Sabbath beauty: Liszt, Consolations No. 3 and 4

(This should have been posted Friday night, but the last few days in realspace have been quite crazy. Apologies.)

Most of Franz Liszt’s piano music is highly demanding technically, not just the flashy concert pieces he wrote for himself while he was younger, but also the more introspective later work. (I will forgive all Liszt’s showoff trifles for just his B minor Sonata, one of the most compelling such works ever written.)

The six Consolations S.172, apparently written with an amateur pianist patron in mind, are one exception. Below follow videos of Consolations 3 and 4, both in Db major, and which fit together beautifully. Consolation #3 — the most famous of the set — was performed on a piano actually owned by Liszt.

For Consolation #4, I could only find audio versions: recording by Daniel Barenboim of the published score, recording of Liszt’s first draft by Leslie Howard.



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