Liszt: Années De Pèlerinage, 1st Year, Switzerla
Format: COMPACT DISC
With his critically acclaimed AVIE Records recordings of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Faure´ and Sergei Rachmaninov to his credit, the celebrated British pianist Charles Owen scales the heights of Franz Liszt’s anthology Annees de pelerinage, Premiere annee: Suisse (“Years of Travel, First Year: Switzerland”), which evokes the great 19th-century pianist-composer’s Swiss sojourns with aural impressions of the Alpine landscape, its peaks and valleys, mountains and streams, and the country’s distinctive folk music. Literary references abound as they do in the album’s concluding piece, the emotional Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude (“The Blessing of God in Solitude”) which was inspired by a poem penned by Liszt’s friend Alphonse de Lamartine. Emotions ran equally high for Charles Owen who turned to Liszt during lockdown. The uncertainty of being homebound throughout the pandemic was eased by the extra meaning and solace of the composer’s evocations of journeying, experiencing the natural world and its sense of beauty and liberation.