This box of hitherto unissued recordings will be a must for any pianophile. Michele Campanella is already known to such connoisseurs as a Liszt player of the highest distinction, who has played the composer’s music for many decades now. These recordings were made in Italy in the last 10 years, and reveal him as an ever more acute interpreter of this often elusive music.
Most obviously demanding, of course, are the 12 Transcendental Studies, that ultimate synthesis of literary-inspired creative fire and technical wizardry. Two discs of Wagner transcriptions venture from the familiar and relatively straightforward (Isoldes Liebestod) to the transformative recreations, entirely worthy of the originals, wrought by Liszt on themes from Lohengrin and Parsifal.Then on a disc of Liszt is the well-known Rigoletto paraphrase but also transcriptions of music from Gerusalem and Simon Boccanegra. Altogether we encounter the protean genius of Liszt at his most flexible, responding to the appetite of his day for both operatic pot-pourris and for clouds of piano dreams.
• Michele Campanella on Liszt: essay and biography included in the booklet
• In this Liszt anniversary year, this generous box will arouse additional interest
• There is more Campanella and Liszt to come from Brilliant Classics in 2011