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CHAN 10524
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CHAN 10524

Liszt: Symphonic Poems, Volume 5

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2009

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2008


BBC Philharmonic

Gianandrea Noseda

Gillian Keith


Ladies Voices of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus


Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Brian Pidgeon

Mike George


Stephen Rinker

Sharon Hughes


Owain Williams


Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 61:02
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Eine Symphonie zu Dantes Divina Commedia, S 109

  for large orchestra and women's chorus  
  Richard Wagner gewidmet  
  I Inferno 20:03      
1 Lento - Un poco più accelerando - 6:31
2 Quasi andante, ma sempre un poco mosso - 5:18
3 Andante amoroso. Tempo rubato - Più ritenuto - 3:42
4 Tempo I. Allegro (Alla breve) - Più mosso - 4:32
  II Purgatorio 21:57      
5 Andante con moto quasi allegretto - Tranquillo assai - 6:22
6 Lamentoso - 5:11
7 [L'istesso tempo] - Poco a poco più di moto - 3:42
8 Magnificat. L'istesso tempo - Poco a poco accelerando e crescendo sin al Più mosso - 6:40
 Gillian Keith soprano

Deux Legendes, S 354

9 1 St François d'Assise: la prédecation aux oiseaux. Andante - 10:38
10 2 St François de Paule marchant sur les flots. Andante maestoso - 8:26
This monumental survey draws to a close with Dante’s Symphony, coupled with Two Legends.

Praise for volumes 1-4:
‘utterly gripping in Noseda’s hands and puts fine versions by Bernard Haitink and Kurt Masur quite in the shade.’
Classic FM Magazine on Volume 4.

‘Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic have already shown their mettle in their first volume, and it looks as though a highly collectable set is in the making.’
Daily Telegraph on Volume 2.

Based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, Liszt’s Dante Symphony was completed in 1856 and dedicated to his friend and mentor, Richard Wagner. Liszt had conceived a work that was to combine music, poetry and the visual arts. He wrote to Wagner in 1855 ‘I have long been carrying a Dante Symphony in my head – this year I intend to get it down on paper. There are to be three movements, Hell, Purgatory and Paradise – the first two for orchestra alone, the last with chorus. Liszt inscribed Wagner’s copy of the Dante Symphony, ‘As Virgil guided Dante, so you have guided me through the mysterious regions of the life-imbued worlds of tone. From the depths of his heart calls to you ‘Tu sei lo mio maestro, e il mio autore!’ and dedicates this work to ‘you in unchangeably faithful love, your F.Liszt.’ Liszt quotes the words Dante spoke to Virgil, ‘You are my master, and my author’ from Inferno, canto 1, line 85.

Two Legends complements Dante Symphony. It is best known as a solo piano work, and is rarely recorded in its orchestral version. This makes for a useful addition to the catalogue.

“This is a worthy conclusion to an unquestionably significant and timely project. Beyond its appeal to Lisztians and students of Romanticism, Volume 5 of the Symphonic Poems will afford tremendous pleasure to lovers of fine orchestral playing. Most highly recommended."

Patrick Rucker


International Record Review - July/August 2009

“ …… I cannot praise his [Noseda) Dante Symphony  highly enough, and both orchestra and choir really do themselves proud-as do  the Chandos engineers”

American Record Guide - September/October 2009

“Liszt’s mastery at musical depictions of dramatic fury is borne out by this arresting performance of this two-part but multifaceted symphony inspired by Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio, which comes as the fifth volume of  Chando’s survey of his symphonic poems. There are intimations of Paradiso, too, in the passages of more cosseting, spiritual aspiration, Gianandrea Noseda drawing his sizeable forces into a tableau that is full of incident, whether serenely contemplative or buffeted by the whirlwinds of eternal damnation.”


The Telegraph - May 2009

"The fifth volume in Gianandrea Noseda’s authoritative cycle with the BBC Philharmonic, this is also the most technically and interpretively exacting programme. Textural precision is foremost in ‘Deux Légendes’, with an exhilarating wash of low brass, low woodwind and frenzied strings in ‘St Francois de paule marchant sur les flots’. Most impressive, however, is Nodesda’s navigation of the bombastic colourations of ‘Eine symphonie zu dantes Divina Comdedia."

The Independent - May 2009

"Once again Chandos has done the orchestra and conductor proud in a recorded sound of a special brilliance and transparency."

Bryce Morrison

Gramophone - August 2009

"This is volume 5 of the series, which has been a real voyage of discovery for me."

Liverpool Evening News

D Guest

C Jewett

B Thornton

In its 24/96 download guise, this is outstanding - thrilling dynamic range, precise but atmospheric three-dimensional imagery, and a real acoustic presence. The orchestra seems to "breathe" in a palpable reverberant space. The wide dynamic and a suitably demonic response from the orchestra in the more pictorial sections of the Inferno make for an ear-opening experience - I found myself trawling the web peering at Dore's Dante engravings! One realises too just how much Hollywood film composers learnt from these and other 19th century symphonic poems. (It's not Liszt's fault that some of his "horrors of hell" effects sound a little cliched now; you can even find "haunted house' effects in Schubert's d887 String Quartet). No, it's probably not "great music" but superbly executed here, and including a wonderful bonus in "St Francois de Paule Walks upon the Waves" effectively an 8-minute crescendo based on a repeated 8-note phrase, climaxing splendidly!
J Wilson