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On the CD Between Dream and Despair are to be heard solely personal compositions, written partly in collaboration with the late composer-author Max Prick van Wely. There are arrangements of folk music from Romania, Spain, Peru and Armenia, a series of Valses caractéristiques, Three Preludes in Romantic Style and Three Songs for Piano, somewhere between a Cole Porter love song and a Romantic piano work.
The CD Early Recordings was issued on the occasion of my fiftieth birthday. Tracks 1-15 are live recordings, made during the Public Presentation on the occasion of my being awarded the Prix d’Excellence on 19 November 1974 in the Bach-zaal in Amsterdam (Debussy, Dallapiccola, Chopin, Liszt). The other compositions were recorded in 1978 and 1979 in AVRO Studio 9 in Hilversum: works by Messiaen, Liszt and Orthel.
In his review, the great French Liszt expert Serge Gut wrote, “The 1847 cycle Harmonies poétiques et religieuses is of great musical worth, must be regarded as an independent entity and may certainly not be dismissed as a ‘sketch’ for the definitive version. It reveals a previously unknown facet of Franz Liszt’s genius.”
On this CD are assembled recordings of all the music belonging to the first phase of the genesis of Liszt’s cycle Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, an era until recently shrouded in mystery. After the piano piece bearing this title you will hear the first version of Hymne de l’enfant à son réveil (1840). This is followed by six compositions, also totally unknown, extracted from Sketchbook N5 in the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv in Weimar. The CD concludes with an early, more concise version of the composition that is generally regarded as one of the highlights of the 1847 cycle: Litanies de Marie.
This CD opens with two recording premières: Abschied von meinem Silbermannschen Clavier by C.P.E. Bach and its counterpart, Freude über den Empfang des Silbermannschen Claviers by Bach’s student and friend, Baron Dietrich Ewald Grotthuss. These are followed by two well-known Chopin works: the Mazurka in A minor, opus 17 No. 4, and the tragic, somber Nocturne in C-sharp minor, opus 27, No. 1. The three works of Claude Debussy all belong to his first period. The CD concludes with five compositions from the ultimate version of Franz Liszt’s cycle Harmonies poétiques et religieuses.
On this CD is to be heard music from great composers that, in a wide variety of arrangements, has withstood the test of time in the salon repertoire but was in fact originally written for piano. In addition, compositions from lesser-known Romantic composers are presented which are worthy of being saved from oblivian. One or two arrangements and compositions from my own pen are also included, being stylisitically in line with with the repertoire offered here.
The works presented are: an Adagio by J.S. Bach, two versions of an unknown early sonata by C.P.E Bach, a beautiful nocturne by Carl Czerny, who could do much more than write studies, two sketches reconstructed by me from Sketchbook N6, the sketchbook in which Franz Liszt worked from 1829 until 1833, five compositions by the Dutch impressionist composer Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer, the Prélude to ‘La Damoiselle élue’ in an arrangement by Claude Debussy himself, and, finally, a piano reduction of Les offrandes oubliées by Messiaen, also from the pen of the composer himself.