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|Deux légendes, S175
|No. 1: St. François d'Assise: La prédication aux oiseaux
|No. 2: St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots
|‘Troisième année’ from Années de pèlerinage, S163: ‘Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este’
|Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este I: Thrénodie
|Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este
|Variations on ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’, S180
Paul Roberts focuses on the composer’s passionate response to the poetry of Francesco Petrarca. The poet’s story of unrequited love drew from Liszt some of his finest compositions. Liszt’s ‘Tre Sonetti di Petrarca’ (from Années de pèlerinage—Italie) reveal an extraordinary creative engagement of two major artists born 500 years apart, a fusion of the Italian Renaissance with European Romanticism.
Franz Liszt was sustained and nurtured throughout his long life by a profound Catholic faith. His religious belief led to some of the most original piano compositions of the nineteenth century, a far cry from the barnstorming virtuoso image of the composer’s youthful days. In this second half, Charles Owen focuses on the visionary music springing from Liszt’s intense identification with Biblical texts, his love of the natural world and meditations upon Life and Death. Liszt’s reverence for the music of JS Bach encompassed many transcriptions culminating in the creation of ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen’, an extraordinary chorale-fantasia and a generous homage to the great Baroque Master.
Signed copies of Paul Roberts’ book will be available to purchase at the event.
‘Paul Roberts’ excellence as a writer on music is matched by his superb talents as a pianist. I know of no other figure in the musical world who combines so impressively the roles of scholar and performer’
‘Paul Roberts’ book, Reflections, a sequel to his wonderful Images, is a veritable master class on Ravel’s mysterious sound world.’
– Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine
‘For his latest Avie release, British pianist Charles Owen has chosen the nine pieces comprising Liszt’s 1855 Swiss Année, delivering a performance imaginatively rich, drenched with colour and thoroughly original in concept.’
Patrick Rucker, Gramophone. Editor’s Choice, November 2021