"This delightful new album from Eroica Classical Recordings features
lovely, sensitive interpretations of the music of Franz Liszt
and Modest Musorgsky, by the young Canadian pianist, Jacques Despres.
His Liszt selections, En Reve and Abschied, based on a Russian
folk tune, were rendered with delicate, subtle playing."
About the Instrument
The piano used for this recording is a Steinway & Sons model D manufactured in New York in 1879. All the selections on this compact disc were written around that time. The character of this piano is well suited for Liszt's late works. Its sound is substantial and austere. This instrument also lends itself very well to the nineteenth-century Russia of Musorgsky. This piano is capable of producing a powerful sound, without the danger of shrillness. At the same time, the pianist can draw on a plethora of coloristic possibilities. By using some tempi passed on to us by Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Vladimir Stasov, according to their recollections of Mussorsgky's playing of PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, this piano reveals a sustaining power which allows the beauty of PICTURES to speak for itself, without the extravagant artistry of an orchestrator. This recording does not make any specific claim for "period authenticity"--just what one would hope to be well-founded interpretations enhanced by the wonderful and expressive possibilities of a great instrument.