Liszt – Consolations

This moving yet simple set of six nocturnes by the Hungarian composer are neither particularly challenging nor innovative. They listen well in the context of “piano music” and sound like the sort of thing that people listen to because they think that they should listen to “Classical” music.

I’m reminded of a comparison between wines. It’s no good if a fine wine tastes and smells of “wine”. I want a Chablis (for example) to bring to mind a host of emotions and forgotten experiences in the subtle nuances of the nose. I want hints of rubber and tree sap, oyster shells and hay. If I wanted it to smell like “wine” I would get a bottle for five pounds from Tesco.

These pieces by Liszt sound like what they are. Not very expressive “piano music”. Maybe that’s why he called them Consolations?

Listen here:

Consolation No. 1 in E major
Consolation No. 2 in E major
Consolation No. 3 in D flat major

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