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Franz Liszt: Rhapsodies, Études and Transcriptions

Under the talented fingers of Classical pianist Sophia Agranovich the world of the immensely talented and innovative pianist, Franz Liszt comes to life in full and vibrant form. Liszt was a man who in his early years lead a challenging life with the death of his father, a move to Paris with his Mother, a love affair that came to an end and thwarted desire to join the Church

Having taken piano lessons at a young age, he put his music to one side until he went to a charity concert by the renown violinist Paganini, which saw him vow to become as great a ‘virtuoso’ on the piano, as Paganini was on the violin.

The rest is history, colourful history, as he went on to become what many considered then and now to be one of, if not the greatest Pianists of his time and ongoing. His works are, when taken in single format, as beautiful now as they have always been and if allowed, can bring the world of classical piano into today’s world with a flourish.

Known for his sense of humour, it laces much of his work with cheeky delight, which can be easily felt in the second track Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13 in a minor, S. 244/13 which bounces along, changes tempo to a more deliberate melody, then returns to a jaunty mood before ending with a very definite flourish, almost as if to say hope you enjoyed it, I did, so there!!!!

The beautiful and delicate Die Fourelle (after Franz Schubert) is a complex piece of work which when listened to carefully and with full attention, is a complete story within itself. Each piece of music regardless of its genre is built around a story, poem or feeling and in this instance, the story is yours to create as it shifts and moves with a soft gentleness that is enchanting. Liszt certainly had a tale to tell when he composed the piece.

The divine Etudes d’execution transcendent (excerpts) S139 No: 9 Ricordanza which is the penultimate work of the album simply drifts effortlessly, thanks to Agranovich’s skilful playing, enveloping the listener in a gentle world of sound; one that encourages a sense of peacefulness, of relaxation, of lying back and simply allowing the music to touch the senses, to tell its own story, to simply be.

Over the last two tracks it is very easy to visualise Liszt at his beloved piano allowing the music to flow, to create, to dream and to come into unique form and shape. Etudes d’execution transcendent (excerpts) S 139 No: 4 Mazeppa changes the mood considerably as Liszt certainly gets into the spirit of making a point, before the music mellows into a lovely dreamy segment. One particular section can’t help but bring a smile with it; the music begins to dance along, as if whatever was creating annoyance has gone in the delight of creating the music.  The piece concludes with a series of spectacular flourishes.

Franz Liszt: Rhapsodies, Etudes and Transcriptions from Sophia Agranovich, internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and educator, has delivered a beautiful work that would make Franz Lizst, all these years on, very proud and along way, is helping to bring classical piano into the modern world of music with a flourish.

Distributor Amazon
Released September 2022
Running Time 50mins
Artists Sophia Agranovich