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Topic: Liszt's Totentanz  (Read 2171 times)

Offline willcowskitz

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Liszt's Totentanz
on: March 01, 2003, 12:11:10 AM
I was wondering if any of you here have practiced this or even performed - orchestral score or piano solo.

If so, I'd like to hear what you think about it technically, musically and interpretation-wise. What were the toughest parts to get down and so on... Just about everything you have in mind, related to this glorious piece of music.

Offline frederic

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #1 on: April 04, 2003, 07:30:52 AM
How far have you gone with this?
You told quite a while ago that you were already practicing this.
Anyway.... Just like to tell you, I saw a performance of it just yesterday, Roger Woodward with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Amazing playing. He plays it so casually.
Best playing i've heard live...
All those octaves and glissandi sound evil...how are you getting along with those?
And one question: was it Liszt who transcribed it for piano solo from a piece for piano and orchestra or transcribed for piano and orchestra from a piano solo piece?
Also I liked this really cool variation around the middle of the piece which sounds very similar to the opening of Islamey. I like the orchestra and piano version much better.


"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline frederic

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #2 on: April 04, 2003, 01:00:36 PM
And also i know its based on the old melody "Dies Irae".
Do you know much about this?
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #3 on: April 04, 2003, 04:43:52 PM
I can almost play the beginning blimblamblom (from low to high and back) things, I can play some parts from all around the piece. The "islameyish" variation you're talking about has one thing in common with Islamey: the repeated single notes. Though it follows the same themes as anywhere else in the piece. Personally I don't like Islamey that much, but Liszt somehow always manages to reach me.

I figure, that the piece was first composed for orchestra and then transcribed for piano solo by Liszt himself.

Roger Woodward sounds familiar... Did he happen to be in the movie Shine? Also, Helfgott was Australian and New Zealand is close enough.  ;D

Offline frederic

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #4 on: April 05, 2003, 01:22:35 PM
Why? is it only because of Shine that some people faintly knows who Roger Woodward is? Yes, he competed with Hefgott in the ABC competion and he won.
His playing is superb. I've heard a recording of him playing Prokofiev. Absolutely superb. If you haven't heard him i strongly suggest you do. And hes recorded over 90 recordings for EMI, decca and so on. Not bad huh?
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline amee

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #5 on: April 21, 2003, 05:54:59 AM
Rachmaninoff used that theme (Dies irae) in a few of his compositions as well.
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frederic Chopin

Offline frederic

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #6 on: April 21, 2003, 10:55:24 AM
Many composers used it.
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline ciocia_fifi

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Re: Liszt's Totentanz
Reply #7 on: April 22, 2003, 02:18:00 AM
abt dies irae (day of anger)-
its a medieaval sequence, coming from the gregorian choral. it was symbolising the day, when god decided to punish the sinful mankind. its a fixed phrase based on a latin text. it is a part of the catholic mess,  altogether with 4 diffrent sequences (like agnus dei for exmpl) and some more, prepared for the special ocassions.
it has been one of the most popular motives in all the music, even nowadays. it has inspired :
- rachmaninoff ( paganini variations)
- berlioz (5th mvt of the symphonie fantastique)
- liszt-as u know:)
those are d most famous examples . ive heard this motive in some more pieces as well, but i dont remember that well...

i love this motive, it s so dark, it has this mysterious, gothic atmosphere.. liszt got d point by choosing this kind of subject 4 the totentanz variations:as the totentanz (danse macabre, the dance of the death ) is some of the medieaval symbols - very popular in the literature, art , and philosophy. even right now i can feel that thrill when i recall myself those  pictures from my classes of the medieaval literature..
...even if I'm not right...;)
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