Various Artists

The Best of Liszt

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It's hard to put much confidence in Resonance's The Best of Liszt, especially when the first track is misattributed; the lay listener may not be aware that both Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz composed popular pieces using the Rákóczy March tune, but someone at the label who should have known better used a mediocre recording of Berlioz's famous arrangement from The Damnation of Faust and credited it here to Liszt. After this mishap, though, the rest of the compilation proceeds with properly credited works, and the Liebestraum No. 3, the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, the Petrarch Sonnet, and Les Préludes are what they are purported to be. Not that these are good performances nor are they even recorded with decent sound, but they are merely useful for identifying the works and inspiring the listener to seek out much better recordings elsewhere. Like a few other albums of Sanctuary Classics' Best Of series, the selections feature fairly obscure artists in indifferent to poor recordings, and the reproduction is mostly boxy and heavily compressed with erratic drops in volume. These poorly chosen tracks do not invite a second hearing, and this disc will disappoint anyone who comes within earshot of it. Caveat emptor.

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