Nicholas Angelich plays Liszt: Years of Pilgrimage, First Year

Recorded during the 31st Piano Festival at La Roque d'Anthéron

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Program notes

At the International Piano Festival of la Roque d'Anthéron, Nicholas Angelich performs the first part of Liszt's Years of Pilgrimage, the « First year: Switzerland ».

In 2011, the bicentenary of Liszt's birth was celebrated. The American virtuoso pianist Nicholas Angelich dedicated him a great tribute, performing for one evening all of his Years of Pilgrimage in a row, one of Liszt's most wonderful works, that is also a stirring musical journey into the composer's life.

Composed in almost a half century, the Years of Pilgrimage are three piano suites in which Liszt remembers his journeys, what he has felt facing nature, feelings that he really tries to make alive. The « First year: Switzerland » develops several themes of the Album d'un voyageur he has composed between 1835 and 1838. Liszt refers in particular to memories of time he has spent in Switzerland with his mistress Marie d’Agoult.

With poetry, Nicholas Angelich plunges us into the composer's meditative journey, from William Tell's Chapel to Obermann's Valley. His performance invites to contemplate musically Liszt's memories and emotions. But above all, the delicateness and sensitivity of his fingers on the keyboard help us to distinguish every feeling, every face of the composer that unveils him behind this work of pure beauty.

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