Beethoven : Liszt's "Eroica" Piano Transcription : I : Allegro con brio

     In the 1840s Franz Liszt set out to transcribe all the Beethoven symphonies for solo piano…and the result was astounding, especially after Beethoven tried himself during his life and was unable to do so. This is a recording of the first movement of Eroica for solo piano…and it will change your life. Ok, maybe it isn't THAT great, but I love it. 15:35-16:00 (or basically the end) is one of my favorite chord progressions in all of Beethoven.

     Now, Idil Biret was the first pianist in the world to ever record all of Liszt's transcriptions and as a result has become sort of the benchmark for future recordings of them. I will say that the transcriptions work very well for the first symphonies...but the last symphonies aren't as accomidating on the piano. Hearing them on the piano is similar to listening to a full orchestra playing them on cheap laptop speakers...the powerful effect of them is dampened and you wonder what textures/voices (literally and figuratively) are being lost as a compromise. Keep this in mind going into it, and I'm sure you'll appreciate it for the massive accomplishment it was for Liszt. Either way, listen to the "Eroica" and enjoy!

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