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Liszt: Opera And Song For Solo Piano / Gabor Farkas

Release Date: 01/20/2017
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30065
Composer:  Franz Liszt Performer:  Gábor Farkas

Hungarian virtuoso Gábor Farkas performs a stunning recital of opera and song by Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Chopin and Schumann in formidable arrangements by Franz Liszt for solo piano.

“From the word go you know you are in a safe pair of hands- not that Farkas is inclined to play it safe when it comes to tempi and the music’s more perilous passages- with a warm, velvety sound throughout his wide dynamic range, and an innate grasp of Liszt’s idiom.”
-- Gramophone

"One of those dead solid perfect records, it’s a wealth of riches for the classical fan here as Farkas has the smarts to give you an excursion into the familiar pointing out places you’ve never fully heard before. Quite the dazzling
Read more interpretation."
-- MidWest Record

"the more I listened to Farkas’s Totentanz the more remarkable it seemed. This isn’t a wunderkind out to impress; no, there’s a certainty of shape and a depth of imagination to this man’s playing that speaks of a talent far beyond his years. That’s also true of the Faust paraphrase, where the waltz is given a gorgeous lilt and the music-box-like tinkle of what follows is so delicately done. . Farkas is unfailingly articulate and proportionate, both here and in the themes from Verdi’s Aïda. Farkas is a first-class Lisztian; the recording is top-notch, too."

-- Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International

"This collection of works asks a lot from a pianist—and Hungarian Gábor Farkas, now in his middle 30s, emerges as one of those rare players who seemingly has it all. Even more impressive, he has the judgment to deploy it with outstanding (and lustrously engineered) recital. Strongly recommended."

--Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare

Franz Liszt's renderings of music from other media for piano had various purposes. Some, like the Totentanz at the end of this program by Hungarian pianist Gábor Farkas, were virtuoso showpieces, while the "paraphrases" of operatic melodies heard here lay somewhere between virtuosity and a desire to favor an audience with familiar tunes of the day. Yet others show a more inward side of Liszt. Consider and sample the three versions of songs by Clara Schumann. What are they generically? More than transcriptions, surely, and more even than arrangements. They are almost like the large paraphrases without the virtuoso element. They almost have an exploratory quality, and the fact that Liszt, a hypermasculine figure, worked with the music of Clara Schumann -- not unknown, but not music in everyone's ears like the operatic paraphrases were -- is notable in itself. Farkas does very well with these. You can get a more rip-roaring Totentanz if you look around for one, but the subtle treatments of the song renderings here are delightful: they make it possible to imagine Liszt himself thinking his way through these pieces. Farkas is aided by fine engineering from the acoustically perfect Steinway Hall in New York, and in all this is one of the growing Steinway & Sons label's more satisfying releases.

-- AllMusic Guide Read less