Listing the Liszt – in the piano stool, and at the Proms

Musical lists are fashionable at the moment – what are your Desert Island discs, what does your iPod shuffle reveal about you, and so on. Usually, each individual’s list contents are different. But there’s one list that is surprisingly similar, whoever compiles it – and that is a list of music in the old piano stool that belonged to your grandparents, full of faded sheet music in dubious editions, and mottled with age.

Invariably, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata is there, Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu, Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca, and possibly Sinding’s Rustle of Spring or Paderewski’s Minuet. Other composers make an appearance, too: Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Debussy – daringly. Always, however, there is Liszt’s Liebestraüme no 3. And it’s being played at the Proms this year, too.

It’s a lovely piece, dated 1850, and it is a transcription from a song. It appears on the Proms Chamber Music Programme of 8 August, performed by Khatia Buniatishvili, along with the Liszt Sonata, and Prokofiev Sonata 7 – what a programme!

Orchestral Liszt at the Proms includes the Dante and Faust Symphonies, the Mephisto Waltz, Mazeppa, and Il Notte, based on Il Penseroso from the Italian Année de Pèlerinage. Lang Lang plays the first piano concerto on the Last Night, we heard Benjamin Grosvenor’s stunning performance of the second concerto on the First Night, and Totentanz will be played by Dejan Lazic.

And don’t miss Marc-André Hamelin’s late-night Liszt on Wednesday 24 August, which includes Venezia e Napoli.

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