Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Transcriptions and Paraphrases from Verdi Operas
Can an Italian pianist fittingly celebrate the greatest Italian composer of the nineteenth century, who, however, did not compose any really significant piano piece, because his universally acknowledged greatness was concentrated in the area of the opera? He can, provided his celebration takes place in an indirect manner, through the medium of a cosmopolitan composer who paid homage to his great contemporaries all over Europe. The way in which Liszt observed the art of Giuseppe Verdi, a musician who was quite distant from him in manners and feelings, is quite significant, particularly if we consider what he chose, among the countless facets of Verdi’s musical and theatrical world, in order to obtain the wonderful fantasies and transcriptions for pianos that are contained in this disc. Here we do not find any trace of the “moral” Verdi, or even less of the “patriotic” Verdi, but we do find inexhaustible variations on the deep-rooted theme of Romanticism.