Beethoven-Liszt: The 9 Symphonies on Piano / Bellucci
As the Italian pianist Giovanni Bellucci remarks in an extensive booklet introduction, this album is the fruit of study over the past 20 years and more, into the worlds of both Beethoven and Liszt and their meeting point in these transcriptions where the Hungarian composer sought to honor his forebear as the original leader of an artistic movement we now think of as Romanticism, where the composer places himself at the front and center of his works. Liszt’s transcriptions diverged from the ready-made arrangements which publishers rapidly produced and reprinted to meet the demands of amateur and domestic audiences. Here, the symphonic world of Beethoven is not merely experienced as a distant echo but translated into the idiom of the virtuoso piano which swept across Europe during the latter half of the 19th century, led by Liszt and Clara Schumann. Thus in these performances, Bellucci seeks a kind of fidelity to the Romantic age of the transcriptions rather than the Classical age of the original works.
Taking broad tempi and probing deeply into textures which, after all, condense the soundworld of an entire orchestra into the span of ten fingers, Bellucci presents an individual and compelling new vision of works which renew themselves at the hands of each new generation’s interpreters. The cycle reaches its climax with the Ninth, recorded live at the2014 Lisztomania Festival in France, with the participation of the Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno and soloists Hana Škarková, Lucie Hilscherová, Michal Lehotský and Martin Gurbal. Other studio sessions have taken place in the famous Salle de Musique at La Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland, between 2018 and 2021.
Release Date: October 25, 2022
Catalog Number: BRI94863
Label: Brilliant Classics
Number of Discs: 5
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: Giovanni Bellucci