Daria Telizyn plays Liszt – Sonata – CR3705
£9.99 – £23.99
“It is the most thoughtful and beautiful performance you will ever hear”
“The recorded sound is splendid throughout the whole disc and the playing by the soloist and the orchestra, along with the conductor is exemplary”
“after having heard the Liszt Sonata countless times, I simply feel bound to declare that after Daria Telizyn’s unbelievable performance I feel completely flabbergasted.”
“it sounds better than any CD I have heard”
Perhaps more than any other work, the Sonata in B Minor reflects the many complexities of Franz Liszt as man and composer. Written in 1852-53, this work – surely one of the masterpieces of 19th-century piano literature – combines great dramatic power with lyrical expression. This, and the frequent mood changes, evoke the Hungarian-born composer who, while in Paris, fell under the influence of French Romanticism and remained ever the consummate Romantic. While there is no attempt to build a story line, the Sonata includes many symbols for the Divine and the Diabolical, outlining, in essence, the story of the eternal battle between the two, with man’s soul as the battleground. A mood of mystical contemplation emerges time and again, lastly in the low B ending. Does it suggest that Man, after soaring to divine heights, must fall? So then, it should come as no surprise that Liszt describes himself as “half-Franciscan, half-gypsy” and, indeed, in 1865 took minor orders in the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the Abbe Liszt.
Liszt was a highly original composer, an innovator. The Sonata in B Minor contains only four basic themes, undoubtedly a revolutionary approach for a piece of such length. The only one of Liszt’s works to bear the title of Sonata, it carries to the limits his principle of “thematic transformation.” Liszt departed from the classical sonata form (three distinct and separate movements) rearranging its elements into a three-in-one form, with one extended continuous movement. Through the principle of “thematic transformation the four themes are worked out in that one movement, transformed and combined in an apparently free and rhapsodic order; though its sections contrast sharply in tempo, dynamics and tonality, unity is preserved through the recurrence of the themes.
As in the classical sonata form Liszt’s Sonata in B minor begins with the exposition of the first movement. The introduction is marked Lento assai; it is here that Theme I, characterized by a descending chromatic line that weaves a mood of foreboding, is first heard. What in a classical sonata would be the first subject follows (Allegro energico) in B minor, the octave leaps and fast descending triplets of the wild, temperamental Theme II (suggesting, perhaps, the Birth of Man?) much in evidence in the forte opening. The first two themes undergo transformation in the modulation, after which Theme III unfolds in D, marked Grandioso and Fortissimo. A mood of majesty and confidence, perhaps even a sense of victory, prevails. The transition brings back Theme II, which is then transformed into Theme II (Cantando espressivo). The effect here is one of peace, though a peace still incomplete – therefore, the hint of yearning, an aching, for something elusive. The first movement ends with the development of the first three themes and a coda. The expressive Theme IV begins the second movement, in F sharp, marked Andante sostenuto. Time and motion have been suspended, the sensation is one of floating; this time peace is complete. Theme II follows, this time Quasi adagio. Themes III and I are once again heard in the middle section, after which Themes IV and II return. Themes I and II are evident in the movement’s coda, the latter continuing, as the third movement opens, as a subject for a fuguetto in the second development (Allegro energico). There is an unmistakable undertone of evil, seemingly impish, yet most assuredly pernicious. The themes from the first movement return in the recapitulation, then the coda briefly looks back on all four themes, marked Presto-prestissimo, Andante sostenuto and Allegro moderato-Lento assai. Tension and resolution alternate repeatedly; the climb ends, as Man reaches . .. Heaven. Perhaps Liszt thought of keeping him there. But a low B is the last note to be heard. The Fall.
Franz Liszt was also one of the creators of modern piano technique, with its glittering fast octaves, brilliant fingering and accurate articulation. He himself had been inspired to achieve virtuosity as a pianist by the example of the brilliant violinist Paganini. Liszt’s monumental contribution to the etude form, which demands virtuosity and is meant to dazzle the audience, is therefore most appropriate. His etudes, however, are much more than exercises in empty technique; they are rich in substance, evidencing Liszt’s powerful musical imagination. And so it is with the Three Concert Etudes, the first two of which are included in this recording. Written about 1848, they are also known collectively as the Three Poetic Caprices and individually as II lamento, La leggierezza (these two reflect Chopin’s influence) and Un sospiro.
© George Sajewych
Daria Telizyn was born a Ukrainian Canadian on 31st March 1960 in Toronto whre she began her musical education at the age of three at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, continued it at the University of Western Ontario, from which she received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. She studied for two years in Paris under Denyse Riviere, then at the Peabody Conservatory, which awarded her a Master of Music degree. Daria sadly died in Florida on 21st March 2004 at the age of only 44.
