for these sophisticated songs, or even the interest to tackle them? I wish that Fischer-Dieskau and Schwarzkopf, who could handle both opera and lieder, had paid more attention to them. However, today there are Polenzani and a few others who have the voice, technique, sensitivity, and interest to bring them fully to life. Let's have more, please.
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on May 3, 2013
to hear Polanzani sing these songs, I begin to think I must listen to more Liszt.
After listening to this, you must acquire his latest CD , the Shubert/ Beethoven, et al.
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on January 11, 2015
An all around great CD. Tremendous artistry and emotion in each song. I always love listening to it and would very highly recommend it.
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on April 25, 2015
A GREAT SINGER SINGS BEAUTIFUL LISZT SONGS.
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on February 7, 2013
I never pictured Mr. Polenzani in this type of music. He was very good and the songs were excellent. I am very pleased with the purchase.
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on February 22, 2016
An exciting project. Excellent playing and singing and I think something every fan of lieder and song should hear. Pure pleasure.
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