Recorded on 11/20/2008, uploaded on 10/03/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Taking shape as early as 1826, when Franz Liszt was only fifteen years of age, the twelve pieces of the Études d’exécution transcendante (Transcendental Etudes) took a quarter of a century to be crafted into their final form. The original twelve etudes, written by the youthful Hungarian, were titled Étude in douze exercices (Studies in Twelve Exercises) and were intended to be the first in a much larger set of 48 total etudes. However, the remaining pieces never materialized. Liszt then revisited the etudes and produced revised versions in 1837 under the title of Douze Grande Études (Twelve Great Studies). In 1851-52, he returned to the etudes once again and fashioned them into their final form. Liszt removed some of the difficulties, including stretches larger than a tenth, to accommodate pianists with smaller hands and less technical skill. This final set Liszt dedicated to his former teacher, Carl Czerny.
The eighth etude Liszt titled Wilde Jagd, or “Wild Hunt,” a reference to ancient folk myths in many countries of a supernatural hunt, often led by a deity or the spirit of a legendary hero. Liszt’s portrayal begins in wild fashion with impetuous octaves answered by dramatic chords in a galloping rhythm. These motifs, along with a sweeping ascending run spanning a fifth, make up the etude’s first theme. At its conclusion, the first theme is answered by a more melodic second theme in E-flat major, derived from the material of the first and imitating in stereotypical fashion the sounds of hunting horns. The second theme is followed by an episodic section in which a new, but still related, melody emerges accompanied by ethereal arpeggios, portraying quite vividly the paranormal state of the hunt and the riders hovering eerily above the ground in pursuit of their prey. Assuming a quasi-sonata form, the motives of the first theme return in the tonic key of C minor but quickly depart again, leading to a climatic return of the second theme in C major. From there the coda commences, relying mainly on episodic theme heard earlier and leads the piece on to its furious end. Joseph DuBose
Giorgi Latsabidze Playing Transcendental Etudes by F. Liszt.: Live recording from Newman Hall, Los angeles, November 20, 2008.
Was it supposed to stop all of a sudden at the end?!?
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