Liszt - Études d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini, S140 (Filipec)
Are you looking for a great Piano programme that actually helps you to sound like a pro right from the start? Then Pianoforall is the right course for you! Check it out: https://hop.clickbank.net/?affiliate=lisztpiano&vendor=piano4all (affiliate)As it happened, the foremost virtuoso of the age was not Liszt; in fact, he was not a pianist at all, but a violinist. Already during his own lifetime, Paganini had become a legend: he was the supreme artist who could do anything and his virtuosity was such that in order to account for it all, people supposed him to be in league with the Devil. Everywhere his works were regarded as unplayable, until Paganini turned up and played them; a particular speciality of his was to play an entire piece on one string alone, with which he would bring the house down. He guarded his secrets jealously: whenever he rehearsed a concerto he would never allow the orchestral players a chance to observe what he did during the cadenza, for he would play his cadenzas once, and once only, and that was at the performance; these were moments of supreme virtuosity, when the man and his violin became one, and the hushed audience would witness such marvels of execution that it seemed, indeed, as if the very Devil had taken possession of him. In April 1832, the great violinist would give a benefit concert in the Paris Opera House for the victims of cholera, with Liszt present in the audience. In the lives of most great men there sometimes comes a blinding flash of revelation when they see their future destiny clearly marked out before them, and Liszt's "blinding flash" occurred right there in response to hearing Paganini play. Liszt was so entranced by the unfettered expressiveness of his playing, and the Italian wizard's ability to turn to utterly musical account a technique of legendary transcendence, that he experienced an artistic awakening and the young composer immediately declared his intention of achieving upon the piano an equivalent new technical mastery, something he would achieve with much toil (according to his own testimony 10 or 12 hours practice a day). His new aim to create a new kind of repertoire for the piano in which he could transfer to the keyboard some of the more spectacular of Paganini's feats–tremolos, leaps, glissandos, spiccato effects, bell-like harmonics— was attained with the selection of a group of Paganini's unaccompanied Caprices, notorious for their difficulties, which he set about reproducing their complex problems on the keyboard. He brought forth the first fruits of these endeavours in 1838, the Paganini studies, which represented a massive breakthrough in piano technique.For the first study Liszt employs the sixth of Paganini’s Caprices, but adds transpositions of the introduction and coda to No.5–grand arpeggios–in the equivalent places. Following on, the second study, based on Caprice No.17, excellently transfers Paganini's original onto the keyboard, reformulating the original exercise in scales and double-stops in pianistic terms. The third study is commonly known by its title in the second edition (La Campanella–a reference to the little bell employed by Paganini in the rondo of his Second Violin Concerto). Uniquely in this study, Liszt does not preserve Paganini’s original tonality (B minor) or structure: here, the transposition to A-flat minor puts all the nastier leaps between black notes (which are much easier to target) and Liszt mixes in a repeated-note elaboration of the first theme of the rondo of Paganini’s First Violin Concerto, transposed into A-flat major; this study turns out to be quite a boisterous affair and could not be in greater contrast with its second version. The fourth study is a treatment of Caprice No.1; it inhabits the very edge of the technically possible with its stretches, leaps, hand-crossings and Liszt's grand melodic lines in counterpoint to the straightforward broken chords of the original. La Chasse is the nickname often given to Paganini’s ninth Caprice—a study in double-stopping—as well as to Liszt’s fifth study here which is based upon it. Both Paganini and Liszt mark the opening theme as imitando il flauto, and the lower repetition as imitando il corno; the spiccato phrases tossed from one register of the violin to another in the middle section are yet again excellently adapted by Liszt in pianistic terms. The set ends with a study based on the most familiar part of Paganini’s work, Caprice No.24, the work that provided fertile material for Brahms and then for Rachmaninoff. Like its source, Liszt’s study offers a theme, followed by eleven variations, and the whole is finally concluded with a flaming Coda.Liszt dedicated this 1838 set of studies to Clara Schumann and, for all her carping ingratitude, went on happily to dedicate the 1851 revised set to her as well.