Liszt seems all the rage these days, with such stellar younger pianists as Stephen Hough (Hyperion), Leif Ove Andsnes (EMI), and Claudius Tanski (MDG) devoting recent recital discs to the composer.

Liszt seems all the rage these days, with such stellar younger pianists as Stephen Hough (Hyperion), Leif Ove Andsnes (EMI), and Claudius Tanski (MDG) devoting recent recital discs to the composer. Here, though, is a disc's worth of long-lost Liszt recordings from a late piano giant—Jorge Bolet (1914-90). The Cuban-born Romantic idol was a bit underexposed on record until he was past his prime, but this set finds him in peak form, circa 1972. However fine the playing, though, this disc doesn't feel like a complete album, since the majority consists of some of Liszt's slighter, more hackneyed pieces. The exception is the 11-minute-plus Funérailles, played with poetic intensity. Also, the bonus track—a first-take run-through on Liszt's transcendental transcription of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture—possesses the air of inspiration on the wing. Despite its lack of wholeness, this collection is wholly welcome, especially as it was beautifully produced for CD by Jon Samuels—who also wrote excellent liner notes about his rediscovery of the tapes in the RCA vaults.—BB

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