While many concert goers have had their fill of the often performed 'Les Preludes' or Hungarian Dances by Franz Liszt, few have been able to hear the far more profound and beautiful works on this new recording from Martin Haselböck, Music Director of the Vienna Academy Orchestra and Musica Angelica in Los Angeles, California. Haselböck is a Liszt specialist, having recorded all of the Liszt works for organ. Now in recognition of the Liszt bicentennial this year he has embarked on a commitment to record all of the orchestral works by this composer. If this recoding of the 'Dante Symphony' and the work 'Evocation of the Sisitine Chapel' is any indication of the quality of this project, then we are indeed in for a gratifying surprise.
Haselböck conducts the Vienna Academy Orchestra and the Chorus Sine Nomine in what can only be described as a stunning performance, both in interpretation and in sound engineering. The Dante Symphony is divided into three movements - Inferno, Purgatorio,and Magnificat. Haselböck employs some of the instruments used in the early performances of Liszt's mammoth work and the spectrum rises form the intensity an terror of Inferno through the exquisite combination of orchestra and chorus in the Purgatorio and Magnificat portions. The result is a major dramatic statement that is bound to gather more listeners into the realm of Liszt strange but wonderful musical creations.
The other work on this recording is the rarely heard A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart) shimmers with mystery in the elegant writing and homage Liszt created. This is one of the more sublime works from the master's repertoire and Haselböck and his forces deliver a mesmerizing performance. Grady Harp, March 11