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Liszt: Tone Poems Box set, Collector's Edition, Import

Price: £17.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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With an international conducting career that has spanned more than five decades, Amsterdam-born Bernard Haitink is one of today's most celebrated conductors. Recentlyappointed Principal Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he has in addition led many of the world's top orchestras, including 25 years at the helm of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam as its music ... Read more in Amazon's Bernard Haitink Store

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Liszt: Tone Poems + Liszt: Faust Symphony, Dante Symphony, Les Preludes, Prometheus
Price For Both: £24.66

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Mar 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Import
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B0033KR5ZC
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,564 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Ce Qu'on Entend Sur La Montagne, Symphonic Poem No.1, S.95 (After Victor Hugo)30:34Album Only
Listen  2. Tasso, Lamento E Trionfo, Symphonic Poem No.2, S.96 (After Byron)20:46Album Only
Listen  3. Les Préludes, Symphonic Poem No.3, S.97 (After Lamartine)15:03Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Orpheus, Symphonic Poem No.4, S.9810:59Album Only
Listen  2. Prometheus, Symphonic Poem No.5, S.9912:54Album Only
Listen  3. Mazeppa, Symphonic Poem No.6, S.10016:19Album Only
Listen  4. Festklänge, Symphonic Poem No.7, S.10119:44Album Only

Disc 3:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Héroïde Funèbre, Symphonic Poem No.8, S.10227:12Album Only
Listen  2. Hungaria, Symphonic Poem No.9 S. 10323:06Album Only
Listen  3. Hamlet, Symphonic Poem No.10, S.10413:58Album Only

Disc 4:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Hunnenschlacht, Symphonic Poem No.11, S.10514:58Album Only
Listen  2. Die Ideale, Symphonic Poem No.12, S. 106 (After Schiller)26:53Album Only
Listen  3. Von Der Wiege Bis Zum Grabe, Symphonic Poem No.13, S.10713:47Album Only
Listen  4. Mephisto Waltz No.1, S. 110 No.2 ''The Dance In The Village Inn'' (After Lenau)11:07Album Only

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David B on 5 Sep 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is well worth the money, I have got this work on two previously released two times 2cd sets, entitled volume 1 and volume 2, recorded on Philips Classics label. Having not heard this DECCA release I can't pass any comment on the sound quality, although I can say that the Philips version was 'ADD' which means a digital recording of original analogue master tapes, which captured the lovely sound of this orchestra in a rounded, detailed and dynamic way. The performance of the London Phil. with Bernard Haitink is absolutely top notch, very authoritative and confident, capturing the drama and lyricism of each tone poem perfectly.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jun 2010
Format: Audio CD
Liszt was one of the most seminal composers of the romantic era, indeed of any period. The inventor of the symphonic poem and an exponent of cyclical form in his character symphonies, can there still be dumbasses out there who think he was all about showing off his barnstorming piano technique and nothing else? Well, let's hope not. So much that followed stems from these groundbreaking orchestral fantasies. There's really no excuse for ignoring them.

Good to see these stonking performances of the tone poems back in the catalogue, and nicely boxed up. One of the high points of Bernard Haitink's distinguished recording career, the performances are uniformly excellent and the sound quality exemplary.

Why spend more on recent DDD offerings when you can get the lot at budget price?
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For anyone who enjoys full blooded orchestral music this should be added to a collection. The sound of the orchestra is as good as I have heard on any recording by any orchestra. In my opinion Liszt seems to be an under rated composer as evidenced by the lack of his works being performed live very often at concert halls. On the evidence of this CD the London Philharmonic ranks with any of the so called great orchestras as their playing here is faultless. One must assume that the conductor has some influence in these interpretations as ,to use a hackneyed phrase, the music really comes alive. I cannot speak too highly of this boxed set, I was amazed by the quality when I played it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CENTRAL LONDON MAN on 23 Feb 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Very dependable and not at all so dull as it might seem at first hearing 1 May 2011
By Alexander Arsov - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Unlike some (pseudo)reviewers, I do listen to what I review, often several times before commit anything down on paper (figuratively speaking). I am particularly glad I have done so in the case of Bernard Haitink's complete recording of Liszt's symphonic poems, for his essentially restrained approach, which might be a little disconcerting at first, does reward repetitive listening. If anything, Mr Haitink has to be given the credit of the pioneer: his cycle was the first to be recorded (1968-71), about a decade before Masur's. It must have wanted a great deal of courage to record so much Liszt during those dismally anti-Romantic times.

The major problem with Bernard Haitink's conducting is exactly this singular restraint of his which hardly suits Liszt's music. Not surprisingly, the more extrovert works (''Les Preludes'', ''Mazeppa'', ''Tasso'') suffer badly and receive performances that do not even come close to Karajan's fiery renditions. At least at one place - the finale of ''Tasso'' - Haitink's timidity approaches disaster; but he is not alone there: virtually every conductor who has recorded this poem - with the significant exception of Karajan, of course - has made a hash of this glorious finale; even Solti stumbles badly there. Going back to Haitink, he may well lack Lisztian fire and passion, but his supreme musicianship does compensate for that. Liszt's later poems (''Hungaria'', ''Die Ideale'', ''Hamlet''), in which his exuberance is a trifle toned down, receive excellent performances, well paced and finely articulated, with powerful but exquisite sound under impeccable control. Haitink's interpretation of ''Hamlet'' is especially noteworthy, for it is one of the best on record. Among the earlier works Haitink is most successful is the relatively tranquil ''Orpheus'' and, surprisingly, in the highly dramatic ''Prometheus'' where, for once, the conductor lets himself go and delivers a splendidly impassioned performance. (He all but does the same with the First Mephisto Waltz, which is among the most powerful I have ever heard. It stands comparison with both Karajan and Solti.)

