Simone Jennarelli | Liszt: Étude en douze exercices, Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse

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Liszt: Étude en douze exercices, Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse

by Simone Jennarelli

Pianist virtuoso Simone Jennarelli plays two important milestones in the history of the music: the spectacular first version of the Transcendental Studies by Liszt and the amazing Liszt's masterwork Années de pèlerinage - Suisse. Recorded in October 2014
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Étude en douze exercices, No. 1 in C Major, S. 136: Allegro con fuoco
1:10 $0.99
2. Étude en douze exercices, No. 2 in A Minor, S. 136: Allegro non molto
1:27 $0.99
3. Étude en douze exercices, No. 3 in F Major, S. 136: Allegro sempre legato
2:54 $0.99
4. Étude en douze exercices, No. 4 in D Minor, S. 136: Allegretto
1:14 $0.99
5. Étude en douze exercices, No. 5 in B-Flat Major, S. 136: Moderato
2:46 $0.99
6. Étude en douze exercices, No. 6 in G Minor, S. 136: Molto agitato
1:11 $0.99
7. Étude en douze exercices, No. 7 in E-Flat Major, S136: Allegretto con molta espressione
2:13 $0.99
8. Étude en douze exercices, No. 8 in C Minor, S. 136: Allegro con spirito
2:02 $0.99
9. Étude en douze exercices, No. 9 in A-Flat Major, S. 136: Allegro grazioso
4:53 $0.99
10. Étude en douze exercices, No. 10 in F Minor, S. 136: Moderato
2:01 $0.99
11. Étude en douze exercices, No. 11 in D-Flat Major, S. 136: Allegro grazioso
2:32 $0.99
12. Étude en douze exercices, No. 12 in B-Flat Minor, S. 136: Allegro non troppo
1:59 $0.99
13. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: I. Chapelle de Guillaume Tell; Lento
6:11 $0.99
14. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: II. Au lac de Wallenstadt; Andante placido
4:07 $0.99
15. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: III. Pastorale; Vivace
2:26 $0.99
16. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: IV. Au bord d'une source; Allegretto grazioso
5:21 $0.99
17. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: V. Orage; Allegro molto
4:46 $0.99
18. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: VI. Vallée d'Obermann; Lento assai
9:53 $0.99
19. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: VI. Vallée d'Obermann; Lento
5:02 $0.99
20. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: VII. Eglogue; Allegretto con moto
4:01 $0.99
21. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: VIII. Le mal du pays; Lento
5:38 $0.99
22. Années de pèlerinage: Première année: Suisse, S.160: IX. Les cloches de Genève; Quasi allegretto
7:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
12 Etudes en douze exercices, S136 (1826, for piano), Années de pèlerinage I - Suisse, S160
Recorded in October 2014 at Vellon Studio, Italy.
Simone Jennarelli is one of the few pianists in the world who can play the complete three versions of the Transcendental Studies by Liszt.

Simone Jennarelli has recorded music by Brahms (Haydn Variations) and by Bettinelli for RSI, Italian Swiss Radio and a collection of Piano Rarities and Favourites by Mozart, with the First World Recording of the Andante variato (KV Anh 138).

His huge virtuoso piano repertoire includes some of the most difficult pieces ever written, like the original piano solo transcription of the Totentanz by F. Liszt, the complete three Années de pèlerinage by Liszt and the Sonata No. 2 by Rachmaninoff.

Simone Jennarelli, composer and pianist, has studied Composition with Bruno Bettinelli (the celebrated maestro of Muti, Pollini, Abbado, Chailly). He has studied piano with the great pianist and teacher Ludwig Hoffmann, in Wien (Austria) and in München (Germany).

Simone Jennarelli is member of the League of Composers/ISCM - New York.

Simone Jennarelli has written music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, piano, organ and chorus, soundtracks for experimental short films in competition at Montecarlo Festival in IMAGINA 2007.

Simone Jennarelli is also the featured artist, the producer and the copyright owner of his own music with label SmartCgArt.

