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.
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Description by Robert Cummings
|2014||Praga / Praga Digitals||DSD 350078|
|2011||Piano Classics||PCLD 0016|
|2011||Bmc Records / Budapest Music Center||BMC185|
|2008||Decca / Universal Classics & Jazz|