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Beethoven Symphonies for Piano

2020-09-27 — Michael Haupt

It's 2020, and that means Beethoven.

You may know the man wrote nine symphonies, all for orchestra, one also adding singers (for the first time in symphonic history). These symphonies represent a turning point in music history, and are rightfully popular.

A few years later, there lived a composer-pianist named Franz Liszt, who was a genius at the keyboard and basically created the image of the exalted super star piano player. Now, Liszt liked Beethoven's symphonies so much that he wanted to be able to play them wherever there was a piano, and so he transcribed all of them for piano. Given what he was capable of as a piano player, the result is quite demanding. Few recordings exist. I recently finished listening my way through all nine recordings done by Cyprien Katsaris, who is now one of my heroes. Here is his version of The Ninth. If you don't want to listen through the first three movements and just indulge in the utter craziness that is the fourth movement, here's a direct link.

Tags: music