Lazar Berman – Liszt: Annees de pelerinage (1977/2016) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Franz Liszt – Annees de pelerinage – Lazar Berman (1977/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 02:55:34 minutes | 2,72 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
Recorded: May 1977, Residenz, Alter Herkulessaal, Munich, Germany

This triple album set features the complete recording of Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage, presented by Russian pianist Lazar Berman. Originally released in 1977 on Deutsche Grammophon, this was one of the earliest complete performances available of Liszt’s epic three hour masterpiece.

Liszt’s three volumes of Annees de pelerinage are rarely recorded complete, largely because many pianists remain baffled by the dark-hued prophecy and romanticism of the third and final book. So it is particularly gratifying to welcome Lazar Berman’s superb 1977 DG recordings back into the catalogue, particularly when so finely remastered on CD. Berman is hardly celebrated as the most subtle or refined of pianists, but at his greatest he combines grandeur and sensibility to a rare degree and his response to Book Three, in particular, is of the highest musical quality and poetic insight. Try the opening of “Angelus”, where Liszt depicts the uncertain peal of bells with an impressionistic delicacy worthy of Debussy, and you will surely marvel at how far he journeyed from the earlier flamboyance of, say “La Campanella”—a wholly different chime. Berman’s resource here is scarcely less remarkable and his performance of the entire book is hauntingly inward and sympathetic to both the radiance of “Les jeux d’eau a la Villa d’Este” and to Liszt’s truly dark night of the soul (lamentoso, doloroso and so on), to his desolating lack of spiritual solace elsewhere. Berman’s performance of “Jeux” is indeed a far cry from other more superficially brilliant accounts by Pletnev or Andre Watts (EMI, 12/86—nla) and in his hands “Sursum Corda” only achieves its final uplift after pages or a truly harrowing intensity.
Berman is hardly less persuasive in the first two books. “Chapelle de Guillaume Tell” is a true celebration of Switzerland’s republican hero with alpine horns ringing through the mountains, while in “Au lac de Wallenstadt” Berman’s gently undulating traversal is truly pianissimo and dokissimo egualamente. His “Orage” is predictably breathtaking, though even he cannot match the pulverizing force in this piece of Joseph Villa (Second Hearing—nla), and in the gloomy Byronic “Vallee d’Obermann” the severest critic will find himself discarding his Becicmesser’s pencil, mesmerized by Berman’s free-wheeling eloquence. On the debit side, “Eglogue” is more breathless than serene and “Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa” is occasionally heavy-handed. Berman’s three Petrarch Sonnets, too, are less consistently ardent than those from Artur Pizarro or Kathryn Stott on their more recent recordings, but elsewhere he is as warmhearted as he is masterful, concluding Venezia e Napoli (Book Two’s supplement and garland of encores) with the most characterful and virtuosic of all recorded Tarantellas. –Gramophone, 11/1993


Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Première Année: Suisse – S. 160
1 Chapelle De Guillaume Tell 6:42
2 Au Lac De Wallenstadt 3:06
3 Pastorale 1:33
4 Au Bord D’Une Source 3:33
5 Orage 3:58
6 Vallée D’Obermann 14:27
7 Eglogue (Hirtengesang) 2:44
8 Le Mal Du Pays 6:07
9 Les Cloches De Genève 6:18

Deuxième Année: Italie – S. 161
10 Sposalizio 8:13
11 Il Penseroso 4:39
12 Canzonetta Del Salvatore Rosa 2:49
13 Sonetto 47 Del Petrarca 5:17
14 Sonetto 104 Del Petrarca 6:42
15 Sonetto 123 Del Petrarca 7:05
16 Après Une Lecture Du Dante (Fantasia Quasi Sonata) 16:59

Supplément Aux Années De Pèlerinage 2nd Volume: Venezia E Napoli – S. 162
17 Gondoliera 6:00
18 Canzone 3:59
19 Tarantella 9:21

Troisième Année – S. 163
20 Angelus! (Prière Aux Anges Gardiens) 10:14
21 Aux Cyprès De La Villa D’Este, No. 1 Thrénodie 7:19
22 Aux Cyprès De La Villa D’Este, No. 2 Thrénodie 10:55
23 Les Jeux D’Eaux À La Villa D’Este 7:44
24 Sun Lacrymae Rerum (En Mode Hongrois) 7:56
25 March Funèbre (En Mémoire De Maximilien I) 8:11
26 Sursum Corda (Erhebet Eure Herzen) 4:18

Lazar Berman, Piano