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 Post subject: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:36 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Hello everyone, I've been looking at this forum for a while, but this is my first post here. I'm very interested in transcriptions and paraphrases, so I'd like to offer two live recordings from a concert last year: firstly Liszt's transcription of Isolde's Liebestod and secondly Thalberg's transcription of the Bellini aria "A te, o cara" from the opera I Puritani.

The Liszt is my alltime favourite transcription and the Thalberg is from his "L'art du chant", op. 70, a collection of settings from song and opera. There is a small memory error in the first bar (!) so apologies for that.

I hope you like them; your feedback (both positive and negative) would be appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 10:53 am 
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Location: East Yorkshire, England
Andrew,

excellent playing, first rate. I even enjoyed the Thalberg of whom I'm not a great fan !

Which edition of the Liebestod did you use as it appears (I can't be sure as I'm listening over my laptop speakers) to differ from the one I have used in the past (Peters Edition) and others I have seen in that in the right hand of the climax fff it sounds as if you are playing tremolo rather than the repeated chords (or the alternative arpeggio followed by repeated chords) shown in the editions I have seen. Is that the case or are my ears deceiving me ?

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you.

Regards
Mark

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Mighty impressive playing indeed !
We have at least another transcriptions geek on this forum. I hope he'll check out your recordings.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Welcome to Piano Society, Andrew. I agree with the others - nice playing! The sound quality is a little wobbly. What kind of recorder did you use?

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 11:25 pm 
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I'm not the "transcriptions geek" that techneut mentioned, but I'm much interested in transcriptions, too. So good to see another one! :D
I thoroughly enjoyed your Wagner-Liszt, too. You seem to know and understand the opera (or at least the scene) very well. It was like I was listening to the original scene. Enchantingly beautiful...
BTW I've always been wondering how difficult (technically, I mean) this piece is. It would be not so simple to describe the difficulty-grade of a piece, but could you name some difficulties which you had during your preparing for that recital?

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:11 am 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 732
Location: Edinburgh, UK
MarkB wrote:
Andrew,

excellent playing, first rate. I even enjoyed the Thalberg of whom I'm not a great fan !

Which edition of the Liebestod did you use as it appears (I can't be sure as I'm listening over my laptop speakers) to differ from the one I have used in the past (Peters Edition) and others I have seen in that in the right hand of the climax fff it sounds as if you are playing tremolo rather than the repeated chords (or the alternative arpeggio followed by repeated chords) shown in the editions I have seen. Is that the case or are my ears deceiving me ?

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you.

Regards
Mark


Your ears are not deceiving you! I'm using the Dover edition, which is a reprint of a Russian edition. The tremolando climax is given as an ossia, "Variant .. in the second version (1875)". I prefer it for a variety of reasons, but it seems to be rarely used. Offhand I can only think of one commercial recording with it, Jean-Yves Thibaudet's early recording of Liszt transcriptions.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:24 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
techneut wrote:
Mighty impressive playing indeed !
We have at least another transcriptions geek on this forum. I hope he'll check out your recordings.


I know a few people on here from another forum - certainly I've previously made the acquaintance of a fellow transcription enthusiast who posts here.

pianolady wrote:
Welcome to Piano Society, Andrew. I agree with the others - nice playing! The sound quality is a little wobbly. What kind of recorder did you use?


It was recorded with an Edirol 09-HR; I think the microphone was also an Edirol but it was a while back and I can't remember for sure. I think the file was originally a WAV at 48KHz, 320kbps and I converted it to MP3 at 44.1 KHz, 160kbps with Audacity; if there's a problem with the files I'll try to relocate the memory card with the originals.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:35 am 
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hyenal wrote:
I'm not the "transcriptions geek" that techneut mentioned, but I'm much interested in transcriptions, too. So good to see another one! :D
I thoroughly enjoyed your Wagner-Liszt, too. You seem to know and understand the opera (or at least the scene) very well. It was like I was listening to the original scene. Enchantingly beautiful...
BTW I've always been wondering how difficult (technically, I mean) this piece is. It would be not so simple to describe the difficulty-grade of a piece, but could you name some difficulties which you had during your preparing for that recital?


As Liszt transcriptions go, it's comparatively straightforward. I would say that the most difficult thing with it has been trying to ensure the tremolandi on the first page stay quiet (over the years I've played the piece they have gradually got better!) I'm never completely happy with the second page either. Balancing the lines in both hands and trying to play the triplets in a manner which keeps forward impetus never seems easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2000
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Hi andrew,

Welcome to Piano Society! It's great to see you posting here. Although I've heard your rendition of "Isolde's Liebestod" previously, I've listened to it again just now (and have it on loop). This is surely one of Liszt's best piano transcriptions, and you play it exquisitely, capturing all of its lyricism, high emotion, and drama. Your "spending" of crescendos are tidal waves building and cresting, and the big climactic tremolos in your hands are earthquakes. I also very much enjoy the many gorgeous nuances heard throughout your rendition. This is a wonderful performance, and your live audience was obviously as appreciative and enthusiastic. Bravo!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liszt Isolde's Liebestod; Thalberg A te, o cara
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:44 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Hi Rachfan, it's good to meet on a second forum! I've been looking around here for a while, and am impressed with what I see. I fully agree with you about Isolde's Liebestod being one of the best Liszt transcriptions; it has certainly been one of my favourites for a long time.

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