Beethoven / Liszt - Symphonies 1-9 Arr. For Piano
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
Piano - Hinrich Alpers
"The name Beethoven is sacred in art." With this sentence Franz Liszt had once expressed his effusive admiration for Ludwig van Beethoven. But Liszt did not leave it at that. His admiration is also reflected in numerous arrangements of works by Beethoven. Between 1837 and 1863, his transcriptions of the nine symphonies were milestones of 19th century concert literature. This unique homage on 88 piano keys now appears as a new recording with the pianist Hinrich Alpers in a complete recording. The Beethoven symphonies can be heard on 6 CDs in the piano version, which is outrageously virtuosic even by Liszt's standards. The 9th Symphony with its famous choral finale features, as the world premiere recording of this version, hand-picked soloists such as soprano Christina Landshamer, alto Daniela Denschlag, tenor André Khamasmie and bass Hanno Müller-Brachmann as well as the excellent RIAS Kammerchor conducted by Justin Doyle. "I am very happy to be able to make this contribution in the Beethoven anniversary year," said Hinrich Alpers in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, who also produced this project together with Sony Classical. Beethoven has been one of the focal points of Hinrich Alpers' repertoire since the beginning of his international career as a pianist. In 2009, for example, he was 1st prize winner of the Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn. Since then, Alpers has repeatedly performed all of Beethoven's piano sonatas. Hinrich Alpers does not regard Liszt's arrangements as classical piano reductions. Liszt rather wanted to transfer the Beethovenian spirit of orchestral music to the piano. He therefore chose the term "piano score" (French: "partition de piano") in order to emphasize that the work was reproduced here in all its depth on the piano. Nothing important was to be omitted, but also nothing added. In a sense, idiomatic, "real" piano music emerged from the symphonies. In 1837 Franz Liszt had first arranged the Symphonies No. 5 & 6. Around 1850 his publishers asked him to complete the series. However, it was not until 1863 that Liszt set about the further arrangements. The publication finally took place in 1865.