Kemal Gekich plays Liszt

A tip from ... Stephen Wigler

May 17, 1998|By STEPHEN WIGLER

The 1992 recording of Liszt's 12 "Transcendental Etudes" by the remarkable Croatian pianist Kemal Gekich has recently been reissued on JVC Classics (6505-2). These are enormously demanding pieces. Robert Schumann predicted that there would never be more than a handful of players capable of handling the staggering difficulties of No. 5 ("Feux Follets"). He might have said the same thing about the uncanny No. 8 ("Wilde Jagd") or the surging emotions of No. 11 ("Harmonies du Soir").

No pianist plays all these pieces equally well, but Gekich's "Feux Follets" and "Harmonies du Soir" approach the Kissin-Richter level, and he's equally fine with the other 10 Etudes. This is the best complete set of this music since the 1958 and 1963 sets of Lazar Berman and the recorded sound is beautiful.

Pub Date: 5/17/98

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