The fascination with Franz Liszt as a composer and as a person has remained with both of us since our youth. During that time, we have dedicated ourselves to Liszt’s work not only as pianists, but above all as musicians. Shortly after the founding of our piano duo in the year 2009, we discovered, with great enthusiasm, his own transcriptions of the symphonic poems for two pianos and also for piano four hands. “Les Preludes” was one of the first pieces we performed in concert as a duo.
For us, the symphonic poems of Liszt are among his most important compositional creations. In these works his deeply spiritual ideology is most clearly manifest. The poetic thought as inspiration for the composition becomes audible in an impressive way.
For the recording of this cd we have collected musical works based on different programmatic backgrounds from the visual arts, literature and philosophy. You can hear three transcriptions of the symphonic poems including “Les Préludes”, “Mazeppa” and “Hunnenschlacht” in a piano four hands version made by Liszt himself, and our own transcription of the “Paraphrase on Dies irae”, which is also known as the “Totentanz”, for the same instrumantation.
Liszt’s arrangements of his symphonic works for piano four hands are still largely unknown; they exist in the kind of hidden realm and are, unfortunately, played very rarely. But considering that many of his transcriptions for piano solo have become established as an independent and emancipated concert repertoire, we are confident that his four hands transcriptions will also experience a renaissance.
Ever since we began working on our own transcriptions, over the course of several years, Liszt’s piano transcriptions have been a great source of inspiration for us. Liszt created a new form of art with his transcribing; he did not just transfer the original notes from the score, but, much more than this, he made his piano tanscriptions into new creations. Significantly, he even composed some totally new passages of notes for the score of his four hands versions, perhaps because the original notes could not live up to his pianistic ideals. In face, the first works that we transcribed were not compositions by Liszt. Nevertheless, he was, and he still is, our great ideal in the field of piano transcription, especially the scene-based sound paintings, which he used to implement the underlying programmes in his smyphonic poems, and also in the different versions of the Totentanz. This inspired us during the developmental process of our Totentanz transcription.
Increasingly, we have been expanding the sound spectrum of the modern grand piano by using the established tools of the present day. We decided to use playing techniques inside the body of the piano and other contemporary acoustic tools in this transcription, in order to be able to present our very personal vision of the apocalyptic Totentanz scenery.
Despite all the artistic freedom that we were allowed in this transcription, we strove to meet Listz's intentions. It was also very important to us, that the original nuances of the compositions did not get lost.
We hope that this recording opens up new points of view on these great compositions and also that it will inspire your imagination!
Totentanz, Paraphrase on "Dies irae" (Transcription by Duo Tsuyuki&Rosenboom)
Simphonic Poem No. 6 „Mazeppa“ (Transcription by F. Liszt)
Simphonic Poem No. 11 „Hunnenschlacht“ (Transcription by F. Liszt)
Simphonic Poem No. 3 „Les Préludes“ (Transcription by F. Liszt)