Franz Liszt

Hungarian Rhapsody, for piano No. 17 in D minor, S. 244/17 (LW A132/17)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    The first 14 Hungarian Rhapsodies were composed in the period 1847 --1853, though most have roots dating back to 1839 -- 1840 when original versions appeared in a set of 11 Magyar Dalok. The last five Rhapsodies were added in the years 1871 -- 1886. This one was written and published in 1882 and shares with No. 18 the distinction of being the shortest of the Rhapsodies, each having a duration of just over three minutes. For all its brevity though, this D minor effort, like most of the other later Rhapsodies, is much deeper and darker than the comparatively lighter, more virtuosic earlier ones. Gone are the garish colors here, the festivity, the Gypsy exoticism, and the slam-bang dazzle. Instead, Liszt, who had taken minor orders in the Catholic church and long since shed his virtuosic phase, presents a somber theme of marginally Hungarian character. Gradually, the music grows restless in its gloom, becoming more animated and agitated until it explodes in a rage of vehement bass chords and octaves, intent on crushing everything in sight with its triple forte dynamics. The work is rousing, to be sure, but a dark and angry statement of the elderly composer.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2015 Sony Classical 88843014702
    2014 Praga / Praga Digitals DSD 350078
    2013 Parnassus Records 96017
    2011 Naxos 855821415
    2011 Piano Classics PCLD 0016
    2011 CME Media 561001
    2011 Bmc Records / Budapest Music Center BMC185
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records
    2008 Decca 4758637
    2008 Decca / Universal Classics & Jazz
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2003 Artemis Classics 1213
    2001 Brilliant 99273
    2001 Forlane 7
    2001 Brilliant 99351
    1999 Vanguard 128
    Vanguard 130
    Brilliant 99357
    Ducale 010
    MCA 10429
    Russian Revelation 10011
    Manchester 115
    RCA Victor 60859