This is a revelatory compilation of Liszt’s most daring and virtuosic piano music with just occasional moments of relaxation. The albums starts the way it means to continue with the startling first strumming chords of the Mephisto Waltz. It proceeds through the spooky harmonies of La lugubre gondola and ventures on to the obsessiveness of Totentanz.
With artists of the calibre of Géza Anda, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Jorge Bolet, Shura Cherkassky, Vladimir Horowitz, Zoltán Kocsis, Lang Lang, Alice Sara Ott, Mikhail Pletnev, Sviatoslav Richter and Yundi Li, customers are assured of some unmatchable recorded performances.
On the repertoire side, there are also some rarities, including four first releases on CD by Jean-Rodolfe Kars and Egon Petri – the latter a master of the old school, with two incomparable performances of transcriptions (of Mozart’s Figaro and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), guaranteed to bring the house down.