Stories from A Book of Liszts – The story behind the recording

One evening in the autumn of 2009, I returned home to find an intriguing message on my answerphone.  It was John Spurling – and he had just finished a book on Liszt.  A delightful evening at the Spurlings followed with John reading from his manuscript to the strains of Liszt.  I was captivated and the idea of Stories from A Book of Liszts was born: readings from John’s book to be infused with and accompanied by a new recording of selected pieces from Liszt.

But where were we to find our young Liszt?  The delightful and energetic Gábor Egri from the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London came to our rescue.  He knew just the man: the brilliant, 22-year old Hungarian pianist, János Balázs, youngest ever winner of the Liszt International Piano Competition and protegé of Tamás Vásáry.

And, suddenly, there we were in Budapest – at the Palace of Arts on the banks of the Danube – recording a glorious concert of 15 of Liszt’s piano works by a very talented young man.  Liszt reborn.  It was a performance to remember.

Recording in London of carefully chosen readings from A Book of Liszts followed.  And then an intensive mixing session where we infused Jonathan Keeble’s and Jilly Bond’s spirited performances with excerpts from János Balázs’ glorious playing to bring the romantic, passionate genius of Liszt vividly alive.

[audio:|titles=Franz Liszt – Un sospiro Etudes de concert No 3 – Janos Balazs piano]

We fell in love with Liszt – we hope you do too.

Catriona Oliphant
December 2011

Photos taken at the Palace of Arts – Budapest

János Balázs ready to perform
Miklós Monoki and Adrian Edwards at work

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 5:25 pm and is filed under Audiobooks, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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