Exploring Liszt with Leslie Howard

Sunday 25 October 4.00 pm

Streamed LIVE concert in an empty church

Leslie Howard – Lecture – recital

‘Exploring Liszt at the piano’

Programme to include Grosses Konzertsolo S176

The oracle speaks indeed.Leslie Howard gave a sometimes amusing and moving talk , full of information,wisdom and insights into the extraordinary world of Franz Liszt.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/christopher-axworthy/in-praise-of-liszt-annual-day-and-international-piano-competition-of-the-liszt-s/10155251368972309/

https://www.facebook.com/notes/christopher-axworthy/liszt-comes-to-st-marys/10156117991422309/

It is some years that the Liszt Society chaired by Leslie Howard have held their annual Liszt Day and Competition at St Mary’s and it was only logical that Leslie Howard should be the first for their new series of lecture recitals by renowned musicians.

Lecture sounds so pompous and academic but here was a man who was praised to the skies, 50 years ago, by Guido Agosti (a pupil of Busoni who was a pupil of Liszt) in the summer school of the Chigiana in Siena.Always with a twinkle in his eye as he share the facts from his profound study of the world of Liszt with a humour and simpatia that belies the information that he is sharing with us.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/christopher-axworthy/leslie-howard-reformed-liszt/10154744463347309/

A fascinating afternoon, visible always on the St Mary’s web site, full of insights that are too numerous to ‘Liszt’ here.

Some extraordinary performances such as the late nocturne En reve , that was a favourite with my old teacher Gordon Green.Interesting the original idea for La Ricordanza one of the most mellifluous of his later Transcendental Studies.

The tour de force of the afternoon was an extraordinary performance of the Grosses Konzertsolo that was the forerunner of the B minor Sonata.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/christopher-axworthy/tea-for-two-leslie-howard-45th-wigmore-celebration-and-burnett-thompson-the-age-/10156917413147309/

https://www.facebook.com/notes/christopher-axworthy/leslie-howard-in-belgravia/10154678959267309/

To celebrate his seventieth birthday, Leslie Howard prepared some of the works which have proved most in demand by his many followers throughout the years: a programme of Liszt’s operatically inspired piano music that he is playing in many countries.  2018 will also see the release of one further CD of hitherto unrecorded pieces by Liszt, finally bringing the total to 100, and so extending the already unequalled accomplishment of the largest solo artist recording project in the history of classical music.  (The new disc can be safely slotted into the famous complete Liszt boxed set which has been available from Hyperion Records since 2011.)  This critically acclaimed project merited Leslie Howard’s entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, six Grands Prix du Disque, the Medal of St. Stephen, the Pro Cultura Hungarica award and a mounted bronze cast of Liszt’s hand presented by the Hungarian President. 

Leslie Howard has balanced his prodigious recording career with an international concert itinerary which has seen him performing regularly throughout the world for more than half a century, always with a repertoire that seeks to extend the audience’s experience and to challenge accepted hierarchies of received wisdom.  He has appeared regularly with the world’s finest orchestras, and has also pursued a distinguished career as a chamber musician, partnering many of the greatest solo musicians and ensembles of our time. In addition to his solo Liszt recordings, Leslie Howard’s CD discography contains many other important world première recordings, including the four piano sonatas of Rubinstein, the three piano sonatas of Tchaikovsky and a disc of Scandinavian piano sonatas. All his early solo and duo recordings (with David Stanhope) of the music of Grainger have been reissued in a 5-CD set by Eloquence. There are also the Piano Quartets of Rubinstein – world première recordings for Hyperion, 25 Etudes in Black and White – his own compositions recorded for ArtCorp, and a disc pairing the two Rakhmaninov piano sonatas for Melba Recordings.  Melba has also released two CDs with Mattia Ometto joining Howard in the complete music of Reynaldo Hahn for two pianos and piano duet.  A work in progress, Brilliant Classics are issuing three sets each of 3 CDs of Liszt’s complete music for two pianos, again with Mattia Ometto – the first box contains all 12 of Liszt’s own two-piano versions of his symphonic poems.  


In his capacity as a renowned scholar working from primary sources, Professor Howard has produced 13 volumes of Liszt Society Publications for The Hardie Press, including the complete chamber music, 30 volumes of the Music Section of the Liszt Society Journal, and 4 volumes of the new Urtext Liszt scores for Edition Peters (with a much-praised version of the Liszt Sonata).  His other editorial work includes a new reconstruction and orchestration of Paganini’s fifth violin concerto for the collected Paganini Edition in Italy, the full score of Bellini’s ‘Adelson e Salvini’, and the now-standard two-piano score of Rakhmaninov’s 4th Concerto for Boosey & Hawkes. 

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