FRANZ LISZT: Symphonic Poems, Vol. 4
[SP #9 Hungaria, SP#8 Heroide funebre (Heldenklage), SP#2 Le triomphe funebre du Tasse]
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Michael Halasz, conductor
Although similar single movement symphonic works already existed, Liszt is credited with the invention of the symphonic poem as a particular musical vehicle and with coining the epithet to cover such a work. Its purpose is to illustrate a geographic or historic scene in dramatic and emotive musical terms. He wrote 13 of them himself and this is the final disc in the present Naxos series. He is a powerful exponent in the artform, bringing intense nationalistic feeling and a high degree of romantic emotion to his subjects. Although there are no particularly well known melodies in these pieces they are all three highly charged and well worth hearing and getting to know. It is easy to see how Liszt's achievements inspired the likes of Smetana, Richard Strauss and Sibelius, among others, to write in this concise and therefore very effective mode.