Liszt’s piano cycle “Harmonies poétiques et religieuses” (HN 639) was inspired by religious-philosophical poems of the French Romantic Alphonse de Lamartine. Whereas the cycle as a whole remained comparatively unknown, single works have become an established part of the demanding standard repertoire for pianists. Aside from “Funérailles” (HN 748), the same is true of the longest work in the volume “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude”. This work, which is particularly expressive musically, is now appearing for the first time in our catalogue as a single volume; it is prefaced by Lamartine’s text in three languages. The fingering is by the composer.
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Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude comes from the 1853 piano cycle Harmonies poétiques et religieuses by Franz Liszt (1811– 86). Back in 1835 Liszt had already published an individual piano piece under the title Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, after Alphonse de Lamartine’s volume of poetry of that name from 1830. Musically, this piece was unusually challenging and … more
About the composer
The most famous piano virtuoso of the nineteenth century is regarded as the most influential artist and composer (with Berlioz, Wagner) of the so-called New German School. His immense musical oeuvre comprises, above all else, works for solo piano, including numerous transcriptions; he also devised the symphonic poem. Important, too, are his sacred and secular choral works and songs.
|1811||Born in Doborján/Raiding (Sopron) on October 22, son of an official in the service of Prince Esterházy. First piano lessons from his father, early first attempts at composition, first public performance at age nine.|
|1822||Relocation of the family to Vienna, studies with Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri.|
|1823||Relocation of the family to Paris. Composition studies with Ferdinando Paër and Antonín Reicha (1826). Performances in salons, concerts.|
|1824–27||Concert tours through France, to England and Switzerland. Composition of opera paraphrases for piano.|
|1830||Acquaintance with Berlioz, self-study by reading. He becomes Parisian society’sfavourite pianist and piano teacher.|
|1835||He moves to Switzerland with Countess Marie d’Agoult: their first child together, Blandine-Rachel, is born here. He continues concertizing in Paris.|
|from 1839||Continuous concert tours throughout Europe.|
|from 1847||Symphonic poems, including No. 2, “Tasso: lamento e trionfo”; No. 1, “Ce qu‘on entend sur la montagne” (‘Bergsymphonie,’ ‘Mountain Symphony’); “A Faust Symphony in Three Character Pictures”; “A Symphony to Dante’s Divine Comedy” (‘Dante Symphony’); as well as [No. 11], “Hunnenschlacht” (“Battle of the Huns”).|
|1848–61||Kapellmeister in Weimar; he advocates for progressive music (Wagner, Schumann, Berlioz).|
|1857–62||Oratorio, “The Legend of St. Elisabeth.”|
|1861–68||Resident in Rome.|
|1865||Takes minor holy orders.|
|1871||Appointed Hungarian court councilor; he lives in Rome, Weimar, and Budapest.|
|1886||Death in Bayreuth on July 31.|
About the authors
Deze bijzonder moeilijke partituur is, zoals we van Henle gewend zijn, voorbeeldig gestoken en ook het gedicht van Lamartine (alsmede een Duitse en Engelse vertaling) zijn niet vergeten.
I am sure these new Liszt editions of standard works from the ‘bravura repertoire’ will be well … received.
It also comes with a fascinating appendix in the form of a shortened and simplified version of the piece, seemingly arranged by Liszt for Baroness Meyendorff, ...