At all events, Haitink's elegant, aristocratic musicianship is way superior to Masur's jumble of jarring oddities in virtually every aspect: slower pacing, better phrasing, finer climaxes, more drama. Overall, he definitely lacks the Lisztian temperament of Arpad Joo, but he has the advantage of vastly superior sound. It is true that DECCA do have better sonic achievements from the 1960s than that (indeed the recording was originally made for PHILIPS), but the full, rich and with a fine dynamic range sound here is greatly superior to the digital one that Hungaroton offered Arpad Joo in the mid-1980s. All in all, Haitink's cycle is on the slow side but it seldom sounds dragged. I do often hanker for some excitement while listening to it but, on the other hand, I am never exasperated by abominations a la Masur. At bargain price it is definitely worth having by any self-respected Lisztian - despite the ugly box and the perfunctory liner notes. Contrary to the popular belief, Liszt's symphonic poems contain a great deal more that orchestral effects and an overdose rhetoric. Haitink brings out beautifully the subtle orchestral colours and the numerous ravishing melodic lines. Apart from the few works which do require more vigorous treatment than Haitink's temperament allows, and are therefore preferable under other batons, the only drawback of this set is the limited number of ''bonus tracks'' (only one: the First Mephisto Waltz).

In short, Bernard Haitink remains my second choice after Arpad Joo. The latter's understanding of the peculiar character of Liszt's symphonic poems is unmatched as far as complete cycles go, whereas the former has the advantage of a much better recorded sound and a fine sense for the more lyrical side of these works. Masur is by far not on par with either, and the only thing that may recommend his set is its remarkable comprehensiveness - and a very low price, if possible.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Liszt: try it, you'll like it! 26 April 2010
By Paul Chihara - Published on
The Liszt tone poems are among the most important creations in orchestral history, and still today among the most enjoyable to listen to. Yes, I did listen to them all, and have enjoyed their melodies, wonderful harmonies, orchestrations (some by accomplished other composers such as Joachim Raff), and at times sheer creative (and nutty) invention! Wagner and Debussy, among many others, admired them and often stole from them. Only a caveman would dismiss them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Spend a few hours on your own Liszt revival 24 Aug 2013
By Michael Schell - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Liszt in his day was at the forefront of developing drama-based alternatives to classical forms. Along with Wagner, whose Lohengrin, Rheingold, Walküre and Tristan are contemporaneous with these symphonic poems, Liszt represented the opposite school of thought from the classic-romantics like Brahms. History has judged his results to be uneven though, the criticism focusing on a tendency toward bombast and loose-limbed musical structures. Tovey famously ridiculed Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, for example, as a series of introductions to introductions. And the piece does rather come off that way. On the other hand Tovey might have felt differently if he'd have first assimilated post-WW2 music, whose radicalism is as much felt in the dimension of form as it is in harmony, rhythm, the emancipation of timbre and other parameters that have tended to garner more attention from writers. Whether it the organic structure of a Varèse tape piece, the highly episodic form of something like Schoenberg's string trio, or even an extended improvised music set from 1970s Miles Davis or Sun Ra, our contemporary musical experience is full of successes built atop formal approaches that would have seemed rambling or haphazard to Tovey or most other 19th century authorities.

All this is to say that perhaps the time is ripe for a Liszt revival, or at least a reassessment, of the kind that benefitted the reputation of Berlioz and Mahler during the age of LPs and modern orchestral playing. The long Liszt symphonic poems are at least stylistically coherent, and they often feature powerful and beautiful music. I think they get troublesome mainly when they're overly repetitive (the same problem as with Rimsky-Korsakov). Otherwise, as sprawling as they might be, they're still more listenable to me than a typical 2½ hour Handel oratorio filled with constant starts and stops.

Taking this approach to assessing Liszt's tone poems, it can help to have a somewhat restrained but competent interpreter at hand, and this is what Haitink and the LSO deliver in these recordings from 1969 to 1971. The result is not as sparkly and precise as a new digital edition would be. But it's a low cost way for you to formulate your own opinion on Liszt's proper legacy.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable 16 Oct 2013
By Don. Dalley - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Enjoyable, but not memorable. A disc to return to occasionally. I can understand better now as to why Liszt is not one of the really great composers.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
High quality and great source 29 Jan 2013
By 24th chance - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don,t know alot about classical music but I know Rock music isn't good for me and melts my brain.This music is a blank slate where anything can be added at any time and is not limited to a beat and rhyme found in so much of today's garbage.I can now actually think more clearly and precisely since listening exclusively to classical for a month now.
I like Les preludes (because of flash Gorden) and wanted to hear the rest of his symphonic poems,they are great.
However the back of the box lists seem to be different than what,s actually on the disc.Music seems to end then continues on the same track--this may be due to my lack of knowledge of this fine music.The disc,s came quickly and are in perfect condition.
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