Liszt: Complete Piano Music Vol. 38 [Soyeon Kate Lee] [Naxos: 8572589]
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As one of the foremost piano virtuosi of his age, Liszt was astute in judging what repertoire he should arrange or transcribe for his particular audiences. For George IV in London he chose Handel, composing virtuoso variations on music from Almira
: it remained his only published work based on Handel. Friendship with Gounod led to five works composed in the 1860s, four of them operatic, and each evocative of the source material whilst being elaborated with a full complement of Lisztian flourish. Raff and Spohr were colleagues of Liszt - indeed Raff was his assistant - and Liszt's transcriptions are both elaborate (Raff) and gentle (Spohr).
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