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Christopher Taylor, Piano: Beethoven/Liszt Symphonies Project, Part II


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum / Boston / Music

Franz Liszt’s fantasias on themes from Don Giovanni, Norma, Rigoletto, and other operas are among the showiest guilty pleasures in the piano virtuoso’s wheelhouse. In transcribing the symphonies of Beethoven, Liszt had a more reverential objective in view: to account for the master’s every note at a time when full symphonic performances were rare and recordings nonexistent. Vladimir Horowitz, it’s said, deemed Liszt’s Beethovens “the greatest works for the piano”—high praise, indeed. Christopher Taylor offers today’s audiences a chance to judge for themselves. On Part II of his ongoing series, Christopher Taylor scales the heights of Symphony No. 3, Eroica, with the sunny Symphony No. 4 as a chaser. —M.G.

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