Valentina Lisitsa Plays Liszt

Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 00:00


Valentina Lisitsa Plays Liszt

Valentina Lisitsa



Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa was a YouTube star before she was picked up by Decca. Some 40 million online views were bound to commend her to record company executives. A live Royal Albert Hall recital (repertoire chosen through online voting) was the first fruit of the Decca association, and now comes a Liszt collection that’s individual in its taste, to say the least. Arrangements of Schubert and Verdi dominate, but there’s also the Ballade No 2, El contrabandista, and the Hungarian Rhapsody No 12, all played with old-style freedom and grandeur. Lisitsa knows how to shape a singing line, turn her Bösendorfer Imperial grand into a thunder machine (in the middle of the Ballade), and charm with delicacy as well.