Etudes en douze exercices, S136 (Liszt, Franz)

The 12 Etudes en douze exercices, S136 are the first version of the famous 12 Etudes d'exécution transcendante, S139. Written in 1826, they are the first important cycle written by the young composer Franz Liszt, at the age of fourteen. After having developed his musical taste, in his first years, in the same musical environment, within which the great composers Haydn, Hummel, Pleyel and Beethoven have studied, invented, composed and worked for so many years, that’s to say the artistic coterie of the aristocratic family Esterhazy (Liszt’s father worked for the prince Esterhazy himself), thus Liszt produced, with this collection of studies for piano, the first miraculous works of his genius and inventiveness, already defining a clear and powerful path towards modernity both in music and in piano technique. Probably inspired by the works of his master, Czerny, and probably by the Capricci by Paganini (Liszt listened to Paganini for the first time in 1831, but probably he knew his masterwork, published in 1820), the 12 Etudes S136 are an important milestone in the history of the music. They mark the passage between the piano study as technical exercise and the piano study as poetical work of art. They lead us to a better comprehension of the genesis of the 12 Etudes d'exécution transcendante, S139. They, in fact, clearly mark the passage between the music of the Classical era and the music of the Romantic era. Moreover they may have been (with the Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach and with the Capricci by Paganini) also the inspirational musical material behind the 12 Etudes op. 10 by Chopin. As a matter of fact, we know that Chopin wrote his masterwork between 1829 and 1832 and we know they are dedicated to his friend Franz Liszt, while Franz Liszt’s 12 Etudes S136 were published in 1826/27 in France.

Actually we can appreciate many interesting similarities between the cycle by Liszt and the cycle by Chopin: the arpeggios in C major of the No. 1, the chromatic passages of the No. 2, the lyrical calm of the No. 3, the freshness of the No. 5, the main theme (very similar) and the ostinato of the No. 6, the sequence of chords of the No. 7, the quadruplets of the No. 8, the triplets of the No. 10, the theme and the spirit of the No. 11 and the atmosphere and the theme (the main theme of Liszt's study has many affinities with the theme of the introduction of the famous study by Chopin) of the No. 12.

In conclusion, the pianism of the two cycles is very similar: a prevalence of one single line for each hand, the increasing difficulty based on the speed, the incredible difficult (almost unnatural) positions required for the fingers, the importance of the arpeggios, the very short musical form. All these things will be surpassed by the insuperable new technical difficulties of the Grandes Etudes S137 by Liszt, in 1837.

1. Allegro con fuoco (C Major)

The Etude No. 1 is an impetuous (and technically difficult) introduction, richer of musical ideas than the No. 1 of the Etudes d'exécution transcendante. In the following versions, in fact, Liszt will eliminate the themes too much Biedermeier and will emphasize the full Romantic aspects.

2. Allegro non molto (A Minor)
This very nice and difficult Etude is already full Romantic. Played at high speed, the magnificent finale is memorable and recalls the Paganini's acrobatics.

3. Allegro sempre legato (F Major)
Despite its semblance of placidity, this piece is one of the most difficult Etudes of the whole cycle: the legato chords are very hard to play. Probably the instruction Allegro is uncorrect (like in other editions of Liszt's compositions, as Busoni had already pointed out): certainly the Etude sounds finer, if played in the same soft mood of the Etude d'exécution transcendante No. 3, Paysage.

4. Allegretto (D Minor)
This piece seems the sketch of the musical accompaniment of the famous Etude Mazeppa: they share the same technique, but in this 1826 version there is not the magnificent theme.

5. Moderato (B-Flat Major)
It’s the first version of Feux-Follets, with a graceful beginning and a beautiful finale.

6. Molto agitato (G Minor)
The ancestor of Vision has the same central idea: a passionate climax (here exalted by a whirling speed) and a plastic theme hidden by an ostinato. In the 1826 version, the jumps of the left hand represent the main difficult section of this piece, while in the following versions of this work, the technically challenging point will be represented, instead, by the arpeggios.

7. Allegretto con molta espressione (E-Flat Major)
This piece is perhaps the first example of the Pre-Impressionism of many works by Franz Liszt and the first example of his typical free arabesqued cadenza. The complexity of the harmony behind this Etude is simply incredible, if we consider how young Liszt was, when he composed this piece (he was just fourteen years old!), and the harmony treatment was really new and on an advanced level for his time.

8. Allegro con spirito (C Minor)
This Etude seems a technical exercise, but its powerful impetus already recalls the titanic energy of Wild Jagd.

9. Allegro grazioso (A-Flat Major)
Amazing poetical piece. Here we can find all the content of the famous Ricordanza.

10. Moderato (F Minor)
After an amusing beginning, this piece becomes the most Romantic piece of the cycle with its terrific and stormy finale, very difficult to play and already really transcendental.

