LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsodies, Vol. 1 (Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 12)

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  • Title: LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsodies, Vol. 1 (Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 12)
  • Artist: Jeno Jando
  • Genre: Romantic
  • Label: Naxos
  • Release Date: 1999
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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsodies, Vol. 1 (Liszt Complete Piano Music, Vol. 12) 1:13:01 $11.98
Buy Individual Tracks
# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 1 in E major (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 13:08 44.1/16 Album only
2 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 2 in C sharp minor (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 10:50 44.1/16 Album only
3 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 3 in B flat major (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 4:32 $1.49 Buy
4 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 4 in E flat major (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 5:17 $1.49 Buy
5 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 5 in E minor (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 8:33 44.1/16 Album only
6 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 6 in D flat major (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 7:15 44.1/16 Album only
7 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 7 in D minor (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 5:23 $1.49 Buy
8 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 8 in F sharp minor (19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106) 6:33 $1.49 Buy
9 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies, S244/R106: No. 9 in E flat major, "Pesther Carneval" (19 Hungarian Rhapsodi 11:30 44.1/16 Album only

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"We are greatly indebted to Franz Liszt for having brought into music, to a degree unparalleled by any previous musician, the vitalized experience of an unending active life. There was not a throb his pulse had ever felt that does not somewhere or other find expression in his music."
-Ernest Newman (1868-1959)

Liszt conceived the Hungarian Rhapsodies as a kind of collective national epic. He composed the first in 1846 at the age of 35, and his last in 1885 at the age of 74. Most of his Hungarian Rhapsodies are in the sectional slow-fast form of the gypsy dance known as the csardas. The Hungarian Rhapsodies remain undisputedly popular today after almost one hundred and fifty years. In them, however, we find the same contradictions in origin and purpose, the same contrast between serious musicianship and virtuoso exhibitionism, which made Liszt himself so fascinating. There is no doubt that Liszt was devoted to his country, but he was a Hungarian more by enthusiasm than through upbringing or ethnic heritage. He could barely speak the language, for Hungarian came third to German and French at home. He left his native province at the age of nine for the more cosmopolitan cities of Vienna and Paris. When he returned some two decades later he was an international hero in need of a national identity, to be achieved through the special musical language of the Hungarian Rhapsodies.

In order to collect gypsy tunes and absorb the strong flavour of their rhythms, the slow pride of the lassan and the wild frenzy of the friss, Liszt visited gypsy encampments. His first fifteen Hungarian Rhapsodies were published by 1854 (the remaining five were to come in his last years), after the earlier publication of his Magyar Dallok (Hungarian National Melodies). Liszt also published in 1859 his own controversial study of Hungarian gypsy music, Des Bohemiens et de leur musique en Hongrie (The Gypsies and their Music in Hungaly). Later research has shown that Liszt was wrong about the gypsy origins of Hungarian music. Half a century later Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly collected thousands of genuine Magyar folk-tunes and showed that the gypsy contribution was a style of playing, a process of inflection and instrumental arrangement rather than anything original in form, making use of folk elements and popular art-songs. Hungarian gypsy music, as it is now called, was, nevertheless, the glory of the nation and Liszt's compositions did much to spread its fame. Although what he wrote may have lacked ethnomusicological authenticity, his free-ranging fantasies and the use in the title of the word 'rhapsody' were strokes of genius. In the Hungarian Rhapsodies, Liszt did much more than use the so-called csardas. He miraculously recreated on the piano the characteristics of a gypsy band, with its solo violin and the compellingly soft, percussive effect of the cimbalom, the Hungarian zither.