Before the invention of electrical sound recording, piano transcriptions were the way that many people heard concert music. With transcriptions, enormous concert music was scaled down to a size appropriate to a prosperous home. Franz Liszt, however, used transcriptions for his own purposes as a concert performer. Not only was Liszt the most celebrated pianist of his time, he was also a composer of genius. And so his transcriptions embody the highest level of nineteenth-century piano virtuosity. In this recording, Liszt’s transcription of the overture to Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser is played by the twentieth century’s great avatar of nineteenth-century pianism, Jorge Bolet.
Performed by Jorge Bolet (piano) (17 minutes)