Edit Klukon and Dezsö Ránki

By Harrison, Max | Musical Opinion, March/April 2011 | Go to article overview

Edit Klukon and Dezsö Ránki


Harrison, Max, Musical Opinion


King's Place

In this, his bicentenary year, we shall, with luck, hear a good deal of Liszt and there may be some discoveries. One such was revealed on 27 January when Edit Klukon and Dezsö Ránki gave a ringingly authoritative performance of the Faust Symphony in the composer's version for two pianos. In any form this work is one of the great documents of 19th-century Romanticism but this deorchestration, as it might be called, is quite unfamiliar and the occasion was plausibly claimed to be the UK première.

The Symphony offers three character studies after Goethe - Faust, Gretchen and Mephistofeles - and they find Liszt at the height of his powers as a composer. Earlier character portrayals, on Orpheus, Hamlet, Prometheus etc, had prepared the ground and the Symphony's Faust movement has many changes of mood with five main themes symbolising different aspects of his questing personality. It is at the same time one of Liszt's most imaginative reshapings of sonata form. …

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