Recorded on 06/12/2011, uploaded on 06/12/2011
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
A brief piece and imbued with a simplicity more suited to Liszt’s late period, the Romance in E minor was composed in 1848 and dedicated to Joséphina Kościelska. Owing somewhat to Chopin’s nocturnes, the Romance presents a lyrical, intimate melody over a steady accompaniment of arpeggios while the E minor tonality and initial pensive mood lend to a nocturnal atmosphere. Its construction is relatively simple. The principle melody, sounded in the beautiful middle range of the piano, begins in E minor and modulates into the relative major for its later half. Yet, approaching its conclusion, it wanders off momentarily into A-flat major in a moment of intense emotion, yet by equally deft skill returns to the tonic of E minor just as quickly in the final cadence. Liszt then repeats the melody in a somewhat varied fashion. The accompaniment of arpeggios becomes more agitated as the rhythm is quickened from eighths to triplets while the melody itself is doubled in the higher octave. Leading to a cadence in the key of the parallel major, Liszt nevertheless closes the piece in the minor, leaving a sense of doubt, or even despair, in the closing chord. Joseph DuBose
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