– Reviews –
Such is the effect Daria Telizyn’s October 1986 concert at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw had on the eminent Dutch critic and musicologist Jan van Voorthuysen. “Daria Telizyn Made Me Believe the Unbelievable” is how he titled his review for Het Vaderland. And the Liszt Sonata that caused him to compare her with Horowitz is the centrepiece of this, her debut recording.
Over the past two years Daria Telizyn has also performed, among other places, at the Centre Culturel du Canada in Paris, the America House in Frankfurt, and, in London, at the Canadian Cultural Centre, the Purcell Room, and Saint John’s Smith Square. It was in the latter’s magnificent church-turned-concert hall, with its marvellous acoustics, that this recording was made during a two-day session.
Daria Telizyn’s performances in Washington, D.C., where she now lives and teaches (at the Levine School of Music) have won her critical acclaim. Thus, The Washington Post’s Kate Rivers wrote in October 1986: “Telizyn immediately displayed deep musicality and sensitive phrasing and construction. She produced a strong, beautiful sound from deep within the keys. She offered thoughtful and persuasive playing that incorporated a dazzling lightness and clairity of chromatic runs into the music’s formal outline.”
A few months later Vincent Patterson, another Post critic, wrote: “The young Canadian’s virtue of delicious sensitivity showed in her countryman Oscar Morawetz’s ‘Fantasy, Elegy and Toccata.’ Two concert etudes by Franz Liszt unleashed Telizyn’s wilder temperament and technique.”
She has also played for the Voice of America, Dutch radio and WETA, one of Washington’s leading classical music stations.
Daria Telizyn was born in 1960 in Toronto. She began her musical education at the age of three at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, continued it at the University of Western Ontario, from which she received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance . She studied for two years in Paris under Denyse Riviere, then at the Peabody Conservatory, which awarded her a Master of Music degree. Her present coach is Claude Frank.
Review – The Washington Post
Following her acclaimed Amsterdam recital where her performance of the Sonata evoked comparison with Horowitz, this astonishing Canadian pianist turned again to Liszt for this, her recording debut.
Daria’s performances in Washington D.C., where she now lives and teaches, have won her critical acclaim.
“Telizyn immediately displayed deep musicality, with sensitive phrasing and construction. She produced a strong, beautiful sound from within the keys and offered thoughtful and persuasive playing that incorporated a dazzling lightness and clarity of chromatic runs into the music’s formal outline.”Kate Rivers – .
In the recent past Daria Telizyn has also performed, among other places, in France, Germany, North America, Belgium, and in London at the Purcell Room and Saint John’s Smith Square. It was in the latter’s magnificent church-turned-concert hall, with its marvellous acoustics, that the recording was made.Daria Telizyn’s performances in Washington D.C., where she once lived and taugt (at the Levine School of Music) won her critical acclaim. Thus, A few months later Vincent Patterson, another Post critic, wrote: “The young Canadian’s virtue of delicious sensitivity showed in Morawetz’s Fantasy, Elegy and Toccata. Two concert etudes by Franz Liszt unleashed Telizyn’s wilder temperament and technique. “She has also played for the Voice of America, Dutch radio, CBC, and WETA and WGMS, Washington’s leading classical music stations.
Review – Music Web International (Feb 2017)
During her short life Daria Telizyn drew plaudits comparing her to Horowitz, particularly in this sonata. Some critics fell over themselves with excitement at her playing. She was born in 1960, drew this attention at the age of 26, but died in 2005 having not quite reached her 45th birthday. She recorded very little, illness curtailed her performing, and much of the commentary on her and her playing, including the out-of-date insert, is based on the same few on-line sources. There are a handful of YouTube videos of her performing mostly the Liszt works on this disc. Given the promise she displayed her career can well be described as meteoric. In one respect she was lucky. Her key interpretation, the Liszt Sonata, was recorded extremely well in a splendid acoustic. Would that the same could be said of, for example, Solomon and Rubinstein, in any of their central repertoire.
