WORKS: From the Cradle to the Grave; Three Funeral Odes; Two episodes from Lenau’s Faust
PERFORMER: Glasgow Singers; BBC Scottish SO/ Ilan Volkov
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67856
This enterprising and absorbing release finds Liszt in sombre mood almost throughout, in a succession of little-known works of the highest quality. The very late symphonic poem Vom der Wiege bis zumGrabe (From the Cradle to the Grave) has in its outer sections the remote, enigmatic fatalism of the last piano pieces. The first of the three Odes funèbres, ‘Les morts’ (which employs a chorus) was prompted by the death of Liszt’s son Daniel, the second, ‘La notte’, by that of his daughter Blandine – and by Michelangelo’s sculpture of the tomb of Lorenzo de Medici, already celebrated in Années de pèlerinage. The last, ‘Le triomphe funèbre de Tasso’, presents itself as an epilogue to the well-known Tasso symphonic poem, but may well be Liszt’s meditation on his own mortality. These are austere, dark-hued, deeply-felt utterances.