Kevin Class: Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage I-Suisse

Kevin Class SKU: 25460919
Kevin Class: Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage I-Suisse

Kevin Class: Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage I-Suisse

Kevin Class SKU: 25460919

Format: CD

Regular price $16.84

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Title: Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage I-Suisse
Artist: Kevin Class
Label: CD Baby
UPC: 887516951589
Genre: Classical Composers

In 1835, the Countess Marie d'Agout and her lover, the young Franz Liszt, stole away from Paris separately, rendezvoused in Basel, and for the next four years traveled together throughout Italy and Switzerland. The Countess had left behind a husband and children and the relationship between her and Liszt was considered quite scandalous. While d'Agout would recount much of their time together in her memoirs, Liszt captured the scenic and romantic journey through a number of compositions first published under the title Album d'un Voyageur in 1842, then later revised and published under the title Années de pèlerinage (the Years of Pilgrimage) in 1855. Liszt and d'Agout had settled in Geneva, where they had three children together, including Cosima, the future wife of Richard Wagner. The first of three volumes, Annees de Pelerinage-Suisse is a collection of nine works depicting Swiss scenes. One can imagine the final ordering of these works to be descriptive of their tumultuous physical, and emotional journey, from it's epic introduction in the almost operatic "prelude" of the first work, to the tender, transcendental tolling of Geneva's church bells in the final piece (which was initially dedicated to their new born daughter, Blandine). Liszt prefaces many of these works with literary quotations, and the first published edition included drawings by Kretschmer of the scenes depicted by each piece. Chapelle de Guillaume Tell (the Chapel of William Tell), is a grand reference to the national hero of Switzerland. It bears the motto "One for All, All for one." Au lac de Wallenstadt (By the lake of Wallenstadt) is a gentle, pastoral, portrayal of one of Switzerland's large, mountain valley lakes. Marie d'Agoult recounted their visit, writing in her memoirs: "Franz wrote there for me a melancholy harmony, imitative of the sigh of the waves and the cadence of oars, which I have never been able to hear without weeping." Liszt prefaced the work with a quotation from Byron's Childe Harold: ...thy contrasted lake, With the wild world I dwell in, is a thing Which warns me, with it's stillness, to forsake Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring. Pastorale is a depiction of a village festival, with shepherd songs and dancing rhythms. Au bord d'un source (By the side of a spring) may not refer to a specific place, but it is a vibrant depiction of a babbling brook. The quote from Schiller reads: In murmuring coolness begins the play of young Nature. Orage! May, perhaps, be considered another of Liszt's "water" pieces, if one wishes to include the violent torrents of an Alpine storm. From Byron: But where of ye, O tempsts! Is the goal? Are ye like those within the human breast? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest? Vallée d'Obermann (The Valley of Obermann) Considerably longer than any other work in the set, this piece evokes turmoil and despair that, ultimately, provides a poignancy to the works which follow. A lengthy quotation from Senancour's melancholy novel prefaces this work, part of which reads: Vast consciousness of Nature everywhere overwhelming and impenetrable, universal passion, indifference, advanced wisdom, voluptuous abandon, all the desires and all the profound torments that a human heart can hold, I have felt them all, suffered them all on that memorable night. I have made a sinister step towards the age of enfeeblement; I have eaten up ten years of my life. Eglogue is a work that feels fresh and inspired after the wrenching emotions of Vallee d'Obermann. It is a pastoral work that charmingly depicts dawn as described in Childe Harold: The morn is up again, the dewy morn With breath all incense and with cheek all bloom; Laughing the cloud away with cheerful scorn And living as if earth contain'd no tomb! Le mal du pays provides a needed pivot, as if the charm and ease of Eglogue could not be sustained. Utilizing Alpine shepherd's songs, Le mal du pays is an atmospheric work full of nostalgia, homesickness and melancholy. Les Cloches de Genève (The Bells of Geneva) is a tender Nocturne, dedicated to the daughter of d'Agout and Liszt who was born in that city. With it's gentle beginning, this work provides a feeling of contentment and joy that has been evasive throughout the set. It is easy to imagine that Liszt must have felt a sense of belonging in Geneva, where he and d'Agout were to make their home for several years. Quoting again from Childe Harold: I live not in myself, but I become Portion of that around me.

1.1 Chapelle de Guillaume Tell
1.2 Au Lac de Wallenstadt
1.3 Pastorale
1.4 Au Bord D'une Source
1.5 Orage
1.6 Vallee D'obermann
1.7 Eglogue
1.8 Le Mal Du Pays
1.9 Les Cloches de Geneve
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