Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies for solo piano are among the most demanding ever made. They form as a whole the most profound exploration of these great works - arguably the greatest cycle of all - ever undertaken. In transposing these works for full orchestra and, in the 9th, for orchestra, chorus and soloists, Liszt shows the deepest respect for Beethoven's scores whilst, at the same time, creating compositions that can be enjoyed in their own right without continual reference back to the originals.
These transcriptions, of course, are technically very difficult but, as well as virtuosity, require great musicality and interpretive insight. Christian Katsaris satisfies in both these respects and the result is an enormously successful and rewarding group of recordings. His approach combines lyricism, drive, drama and excitement with a profound understanding of, and respect for, the basic structure of these works. His virtuosity is never displayed for its own sake but is always the servant of Beethoven's intentions - as transmitted, of course, through Liszt's reworking of the originals.
The digital recordings from the late 1980's still sound excellent and the notes are both interesting and informative.
An extremely valuable issue which can be recommended without reservation.