Dating in suisse
Dating in suisse
Pastorale is a charming vignette, its repeated binary structure reflecting the unpretentious simplicity of the music and the country scene it portrays.It acts as an interlude before the second water-study, Au bord d’une source, which in its first version ran on from Au lac de Wallenstadt without a break, both works being in A flat major.
Gounod’s The Queen of Sheba has disappeared from the repertoire even more emphatically than his Roméo et Juliette, yet Liszt’s Les Sabéennes – Berceuse de l’opéra La Reine de Saba, published in 1865, is another delightfully delicate transcription which deserves to be heard in its own right.
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One of the finest of Liszt’s neglected opera paraphrases, Les Adieux – Rêverie sur un motif de Roméo et Juliette, after Gounod’s setting of Shakespeare first produced in 1867 but now largely forgotten, was composed the same year that the opera appeared.
It is in fact based on more than one motif from the opera, all concerned with the lovers’ parting (the end of the balcony scene, the morning after the marriage, and the scene at Juliet’s tomb).
The models for these pieces are both visual and literary, and Liszt’s music embodies a typically Romantic blend of evocative pictorialism and personalized poetic response.
Like so much of the piano music Liszt published in the 1850s during his years in Weimar – where he settled with his new partner Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein, having abandoned his life as a touring virtuoso pianist in 1847 – the Années de pèlerinage are largely based on earlier material, written during Liszt’s time as a travelling concert artist.Again, lines from Byron’s Childe Harold preface the music: ‘But where of ye, O tempests! ’ Liszt wrote many representations of nature’s fury, but none that is more focused and compact than this. Liszt quotes the very next stanza from Childe Harold to introduce Eglogue (‘The morn is up again, the dewy morn, / With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom; / Laughing the clouds away with playful scorn, / And living as if earth contain’d no tomb! A delicate and fresh-faced pastoral setting, this piece contrasts sharply with the brooding intensity of Vallée d’Obermann.The finest and most extended piece of the set, Vallée d’Obermann was inspired by Senancour’s French novel Obermann, which is set in Switzerland. The darker atmosphere returns in Le mal du pays (‘Nostalgia’ or ‘Homesickness’), albeit with a more wistful character, where the opening alphorn calls a melancholy tune whose unharmonized bleakness is twice relieved by the beautifully poignant melody of the Adagio dolente passages.After a stormy central outburst heralded by misterioso tremolandos, the music melts into a radiant E major, becoming increasingly florid and ecstatic before ending on a note of unresolved emotional ambiguity. The Gounod paraphrases (there are three opera paraphrases, all of which are presented here, as well as a transcription of the choral Hymne à Sainte Cécile, dating from 1866) are all from Liszt’s maturity.With the exception of the virtuoso treatment of the waltz from Faust these have generally been overlooked.As we have seen, Orage was the only work from the Années de pèlerinage – Suisse to be freshly composed in Weimar.