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Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is often thought of as a great virtuoso, enchanter of the masses, a writer of dazzling music, rich in special effects designed to astound the public and bring him easy success. In reality many of Liszt’s works reflect other aspects of his many-sided personality. He dedicated much of his existence to deep spiritual research, as testified by his numerous writings.
The American pianist Martin Berkofsky feels particularly at ease with the poetic world of Liszt. For him playing Liszt is almost an experience of mystic contemplation. The numerous, often radical changes that he makes to the original text should therefore be seen in this light: what counts most for him is not the notes in themselves, but the space that lies between them, a space that becomes vital and universal.
Look forward to a collaboration of the organisation „Donatori di Musica“ (a network of musicians, doctors, nurses, volunteers, patients and families of patients, whose aim is to organize regular series of concerts in hospitals, totally and absolutely free-of-charge), the pianist Martin Berkofsky and Arts Music.
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Étude d'exécution transcendante no. 11 “Harmonies du Soir” S 139 (1852)
Légende no. 1: St. François d'Assise. La prédication aux oiseaux
Légende no. 2: St. François de Paule marchant sur les flots
Hungarian Rhapsody no. 12 S 244
Sancta Dorothea S 187
Étude d'exécution transcendante no. 7
Pater Noster from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses S 173
Liszt will always be remembered for his spectacular virtuoso display pieces, but he often wrote in a more spiritual, contemplative vein. Those seem to be the works that interest Martin Berkofsky (...).The climaxes (…) are magnified by the impressive bass notes of Berkofsky's Borgato piano, captured in first-rate multichannel sound. (Koldys)
Performance: 4 ˝ of 5 Stars; Sound: 4 ˝ of 5 Stars
Berkofsky is a master of Liszt's dazzling techniques, but he finds profound meanings in the music that come to the surface in his playing and help unify the whole collection. The super audio recording is spacious and the piano's wide range of dynamics and timbres is faithfully captured in the DSD reproduction. (Blair Sanderson)
4 Stars (Riccardo Risaliti)
"Un album di classe, concepito con l'anima e il cuore." (f.c.)
(An album of class, designed with heart and soul.)
Acoustic Quality 9 / 9 Sound Quality
The 67-year-old pianist also happens to be a colossal Liszt player, whose colorful sonority and formidable dynamic range are made for Arts Music's full-bodied surround-sound engineering.
If you buy this disc, you'll be supporting a good cause: all of the proceeds from this recording will benefit Assistance in Health Care, an organization founded by Berkofsky, in its mission to give financial aid to cancer patients and their families who face unexpected difficulties which arise with extended medical care. (Jed Distler)