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Liszt: Après une lecture du Dante No. 7

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Franz Liszt - Années de pèlerinage, Second Year: Italy :
Après une lecture du Dante, No. 7
Après une lecture du Dante  No. 7  by Liszt piano sheet music
Key: n/a Year: 1858
Level: 8+ Period: Early Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score (4107 kB)

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xx Fur Elise and Liszt Dante Sonata
November 15, 2010, 02:53:35 AM by punkpianist360

Which is harder?

xx Franz Liszt. Après une Lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata
September 04, 2010, 11:24:36 AM by furtwaengler

The uploaded performance is from March 31, 2009, but first I give some background:

In the fall of 2001 I played Liszt's Dante Sonata on stage for the second time, the first performance coming about a year earlier when I chose it, learned it quickly in three days, and performed it in a recital a week later - my debut in another world. It was this second performance in which a blunt pianist and composer well known in the region approached me saying with sour conviction, "You know, Dante is really bad Liszt," and as if he needed to preach this, he continued, "But you play it like you think it is good Liszt."  

At that time in my youth, I did not know how to take such a deprecating comment. Did the very fact I was playing this piece with some interest and sympathy make me to be a sort of musical false prophet? I still don't know how to take it, other than with a grain of salt and the appropriate, "thanks for your interest," grin. It could be chalked up as the start of a new thread, "Stupid things *musicians* say to us" (or to non-musicians). But this too is a possible mark of the failure of a performance...I could convince him of me, but not of Liszt.

One week later I played the Dante in a huge program at the Steinway Gallery, the largest program I ever gave...and the Dante is a highlight of that memory. None of these performances to my knowledge were recorded (This was not even a thought in my mind at that time), and this November 2001 recital figured to be the last time I would touch the piece for nearly seven and a half years until when in a pinch it peaked my interest (sometimes this is how it must be).

Well, the years go by and my thought now is that it is good Liszt and indeed some of my very favorite Liszt. It is a huge drama; it is favorably operatic; it is an orchestra and a chamber orchestra to which no orchestra and chamber orchestra could do justice; the colors are so many and so varied - and such a range...a powerful, large sonority and an intimate lamenting song, with such darkness and such light, and such beauty and such terror...and one of the most breathtaking and powerful conclusions in all of music, anticipating Wagner and Mahler etc. - well in it I see exactly what drew Wagner to Liszt, if the influence is not double sided (which of course it is).  

On Sunday, March 29, 2009, a calm clear day after a stormy Saturday (tornadoes did touch down), I played a recital of chamber music, and performed again Liszt's Dante Sonata with renewed enthusiasm and bold conviction that this was indeed good Liszt. It was this performance in which my good violinist said, "I have never liked Liszt," and in the joy of conversion, he exclaimed, "But today you've convinced me of Liszt!"

Now what is a good performance? If I missed notes at every turn and received that compliment from another working musician, I'd still have to have some satisfaction!

But well, this recital too was not recorded. It is a good memory, and honestly it is the story of most recitals in history - you have to be in the room. There were a good number of people in the room, friends of the performers, members of the orchestra, folks from the community...but it stood out that at this school where I've worked as an accompanist (they give me so much beyond the including collaboration), not a single student showed up to the recital - this is a common thing with these types of recitals which are not generally listed on the calenders. This time it embarrassed the man who directs the Choral Union and Master Chorale, which I play for, and the community orchestra that I've played with. He asked me to play the Dante at the start of the Tuesday morning Choral Union rehearsal, in order to, "...Give the students a chance to see what they've been missing and to hear who you really are." I happily agreed. This, uploaded below, is that performance. I was introduced, quickly turned on my voice recorder and set it on a seat in the audience, said a few words about Liszt, and then put them in the fire. While such a large sound could not be contained by the feeble recorder, the performance *is* there, and I really do enjoy the performance, warts and all. In cleaning up the sound, I tried something called "low pass filter" on Audacity, and for this it actually made it sound better than I would have expected - I don't know how this will sound on your speakers.

I like to keep memories of these little events alive, and it helps me to write about them and to share. What I remember after sitting down on the bench is akin to being lost in another realm. Blocked out was anything outside of the circle of the piano and the sounds produced...fire could have been coming down all the walls and I'd not have noticed it. I was into it, and at times probably *too* absorbed in it...but when I lifted my eyes at the end at that burst of applause I saw what I did not know and had not expected. Not only were all these students out there doing what students do, but the doors to the auditorium were wide open and the entire faculty was standing in the back with the secretary and some adjuncts and staff and others piling out of the room and applauding enthusiastically! That's a cool, rare moment to awake to and to hold on too.

Ah well...Après une Lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata. What do you think?

xx Liszt Dante Sonata Urghhh!!
April 24, 2010, 03:24:15 PM by chloebeethoven

 Grin Hi
I just started Liszt Dante Sonata and this is a really Liszt.
I tried to interpret this piece carefully but it's so hard for me.
Can anyone help me out here?

Liszt Dante Sonata,
How should I play to make it a beautiful piece of music ?
Help me!

xx Liszt Dante Sonata
August 23, 2009, 09:03:30 PM by viking

From a few weeks ago at Banff Smiley
Please comment.

xx Favorite recording of Liszt's "Dante Sonata"?
March 19, 2008, 04:49:47 AM by ryguillian

So far I'm going with Leif Ove Andsnes...




xx F.Liszt Fantasia quasi sonata "Apres un lecture Dante"
December 09, 2006, 06:38:53 PM by vaiva

The first performance on the stage with this piece. what do you think?

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