Liszt: Consolation No. 1

Only 25 measures long, this is the shortest of the group and according to Lina Ramann’s Liszt-Pädagogium, based on Liszt’s masterclasses, it should proceed to the second piece without a break. The texture is not purely pianistic; one could easily imagine this being played by a string quartet. All parts of the chords are important, but one can obtain a better sound quality by voicingthe outer parts more intensely. Beginning in m. 8, the first violin takes the lead with poignant melodic material in G-sharp minor. Use armweight to bring out this melody, while keeping the accompanying chords expressive but soft. The appoggiatura in m. 13 marks the arrival of G Major and with it a very special color in this piece. This appoggiatura should be played on the beat, as an eight-note, with the half-note becoming a dotted quarter note. This is the culminating point of this miniature and it should be played with great expression and sensitivity.

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Bernstein and the Piano
Richard Walters