The Liszt Sonata is unique, not only in Liszt’s output, but in the entire piano literature. There are longer pieces but few on a larger scale conceptually. He was a very original composer and also one of the main creators of modern piano technique. As a performer he was a pianistic rock-star. He composed works that allowed him to display his spectacular technical skill. In the case of this tightly argued sonata he also created a work that sorts the sheep from the goats interpretatively. George Sajewych’s note is sufficiently detailed for this to be clear. The big question, given how many other performances are available (Presto Classical list 246 at present), is whether Telizyn deserved the praise heaped on her back in 1986. I think she did for the simple reason that I could not stop listening throughout the full 35 minutes. This is a hugescale performance which sounds completely coherent beginning to end. It would be foolish to suggest it is the only great performance but it is certainly worth one’s time and money. The two Études are interpreted at the same high level.
As for the recording, it is up to the usual extremely high standards of Claudio records. It sounds like a piano in a good acoustic, which it was, and if your system is capable of playing the DVD Audio version, it sounds better than any CD I have heard.
© Dave Billinge
Daria Telizyn was born in Toronto on 31 March 1960, some say 1961, of Ukrainian descent. Her father, Emil, is a widely known icon painter and church decorator (for example, he designed the altar mosaics at the the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St Athanasius in North Regina) and her late mother, Nina, was an actress and opera singer with the Zahrava Theatre. Daria began her musical education at the age of three at the Royal Conservatory of Music and then at the University of Western Ontario where she received her Bachleor of Music in 1980. She studied for two years at the Paris Conservatoire with Denyse Riviere who had been the assistant to Marcel Ciampi (1891-1980) and then she attended a the Peabody Conservatory with Claude Frank (born 1925), a pupil of Schnabel, where she graduated with a Master degree in piano performance in 1985. She moved to Washington DC and established herself. All the reviews of her performances heaped praise unpon her. She produced a strong and beautiful sound and a clarity in her playing. She performed her countryman Oscar Morawetz’s Fantasy, Elegy and Toccata and when exciting virtuosity was required she unleashed a brilliance that knew no bounds.
Oscar Morawetz (1917-2007) was one of Canada’s leading composers. He was bom at Svetla in Czechoslavakia on 17 January 1917. He wrote lyrical music such as the Carnival Overture (1946), Overture to a Fairy Tale (1956), Piano Concerto no. 1 (1963), Memorial to Martin Luther King for cello and orchestra (1968), From the Diary of Anne Frank for soprano and orchestra (1970), Psalm 22 (1984), Harp Concerto (1989) and Prayer for Freedom (1994). Much of his music was inspired by tragedies. He died in Toronto on 13 June 2007.
Daria visited London, Paris and Kiev where she played Revutsky’s Piano Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Frankfurt, Bmssels, Toronto and Mexico. She toured Germany and Austria with the Washington Symphony Orchestra and the United States twice with the Kyiv Chamber Orchestra.
Levko Mykolayevich Revutsky was born on 20 February 1889 in Irzhavets in the Ukrainie. His parents were trustees of a local school and his mother was his first piano teacher. Later, he went to a private High School in Kiev and studied with Mykola Lysenko graduating in 1907. He entered law school in 1908 as well as continuing his music studies. He was a soldier in the First World War. In 1924 he began teaching at the Lysenko Music and Drama Institute. He was elected People’s Musician of the Ukrainie in 1942 and, in 1944, the People’s Artist of the USSR. For his creative merit he was elecetd Hero of Socialist Labour in 1969. He composed two symphonies, no. 1 in A minor, no. 2 in E minor, two Piano Concertos, the early one dating from 1929, cantatas, piano works and he orchestrated Lysenko’s opera Taras Bulba. He died on 30 March 1977.
Daria enchanted audiences. The eminent Dutch critic, Jan van Voorthuysen wrote, “Even if I had only heard Liszt’s notorious grand Sonata in B minor, I would have been convinced that I have heard one of the greatest pianists. Year ago I heard her first teacher more than once and I am sure he could not have equalled her, for he could not have equalled Horowitz or Andor Foldes, whereas Daria Telizyn did! And with the greatest of ease! After having heard 10,000 concerts, after having written more than 8,600 reviews, and after having heard the Liszt sonata countless times, I feel simply bound to declare that after Daria Telizyn’s unbelieveable performance I feel completely flabbergasted”.
She moved to Florida and endured a series of illnesses. She picked up and went back to playing but this was short-lived and she had emergency surgery in Dunedin, Florida but, sadly, died on 21 March 2005, ten days short of her 45 th birthday.
She was a woman of great beauty and spirit, a passionate Ukrainian with a talent that was unsurpassed.
You are urged to obtain her performance of the Liszt. It is the most thoughtful and beautiful performance you will ever hear.
On 2 June 2006, a benefit concert was held in her memory to assist young Ukrainian musicians at the University of Maryland in the William Kapell International Piano Competition.
© David C F Wright DMus
Reviews – YouTube