The series of recordings with Kirill Karabits conducting the Staatskapelle Weimar, continuing a tradition dating back to Liszt's years as Kapellmeister there, have been strongly acclaimed. With this release, listeners can sample a fine performance of one of the major Liszt tone poems, Tasso: Lamento e Trionfo, and hear some lesser-known works. The latter includes a pair of world premieres (for online listeners, at least), which will be motivation enough for perfect Lisztians. The first is the Künstlerfestzug zur Schillerfeier, S. 114, a sort of festive overture composed for a celebration of Schiller's work. This is thoroughly enjoyable, and it's a rare mood for Liszt. That work served as an overture to the melodrama Vor Hundert Jahren, S. 347, a little play with background music showing two characters, Germania and Poesie, being guided by the spirit of Schiller; the music quotes the finale theme of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, several times along the way. This work was performed previously by Karabits in English with the Bournemouth Symphony, but this reading, available online or as a download only, is apparently the first recording of the original German (the German text does not appear to be available anywhere online). To see what Karabits can really do, sample Tasso, and especially the Dante Symphony, with its gloomy evocation of the Inferno in its opening movement. Karabits's performance of this large work is several minutes longer than average, without dragging in the least: he gets the moody quality that is lost in splashier readings. A very strong Liszt release, with fine sound from the Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
Track Listing - Disc 1
|A Symphony to Dante's 'Divine Commedia', S. 109|
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Von hundert Jahren, S. 347|