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Topic: Beethoven-Liszt Symphonies  (Read 1652 times)


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Beethoven-Liszt Symphonies
on: January 08, 2002, 12:44:51 PM
Why does everyone get so quesy around these transcriptions?
I keep wondering why they are not included in more programs.


you can put a cat into the oven, but that don't make it a biscuit.

Offline Scarbo

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Re: Beethoven-Liszt Symphonies
Reply #1 on: January 08, 2002, 11:56:28 PM
I think these are wonderful pieces and Liszt did a great service to Beethoven's honor by transcribing them.   Liszt used all of his powers of transcription, and they are very effective, especially so in a great performance.

People are averse to these transcriptions because the originals are masterpieces in their own right.  The transcriptions can be viewed by purists as vulgar, irreverent, and even impossibly ineffective.  Just think how we pianists would react if someone set out to transcribe the Beethoven Op. 111  for solo harmonica.

Even so, I have to argue that the Beethoven/Liszt transcriptions are only of interest to pianists.  The only things he has to offer above and beyond Beethoven's art, is to show us the tremendous versatility of the piano.  He shows us how to harness the colors and timbres of a full orchestra, and challenges the pianist to play symphonically.

Pianists can admire them as brilliant and effective transcriptions, but they're nothing but a curiosity for the general music lover.

P.S.  A few days ago I bought the Glenn Gould recording of the Beethoven/Liszt "Pastoral" symphony.  I disagree with the slow tempo, but I am amazed at the clarity of the performance.  Gould brings out all of the details with such clarity... an absolutely amazing performance.

Offline hassid

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Re: Beethoven-Liszt Symphonies
Reply #2 on: November 10, 2003, 01:32:40 AM
Those interested in unusual piano music should come to the Good Shepherd Church on 66th street tomorrow at 7:30 PM. Great young American pianist Adam Neiman is going to perform 2 rarities - Strauss: Piano Quartet and the virtuosic Spohr: Piano Quintet. It going to be awesome. www.jupitersymphony.com
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