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Distant Friends
By Andreas Seidel

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By Andreas Seidel and Steffen Schleiermacher. By Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and Erik Satie (1866-1925). Classical. CD. Naxos #6132011-2. Published by Naxos (NX.6132011-2).

Item Number: NX.6132011-2

What might Franz Liszt possibly have in common with Erik Satie? The brilliant virtuoso and magician of pianistic opulence with the minimalistic ascetic of sound? Steffen Schleiermacher has discovered astonishing parallels between the former's late oeuvre and the latter's early oeuvre, which was taking shape at just about the same time. Together with the Gewandhaus concertmaster Andreas Seidel he is now presenting his astonishing new findings to the listening public - surprises are guaranteed. Now and again reminiscences of past times are heard, for example, in the ''Romance oubilee,'' before this forgotten romance unravels into ethereal nothingness. Moreover, Richard Wagner makes his presence felt again and again. Liszt's very mixed feelings about his son-in-law, whose death in Venice he foresaw like a visionary, is reflected in the two ''Sad Gondolas'' - and after Wagner actually had died in the heartrending and overwhelming ''R.W. - Venezia.'' Erik Satie, the house composer of the Wagner devotee Sar Peladan and his Rosicrucians, did precisely the opposite of what was expected of him. Statis sounds and sequences of unresolved chords without development hold his music in a permanent state of suspended animation managing without a beginning or an end. The door he opened for later generations of composers was one through which Franz Liszt delightfully would have gone if he had been somewhat younger.

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