The organ played a relatively large part in Franz Liszt’s oeuvre, and there are dual organ and piano versions of a number of his works, but some of the pieces specifically intended for piano also translate well to the organ.
This album consists of four organ transcriptions of such piano works. It begins with a wedding (Sposalizio) and ends with a funeral procession (La lugubre gondola), both life moments often associated with church and therefore with the organ, and Liszt employs a church-bell motive in them. In the Sposalizio, as well as in the Adagio (Consolation in D flat) that follows on this programme, there is a typical 19th-century musical religiosity that was also very characteristic of Liszt. His monumental Sonata in B minor is then succeeded by La lugubre gondola, a dark epilogue once again emphasising Liszt’s musical progressiveness and emotional depth.
The heart of this album is the Sonata in B minor in a new transcription. Although it has already been transcribed for organ, the present transcription is specifically intended for the 18th- or 19th-century Dutch metropolitan type of organ, an outstanding example of which is the main organ at the Domkerk (St Martin’s Cathedral), Utrecht. There is even a historical link between this particular instrument and Liszt’s organ repertoire. In the summer of 1856, Liszt’s student Alexander Winterberger (1834–1914) undertook a tour of the Netherlands, including a performance at the Utrecht Domkerk, which was positively received by the press, with Liszt, too, enthusiastic.
- Recorded November 2022 at the Bätz organ of the Domkerk in Utrecht, Netherlands
- Booklet in English contains liner notes by the organist on the composer and music, a stop list and information about the organ and a profile of the artist
- Franz Liszt (1811-1886), the celebrated pianist and romantic composer, had a strong connection the organ. He played the organ himself, and his improvisations on the instrument made a shattering impact. Like in his piano music Liszt brought organ composition to a next level.
- The organ plays a relatively large role in Franz Liszt's oeuvre. Moreover, both organ and piano versions of a number of works have survived. Some works that were specifically conceived for the piano can work very well translated to the organ. This album contains four organ transcriptions of piano works by Liszt.
- It begins with a wedding (Sposalizio) and ends with a funeral procession (La lugubre gondola). Both moments of life are often associated with church and church organ in European culture. In both pieces - however different - Liszt features bell motifs. In both the Sposalizio and the presented Adagio, there is a typical nineteenth-century musical religiosity that was also very much Liszt's own. The monumental Sonata in b minor is followed by La lugubre gondola as a dark epilogue, further emphasizing Liszt's musical progressiveness and emotional depth.
- Recorded on the famous Bätz organ of the Dom of Utrecht, the Netherlands, built between 1825 and 1831, the specifications of which are included in the booklet.
- Diederik Blankesteijn (born 1996) is a concert organist, church musician and music teacher. He studied organ at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Jacques van Oortmerssen, Matthias Havinga and Pieter van Dijk. He is broadly oriented as a keyboard player and also took piano lessons (with Frank Peters and Wouter Bergenhuizen), basso continuo and improvisation (with Miklós Spányi and Rien Donkersloot) and clavichord (with Menno van Delft).