Simone Young shows us visions of Vienna and then takes us to hell and back with Liszt’s epic Dante Symphony.
In his Two Memorials Australian composer James Ledger remembers the ‘difficult’ Viennese composer Anton Webern and icon John Lennon. It’s a surprising musical juxtaposition as 60s pop psychedelia meets serialism, but there is a fateful connection between the two composers.
Liszt wraps orchestral finery around one of Schubert’s great solo piano masterpieces, the Wanderer Fantasy, to create a kind of concerto. It’s a poetic vehicle for Louis Lortie’s dazzling insightful and pianism, conducted by Simone Young in a program that showcases her affinity for richly expressive music.
Liszt was inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, writing vividly infernal, voluptuous and heavenly music to take us through Hell and Purgatory and on to a celestial song of faith. Liszt was an ambitious and innovative musician, creating a radically new sound for the piano and ‘inventing’ the symphonic poem – using the orchestra to brilliantly evoke mood, colour, people and places.