Lazar Berman plays Liszt | Australian Eloquence ELQ4807079

Lazar Berman plays Liszt


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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4807079

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 4

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 5th January 2015



Lazar Berman, a bear of a man whom The Times of London called "one of the last unabashed exponents of the Romantic tradition of Russian pianism", was known for the power of his playing and for his prodigious technique, but was also capable of great delicacy at the keyboard. Eloquence presents his complete Deutsche Grammophon recordings over five titles.

Berman's recording of Liszt's complete Années de Pèlerinage has been one of the reference recordings of the work since it was made in 1977. Recorded in Munich's Alter Herkulessaal, the sound affords plenty of opportunity to appreciate Berman's breath-taking sense of detail, and yet his visionary perspective ensures that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that the individual pieces in each 'journey' are shaped into a whole experience.

The coupling, making up the fourth disc in this set, is much less known: the first release on CD of Berman's 1961 recordings of Funérailles and the Hungarian Rhapsody No.9 as well as the truly astonishing 1965 versions of six of Liszt's transcriptions of Schubert lieder.

As a technician, Berman is extraordinary in terms of sheer evenness, control, and rhythmic panache, yet he always channels his considerable craft toward musical ends. It’s a relief, for example, to hear octave passages in Orage, Vallée d’Obermann, and the Dante Sonata shaped in sentence-like phrases rather than banged out. In turn, the Tarantella’s repeated notes sound like quicksilver pearls rather than pellets’ - Classics Today (Années de Pèlerinage)

the quality of the recording is first-rate, reproducing the whole of Berman’s very wide dynamic range ... Berman’s pianism is superb.’ - Gramophone (Années de Pèlerinage)

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