The second book of Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage is entitled “Italie”. The seven piano pieces are among the most beautiful works by Liszt. The famous Dante Sonata is among them, as well as the three Petrarch Sonnets and the mystical “Il Penseroso.” All pieces have their inspiration in the art and poetry of the Italian Renaissance.
Within my A Tempo project, this recording occupies a special place. There are neither metronome markings nor documented durations: This is my “freestyle” in which I relied entirely on my musical intuition as an interpreter. The aspect of deceleration, which plays a great role in Liszt’s work, is omnipresent in these pieces. Thus “Il Penseroso” becomes a meditative experience of great power, and the Dante Sonata integrates details into its musical grandeur that would otherwise be lost.
The recording location comes close to the magic of the music: the baroque summer palace Belvedere in Weimar. The introductory videos were filmed at the Liszt House in Weimar, Liszt’s last place of residence.
All videos are now available on YouTube. There is also an attractive “Behind The Scenes” video that provides insight into the organization and the spectacular transport of the grand piano.
Introduction videos in German
Introduction videos in English
Tom R. Schulz in conversation with Bernhard Ruchti
Behind The Scenes