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  Cybele -
  SACD 150302
  Liszt: Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année - Hitzlberger
  Liszt: Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année (Italie)

Thomas Hitzlberger (piano)
Track listing:
  Total time: 71:40
  Classical - Instrumental
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial July 15, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by miguelito54 June 10, 2007 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Thomas Hitzlberger's rendition of the Liszt pieces presented here is beyond dispute. This and the other three Hitzlberger CDs of Liszt piano music I have are evidence that he is among the great Liszt interpreters of our time.
What makes this disc special is a) the high resolution recording and b) the 1873 Steingraeber "Liszt" piano used.
The mechanics and sound of this piano are probably closer to earlier Viennese pianos that to that of a modern Bösendorfer or Steinway and require adequate technique. Hitzlberger certainly is acquainted with it - two of the other CDs I have were also recorded on that piano. Still I can't help but get the impression that he hits that piano somewhat too hard in fortissimo passages, a problem caused by "modern" piano technique (evident e.g. on Jörg Demus' first recordings on historic pianos). When I compare the sound here to that on the two recordings of Liszt pieces that Andrea Bonatta made for Astrée - these never sound that harsh in extreme passages. The recording may be part of the problem: Cybele chose the Himmelfahrtskirche in München-Sendling with rather spacy acoustics and obviously placed their microphones at considerable distance. Astrée used a smaller room in Bayreuth and a rather direct recording that still doesn't sound dry, and captures the delicate sounds of the Steingraeber even better - the instrument sounds incredibly beautiful especially in soft passages. The room ambience may be acounted for part of the distortion in fortissimo passages.
Jos Van Immerseel in the notes to his recent Liszt CD stressed the fact that Liszt was trained in the tradition of the light Viennesse piano technique; reports about him tearing piano strings may be somewhat exaggerated and some misconceptions about his piano technique may exist. Liszt's music is dynamic enough and needs not to be taken to the extremes to move the listener.
Nevertheless a great, highly recommended recording - Hitzlberger's style is very personal without sounding simply subjective, and he does all the pieces justice.

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Works: 1  

Franz Liszt - Années de pèlerinage II (Deuxième année: Italie), S. 161