Liszt: Dante Symphony
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Volume 26' in the Complete Piano Music Edition presents the first disc of Liszt's two pianos arrangements. Inspired by a reading of the 'Divina Commedia' during a stay in Italy, Liszt began work on his 'fragment dantesque' in the autumn of 1839 and gave its premi?®re in Vienna on 5th December. The piece was to be reworked by Liszt at Weimar to form the seventh piece in his 'Ann?¿es de p?¿lerinage, deuxi?¿me ann?®e (Italie)'. Widely known as the 'Dante Sonata', here in Vittorio Bresciani's arrangement for two pianos, the work opens with ominous descending chords suggesting the entrance to Hell, with its forbidding 'Lasciate ogni speranza, voi che entrate' ('Abandon all hope, you who enter'). In 1847 Liszt turned again to Dante, making his first sketches for a proposed symphony, eventually completed in 1856 and arranged for two pianos by 1859. The Dante Symphony had its first under-rehearsed and disastrous performance in Dresden in 1857, but won gradual acceptance, and the two-piano version remained part of Liszt's own repertoire.