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recital piano


Mendelssohn, Chopin, Wagner

Nikolaï Lugansky presents a programme of pianistic song from Mendelssohn’s early Romanticism through to his own transcriptions of scenes from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.


6 Songs Without Words

Nocturne in D-flat major Op. 27 No. 2
Ballade No. 4 in F minor Op. 52


RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883)
4 Scenes from Götterdämmerung (arr. Nikolaï Lugansky)
Isolde’s Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, transcription F. Liszt S. 447

Mendelssohn wrote his eight volumes of ‘Songs without Words’ between 1829 and 1845. So-called for their song-like quality, Mendelssohn himself wrote of them, ‘If you ask me what I had in mind…I would say: just the song as it is. And if I happen to have certain words in mind for one or another of these songs, I would never want to tell them to anyone, because the same words never mean the same things to others.’ Chopin’s D flat Nocturne of 1836 floats two exquisite, alternating song-like melodies over a broken chordal accompaniment. There’s a similar poetic lyricism to his melancholic Ballade No. 4 with its subtle harmonic complexities and wide emotional and architectural scope. Chopin-loving Liszt created piano transcriptions of Wagner’s operas to champion them to a wider public. His ‘Liebestod’ faithfully recreates the original’s shimmering orchestral textures below the soprano line. Lugansky’s Götterdämmerung arrangements are thus a natural addition to the repertoire.

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