Magazine article Gramophone

Liszt: 'Symphonic Scenes'

Magazine article Gramophone

Liszt: 'Symphonic Scenes'

Article excerpt

Liszt

'Symphonic Scenes'

Der nachtliche Zug, S513a. Le triomphe funebre

du Tasse, S517. Salve Polonia, S113 No 2. Three

Mephisto Waltzes--S514; S515; S216

Kit Armstrong pf

Sony Classical (F) 8887516373-2 (70' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It could be argued that performances of the first and best known of Liszt's Mephisto Waltzes by itself are missing half the story, and possibly the more interesting half. Liszt intended the Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust as a diptych, and was none too pleased when his commercially minded publisher uncoupled them.

Kit Armstrong's interesting new recording handsomely demonstrates the startlingly rich context given to the Mephisto Waltz when heard after the multi-dimensional Procession by Night. The Procession here is atmospheric and, in the section built on the 'Pange lingua' chant, affecting in its yearning. Imaginative articulation, pedalling and dynamics conspire to produce that rarity, a Mephisto Waltz that is genuinely original while remaining true to the score. …

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