Although Liszt’s thirteen symphonic poems exist in two-piano transcriptions prepared by the composer himself, it was his Czech student August Stradal (1860–1930) who was to transcribe them for solo piano – versions which demand almost superhuman virtuosity. As Malcolm MacDonald writes in his booklet essay, Stradal’s versions 'transform these revolutionary orchestral compositions into viable and effective piano works, faithfully preserving their masterly musical substance’
Risto-Matti Marin, piano
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Catalogue No: TOCC0035EAN/UPC: 5060113440358Release Date: 22.02.2010Composer: August Stradal,
Franz Liszt Artists: Risto-Matti Marin
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Adrian Corleonis :
“enthusiastically recommended” —Adrian Corleonis, Fanfare
This CD is excellent, and I had been waiting anxiously for the next volume in this series. I bought the next, Vol 2, today. I hope there will not be as long a wait for the third volume to become available.
Comparing the Stradal transcriptions with others is instructive. I note that also Karl Straube worked on piano and organ transcriptions of the Symphonic Poems at about the time he revised Liszt’s Fantasie and Fugue on BACH for organ. Straube was way overshadowed by Stradal in this effort, but the interest was there.
Symphonic Poem #3, Les Preludes , performed by Leslie Howard on Hyperion versus the Marin/Stradal performances here, have some differences. I love both. I’d note not all of the Symphonic Poems are to be found in Howard’s massive Liszt collection, only about half are there. So Toccata’s and Marin’s continued effort with this series is especially important to us Liszt enthusiasts. And I hope Toccata brings us a lot more of Stradal ‘s output in addition to his Liszt transcriptions.
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