Michael Kaykov – Liszt: Unrivalled, Vol. 2 (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Michael Kaykov – Liszt: Unrivalled, Vol. 2 (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 59:09 minutes | 919 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Odradek Records

American pianist and academic Michael Kaykov follows his first Odradek release, Liszt: Unrivalled, with Unrivalled Volume 2, an album devoted to the composer’s extraordinary late piano works.

Underestimated at the time, Liszt’s late piano works are increasingly recognised as masterpieces of innovation, pushing the boundaries of tonality and style with a radical daring that paved the way for modernism. Each work on this album is an illustration of these remarkable developments. Highlights include the Csardas macabre which features empty sequences of fifths, almost minimalist rhythmic repetitions and chromatic undulations of pared-back melodic lines. The Impromptu, S. 191 lives up to the spontaneity of its name, while the last four of the 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies were composed some 30 years after the first 15 and have a completely different character, epitomising Liszt’s ascetic late style.

The Funeral Prelude and Funeral March are pervaded with chromaticism, dissonant harmonies, augmented intervals and tonal ambiguity, while brevity and simplicity characterise the Mephisto Polka. The Bagatelle sans tonalite, with its extreme chromaticism and dissolution of functional harmony, heralds a new musical epoch beyond the Romantic era with which Liszt is most often associated. Michael Kaykov approaches this magnificent repertoire with sensitivity, nuance and breath-taking skill.

1-1. Michael Kaykov – Csárdás macabre, S.224 (06:24)
1-2. Michael Kaykov – Impromptu, S.191 (02:49)
1-3. Michael Kaykov – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 19 in D Minor, S.244 (09:34)
1-4. Michael Kaykov – Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch, S.206 (04:43)
1-5. Michael Kaykov – Mephisto Polka, S.217 (04:06)
1-6. Michael Kaykov – In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi, S.188 (02:21)
1-7. Michael Kaykov – Toccata, S.197a (01:10)
1-8. Michael Kaykov – Mephisto Waltz No. 3, S.216 (07:46)
1-9. Michael Kaykov – Sarabande und Chaconne aus dem Singspiel Almira, S.181 (11:00)
1-10. Michael Kaykov – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, S.429 (06:13)
1-11. Michael Kaykov – Bagatelle sans tonalité, S.216a (02:58)


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