August 03, 2023

Piemontesi’s Epic Journey Through the Highest Mountains Within the Piano Repertoire

Pentatone releases Liszt Transcendental Etudes & Piano Sonata, together with pianist Francesco Piemontesi, in September 2023.

The Highest Mountains to Climb Within The Piano Repertoire

Pianist Francesco Piemontesi presents Franz Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes and Sonata in B Minor, two of the highest mountains to climb within the piano repertoire. The metaphor of climbing a mountain not only applies to the technical demands placed on the player, but also to the sublime nature of these works: colourful, poetic, lyrical, and bold in their construction. Piemontesi has taken his time before embarking on this epic journey, and the recording documents how his interpretation of these legendary works has matured over time. Unique to this album are the liner notes, written by Nike Wagner, the great-great-granddaughter of Liszt.

Francesco Piemontesi is among the most-cherished pianists of our age, and presents the fourth fruit of his exclusive collaboration with Pentatone, having released the acclaimed Schubert – Last Piano Sonatas (2019), Bach Nostalghia (2021) and Schoenberg, Messiaen & Ravel with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Jonathan Nott (2022).

Although for me Franz Liszt was always among the most important musical influences, I took my time with his legendary “Transcendental Etudes”. They are something like a musical Everest that I didn’t want to climb too early in my life. The etudes confront the player with incredible technical difficulties but they must by no means be mastered only from the fingers. They need a full, physical sound. In that way, these pieces turn into musical poems and studies in orchestral colours. The no less iconic Sonata in B Minor, on the other hand, has been part of my repertoire for a long time. In this piece, we encounter Franz Liszt from different sides: as a boldly constructive visionary, as a sensitive lyricist, as a stirring piano virtuoso.”

Francesco Piemontesi

Digital Release Date: 1 SEPTEMBER 2023

Physical Release: SEPTEMBER 2023

Released as 2 CD and in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.