Cora Irsen plays Liszt
Volker Hagedorn, music critic at Die Zeit, praised this CD when it was first released in 2001: “Liszt used this piano to compose, dream, teach and to flirt with ladies at the court of the Grand Duchess of Weimar. A gift from Carl Bechstein to the then fifty-seven year old musician, the grand remained Liszt’s favourite instrument for many years. The white-haired composer grew older playing it, surrounded by young pianists such as Eugen d’Albert and Karl Klindworth and musicians of the new generation such as Borodin, Franck and Grieg. Alexander Siloti once heard Liszt playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on this 1869 Bechstein. Although the instrument was ill-tuned, the maestro’s interpretation was so striking that Siloti — who latter had Rachmaninoff among his pupils — refused ever after to listen to anyone else playing the work and even left a concert hall where it was being played. Since then, this historical piano has been refurbished… and tuned. The Weimar pianist Cora Irsen used it to record a CD of exceptional quality that revives the great master’s voice.” (Quoted from www.zeit.de/2002/13/Stimme_seines_Herrn)
This praise remains valid for the new release of this CD on the H.A.R.M.S. label, which includes the following works: Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, Les Jeux d’eau à la villa d’Este, Nuages gris, Legende No 2 and Liszt’s variations on Bach’s cantata Weeping, Lamenting, Worrying, Fearing.