11. Allegro grazioso (D-Flat Major)
This is the only piece, that Liszt will not rewrite and that so will not appear in the following versions of the 12 Etudes. Probably its mood was too much Biedermeier for the full Romantic era. However, we can notice the chromatic affinities between the main theme and the main theme of Eroica (No. 7 of the Etude d'exécution transcendante).

12. Allegro non troppo (B-Flat Minor)
Perhaps the most beautiful piece of the cycle, the Etude No. 12 has the same mood and the same passionate climax of Chasse-neige. There are not the gigantic tremolos of the final version but the jumps are already very difficult.

Années de pèlerinage I - Suisse, S160 (Liszt, Franz)

This magnificent cycle is (with the Années de pèlerinage II, the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses and the Sonata in B minor) the greatest piano masterpiece by Liszt. The Années de pèlerinage I was composed between 1848 and 1855 (we can consider it the final version of the Album d'un voyageur, composed between 1835 and 1838). Here we can find an exciting journey into a marvellous universe of the spirit, inspired by the history and the landscape of Switzerland and by poetical lines by Schiller, Byron and Sénancour.

A solemn introduction, Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, brings us directly to the Swiss mountains (the Chapelle is near the Lake of Lucerne). This patriotic piece displays all the stunning conquests of the piano technique in the Liszt era: after a sequence of gigantic tremolos the piano explodes with an incredible triumphant sequence of powerful sounds, celebrating the liberation of Switzerland.

Au lac de Wallenstadt (le lac de Wallenstadt is Walensee, one of the largest lakes in Switzerland) is a tender pre-impressionistic miniature. Actually we have the impression of listening to the sound of a boat among the waves (and Marie d'Agoult, Liszt's traveling companion in Switzerland, loved so much this piece and its beautiful tune).

Pastorale uses an ancient Alphorn melody and presents an astonishing fade as finale (another magnificent and similar finale by Liszt can be found in the lied Ihr Glocken von Marling).

Au bord d'une source and Orage are two stunning studies and we can think it as a supplement of the Transcendental Studies (the analogies with the Transcendental Etude No. 5 Feux follets and Transcendental Etude No. 4 Mazeppa are evident). Actually Orage is perhaps the most difficult study ever written about the octaves. They both are masterpieces among the pre-impressionistic piano works by Liszt, Au bord d'une source for the amazing water effects (twenty years before Les jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este) and Orage for the incredible technical inventions, evoking the sounds of the lightnings and of a mountain tempest.

Vallée d'Obermann is the heart of the cycle and one of most beautiful pieces ever written for the piano. It is an introspective reflection on life, inspired by the novel Obermann by Sénancour. In this introspective work we can appreciate the astonishing ability of Liszt in transforming a theme in many ways, developing a real musical metamorphosis.

Eglogue is a musical depiction of these lines by Lord Byron: 'The morn is up again, the dewy morn, With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom, Laughing the clouds away with playful scorn, And living as if the earth contained no tomb!'.

Le mal du pays has the same introspective atmosphere of the Vallée d'Obermann and a passionate finale.

The monumental cycle of the Années de pèlerinage I ends with a marvellous and touching Nocturne: Les cloches de Genève. It is remarkable that some measures of the final section of Les cloches de Genève anticipate melodies and the harmony of the Tristan und Isolde by Wagner (first sketches in 1854-56 and composed between 1857 and 1859). And also another main melody of the Tristan und Isolde is very similar to a theme of the Andante lagrimoso, from the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses by Liszt, 1847. The beginning is unforgettable: by few notes Liszt evokes the sound of distant bells and a superb tune leads us to an ecstatic world where graceful poetical thoughts become delightful music.
Simone Jennarelli and SmartCgArt are devoted to the musicological re-discovery and promotion of forgotten or neglected treasures of Classical Music.

Simone Jennarelli



to write a review

John Taylor

A magnificent Liszt release!
A magnificent Liszt release! This edition of the 12 Etudes S136 is gorgeous and virtuosic at the same time! The highly expressive, dynamic and virtuoso touch of pianist Simone Jennarelli reveales all the beauty of the 12 etudes S136 and of the 1ere Année de Pèlerinage Suisse. The sensitive performance of Au lac de Wallenstadt and of Au bord d'une source is impressive and leads you in a pure emotional journey within Romantic Music at its best!