Impromptu (Nocturne) in F Sharp Major, S. 191

Konstantinos Papadakis

Impromptu (Nocturne) in F Sharp Major, S. 191
Performed By Konstantinos Papadakis
Album UPC 884501669832
CD Baby Track ID 9313930
Label D.S.H.
Released 2012-02-27
BPM 110
Rated 0
ISRC uscgh1293432
Year 2012
Spotify Plays 554
Writer Franz Liszt
Pub Co Public Domain
Composer Franz Liszt
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master and Publishing Grant
Rights One-Stop: Master + 100% Pub Grant
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country United States - Mass. - Boston


Celebrating the bicentennial year of Franz Liszt with a unique and dazzling recording of 16 miniature masterpieces - a single portrait of a genius.


Anniversaries involve memorials, and artistic products chosen to memorialize their creators tend to become monuments. As musicologist Alexander Rehding has recently asserted, “Each monument casts a trajectory into the future, setting out guidelines for the mode in which the hero is to be remembered.” On this 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt’s birth, Konstantinos Papadakis invites us to commemorate our hero with a “list” of sixteen short piano pieces that offer us a glimpse into the composer’s adventurous artistic persona.
From the minute-long Scherzo, a bold miniature that bears the imprint of precociousness of the 16-year-old composer, to the ambitiously-titled Konzertetüden, and from the wistful passages of fleeting charm in Feuilles d’Album to the dazzling display of virtuosity in “La Campanella,” the music’s astounding scope takes us on a journey that defies the brevity of these compositions. The four transcriptions of Lieder constitute virtual translations, imbued with delicacy and invention beyond these found in the original. Liszt’s homage to Chopin, in particular, is also in evidence in the exuberant Mazurka brillante as well as the Impromptu, a Chopinesque nocturne whose flights of fancy encode a distinctly Lisztian imprint. Liszt’s late piano music comprises a precious depository of modernist gems: the bygone naïveté of the Valse oubliée and the harmonic boldness of the Bagatelle sans tonalité shine brightly upon the aging composer’s acute and forward-looking sensibility. Liszt achieves deceiving simplicity in the challenging Klavierstück and he manages to blur the effortless motion of the Ländler’s triple meter in favor of a syncopated effect. The tempestuous Grand galop chromatique, however, leaves no doubt as to its breathtaking virtuosity—this final selection on the recording encapsulates the fiery quality of Liszt’s music that still thrills and captivates audiences.
Papadakis is among the few young pianists today with the technical prowess and interpretative imagination to do justice to this music. Through nuanced readings and sensible virtuosity, he creates an artistic product of unprecedented inspiration—a musical monument that aptly celebrates and helps propel Liszt’s piano legacy into the future.

Eftychia Papanikolaou, Ph.D.

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