Franz Liszt
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in A major


4.0
excellent

Review

by ShakerFaker USER (30 Reviews)
December 9th, 2015 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1857 | Tracklist


Having unmatched piano proficiency and striking facial features, Franz Liszt embodied the 1800s concert pianist, garnering both envy and appreciation from his peers. The first ever classical superstar, Franz Liszt disregarded classical pretension by relating to the masses, mindfully incorporating contemporaneous art, religion, and poetry, and challenging unspoken rules by altering deeply revered, essentially consecrated, pieces by Beethoven et al. Liszt wanted to touch the world with his music rather than exist only in prestige, which makes his waning, though prolific career ironic.

His piano concertos, however, still get a lot of attention. Of them, Piano Concerto No. 2 especially conveys Liszt's popular appeal. Although Liszt was highly skilled at composing gargantuan, ridiculously complex compositions, he stayed away from unnecessary flash in Piano Concerto No. 2, only favoring flamboyant virtuosity when suited.

Straying from convention, Liszt opted for continuous, but contrasted playing as opposed to typical separated 3-movement form. Taking an opening motif, Liszt switched around chief instruments and manipulated pacing frequently, molding each instrument, whenever leading, around this motif but allowing them still to journey Romantically, which elicits a feeling of structural ambiguity throughout. But, fragmented as each path seems, they aren't actually all that detached, because they always connect with Piano Concerto No. 2's foundational melody, which is kept interesting through a thematically unrelated piano part that plays on its outskirts. These piano sections, serving as breaks from thematic material, allow for seamless transition between slow and fast sections.

Piano Concerto No. 2's attraction for me stems from Liszt's refusal to follow rules or conform to nationalistic tendencies. Apart from being structurally different, it defies certain boundaries by releasing all sorts of sensations; most glaringly, discovery. Liszt composed this big feeling with restraint, physicalizing discovery, so much so that it feels injected into your flesh, as though instead of hearing this sensation, it is truly being performed bodily. In addition, Piano Concerto No. 2 inserts itself into many classical traditions. The solo piano often seems Debussian, expressing running river, tear drop qualities; also, there's stronger, march-ish segments that feel Dvorak. Even though Debussy and Dvorak don't transcend their labels as French and Russian, Liszt and this composition do, expressly showing how Liszt combined technical prowess and passion, understanding emotion universally as opposed to nationally, to build a beautiful and heterogeneous Piano Concerto No. 2.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41nQOhfpQQk



Recent reviews by this author
Richard Strauss Also sprach ZarathustraEsperanza Spalding Emily's D+Evolution
Kanye West The Life of PabloSofia Gubaidulina Repentance
Lubomyr Melnyk Rivers and StreamsLianne La Havas Blood
user ratings (13)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ocean of Noise
December 9th 2015


7456 Comments


Although most of his pieces have faded


What?

There's tons of Liszt that's still famous and widely performed dude.

The Sonata, the Hungarian Rhapsodies, the 2nd Ballade, The Mephisto Waltz, Années de pèlerinage... Etc etc etc. His concertos are among his most famous works, yes, but there's tons of Liszt that's still popular.

Digging: Cynthesis - DeEvolution

ShakerFaker
December 9th 2015


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not really comparatively

ShakerFaker
December 9th 2015


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and that's not tons compared to the amount he's composed, the concertos and a few others are pretty much the only staples in standard orchestral repertoire

Atari
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2015


22049 Comments


weird I just listened to this concerto last night. very nice review! maybe review dvorak or schubert next if you're a fan of either. Dvorak has some really underrated pieces that could use more exposure around here like his violin concerto or his serenade for strings. and Schubert, well, he has a ton of fantastic stuff that could use a review!

Ocean of Noise
December 9th 2015


7456 Comments


and that's not tons compared to the amount he's composed, the concertos and a few others are pretty much the only staples in standard orchestral repertoire


Ah so that's your problem... You're looking for orchestral pieces. He's not exactly known for those.

I love the Dvorak Serenade. Schubert is also wonderful.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2015


22049 Comments


yeah. when I first heard dvorak, I made the mistake of only listening to his 9th symphony. but he has so much great stuff. I'm digging his 8th symphony as well and it's interesting how much different it is than his 9th. his string quartet 'the american' is also excellent.

hal1ax
December 9th 2015


4920 Comments


I've only listened to Liszt's piano sonata in b minor and i loved it. i need to check this

Ocean of Noise
December 9th 2015


7456 Comments


Dude Atari check the 7th. It's his best.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2015


22049 Comments


will do! it seems I'm always starting with the later symphonies and working my way backwards haha.

also Liszt's piano sonata in b minor is still my favorite thing I've heard by him

Ocean of Noise
December 9th 2015


7456 Comments


I kind of hate Liszt for the most part lol but I like the Ballade no. 2 a lot.

ShakerFaker
December 9th 2015


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ballade's gorgeous. probably my fav thing i've heard from him. why do you kind of hate him though? is it his compositional style?

Friday13th
December 9th 2015


5571 Comments


I played a Liszt piece for my last piano recital in high school. Never got one section right!

Friday13th
December 9th 2015


5571 Comments


Liszt basically invented tech death



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2016 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy