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Liszt: Complete Tone Poems Vol. 2

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Liszt's tone poems are "respected" more than loved. It's kind of easy to see why--the thematic material is not always distinguished, and the orchestration--however interesting and experimental--is often just plain screechy. But maybe that's part of the point. As the inventor of the "symphonic poem," Liszt was trying to create a piece of symphonic length and continuity based on the transformation of just one or two themes. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but the results are seldom dull. Bernard Haitink's performances are very musical, and they are attractively recorded. --David Hurwitz

Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Composer: Franz Liszt
  • Audio CD (June 21, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000417T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on December 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Franz Liszt invented the symphonic tone poem genre and this splendid two CD compilation is the second half in a series of recordings of Liszt's scores from Bernard Haitink and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. These are warm, technically brilliant, but also passionate, performances replete with great performances from the strings, winds and horns when the London Philharmonic was London's best symphony orchestra. Haitink leads the LPO in excellent interpretations, with my favorites being the "Battle of the Huns" and Mephisto Waltz Number One. Philips' sound quality is superb due to state-of-the-art 24 bit digital image remastering. Here's hoping that the first volume in this series will be available to classical music fans soon.
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Format: Audio CD
OK Mr. Hurwitz, if only because Liszt created the art-form of symphonic poems as they went on to existance we should just "respect" the tone poems, but Hunnenschlact--How could you not LOVE this piece?? This was most certainly the blueprint for Saint-Saens' absolutely killer Symphony #3 (which was written as a tribute to Liszt, actually) with its pairing of organ and symphony orchestra. With that and the other 12 poems, there's plenty of love and respect to go around!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
10-19-2014 Here are the London Philharmonic orchestra, under their long-time Music Director , Bernard Haitink with Volume I of a double volume set from Philips records offering listeners all 13 of the Symphonic Poems of Franz Liszt total timings for this Volume I is 2-21-28,(that's over 2 hours, and 21 minutes.). These works were taped in analog some 35 to 40 years ago and digitized by "Bitstream," at a later date. if you act soon, you can pickup these CD's for a very good price.

Artistic Impressions
This first CD offers us the Poems number 8, 9 and 10, each running over for a significant timing, but they generally failed to hold my attention that much. "Heroide funebre" is a 27:02 work with essentially two sections to it. The lead off idea is expressed in minor keys of great, loud and noisy music, even bombastic, if you will. At about the 09:17 or o mark, the key abruptly changes to the major, letting in a flood of light and Hope that brightens the whole picture quite a bit. But, trouble is this work, and several others is that there really isn't much in the way of solid thematic material and thus the momentum never really becomes established. As Liszt had been criticized in his own day for banging on the piano. But, enough of this one and on to the second track, which holds the Poem #9, "Hungaria," running for 23:09 and it fares better in the hands of the great Maestro Haitink
"'Hungaria" presents it's main theme, a march , that will take on bigger dimensions later, at about the 01:17 to 02:47 point before a transition takes over for a while. Around 06;20 or so, a solo violin enters to snag center stage and plays a dark, brooding melody, exhibiting the passion that inflames the heart s f the Hungarians, presumably.
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Format: Audio CD
All recordings of Liszt's symphonic poems should be compared to the fabulous set by Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhash Orchestra. They are near perfection in their spontaneity and authenticity. These are good recordings - even great - although it would be hard not to perform such notables as Hungaria, the Mephisto Waltz and Hunnenschlacht.

As I stated in my review of the first set, these are difficult to understand completely because of the general literary and cultural illiteracy that plagues America, particularly the youth. All the poems have a literary inspiration - Hamlet, Orpheus, Faust, the "Hero" of German Literature. Listening to these without knowing the story or person behind it is like eating wonderful without knowing what it is.
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