Transcendental Etudes (2016)

Liszt

Kirill Gerstein

 It’s very much been a personal journey. For a pianist, the Transcendental Etudes  cycle is one of the most towering mountain peaks of the literature. I was inspired by one of Ferruccio Busoni’s aphorisms, that “Bach is the alpha and Liszt is the omega of piano playing”. And Liszt definitely is the omega: almost without exaggeration, everything in modern piano writing – starting with the 19th  century piano technique, and beyond – was invented by Liszt in the decades that he was busy with the Transcendental Etudes . There’s something very touching about the fact that he came up with the musical material of these pieces when he was a 15 year-old boy. Those first, 1826 versions of the Etudes are very advanced for a 15 year-old, but in another way also rather naive. In 1837 comes the nearly unplayable, incredibly virtuosic second version, but even though they have been technically transformed, the pieces stick with the same musical material – the themes, the basic shapes – of the first version. And finally comes the 1852 version, the picture of these pieces in Liszt’s adulthood: whatever might have been overwrought in the second version is now streamlined and really perfected, and that is the version I’ve recorded. So the pieces are already a journey in that sense – and it’s a huge journey for me as a pianist to experience the challenges in the Etudes firsthand so to say, while internalizing them

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Kirill Gerstein

Kirill Gerstein’s curiosity and versatility has led to an intense engagement with a wide range of repertoire and styles. From Bach to Adès, his playing is distinguished by its clarity of expression, discerning intelligence and virtuosity. Gerstein’s energetic and imaginative musical personality has taken him rapidly to the top of his profession. 2015 saw the release of the world premiere recording of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in the composer`s own final version from 1879. The recording won an ECHO Klassik award and was nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award. Based in Berlin, Kirill Gerstein appears world-wide in performances ranging from concerts with the Chicago and Cleveland Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, to recitals in London, Paris and New York. He is the sixth recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, presented every four years to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and charisma, and who performs internationally at the highest level. The prize enabled Gerstein to commission new works by Oliver Knussen, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Brad Mehldau and Timothy Andres.

photo: from album booklet

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Transcendental Etudes (2016)

Liszt

Kirill Gerstein

    MusicWeb International [Recording of the Month]

Extraordinary pianism that strikes a perfect balance between impetuosity and insight; bar-raising sonics, too.

Dan Morgan[read full review]

    HRAudio.Net -

"With this album, Kirill Gerstein confirms his prominence as a pianist, giving ample proof of his supreme musical insight in what may be called Liszt’s life. Indeed, these transcendental studies cover a major part of his creative life. In the liner notes Gerstein explains how he understands and visions the score, thereby giving clues to his interpreting the 12 different parts. I encourage everyone to read them for a better understanding of his approach. For me, it takes a truly great pianist, like Kirill Gerstein, to not only being able to technically highlight the material, but also to reveal the emotional depths and the transcendental nature of these Etudes. Together with the spotless recording of Myrios Classics, guided by the uncompromising ears of Stephan Cahen, this performance has become a memorable reading indeed! Performance and Multichannel Sonics: 5 of 5 Stars Rating."

Adrian Quanjer of HRAudio.Net[read full review]

Transcendental Etudes (2016)

Liszt

Kirill Gerstein

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: DAD AX
Mastering Room: B&W Nautilus Loudspeakers
Microphones: Sonodore RCM402, DPA 4006
Producer: Stephan Cahen
Recording Engineer: Stephan Cahen, Dirk Fischer
Recording location: Konzertsaal der Siemens-Villa Berlin-Lankwitz
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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MYR019: Transcendental Etudes
01:03:53   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - I. Preludio
Liszt
00:00:53   Select quality & channels above
2.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - II. Molto vivace
Liszt
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3.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - III. Paysage
Liszt
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4.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - IV. Mazeppa
Liszt
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5.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - V. Feux follets
Liszt
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6.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - VI. Vision
Liszt
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7.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - VII. Eroica
Liszt
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8.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - VIII. Wilde Jagd
Liszt
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9.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - IX. Ricordanza
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10.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - X. Allegro agitato molto
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11.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - XI. Harmonies du soir
Liszt
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12.
Etudes d'execution transcendante - XII. Chasse-neige
Liszt
00:05:42   Select quality & channels above

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