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From the cosmopolitan dandy to the ascetic clergyman: Hardly any other artist underwent such a profound transformation as Franz Liszt. In his "Consolations" one seems to be able to listen to this evolution: Disappointed love and pious wishes, abysmal grief and redeeming hope are all present in this cycle, which pianist Julia Hermanski presents in an exciting debut for MDG. The fact that Liszt was not only a keyboard lion, but also and above all an extremely sensitive poet: anyone who did not yet know this should not miss this opportunity to discover this album! Like Liszt himself, Julia Hermanski is also at ease with chamber music. This is especially helpful for the more intimate pieces in this collection: Schubert's "Ständchen", which Liszt arranged several times, demands the most sensitive sound sensation in order not to violate the delicate simplicity of Schubert's original; and the recitative and romance "O du, mein holder Abendstern" after Wagner's "Tannhäuser" also rely more on sensitive nuances than on extroverted piano acrobatics. In the "Tannhäuser" overture, things sometimes get down to business - virtuoso opera paraphrases from his own hand were part of Liszt's permanent concert repertoire. He was well aware of their pianistic challenges: "I believe that few players will be able to master their technical difficulties" he wrote to his publisher. Julia Hermanski likes to take the risk. Liszt was also great at inventing his own stories, such as the Ballad in B minor, which retells the ancient legend of Hero and Leander. The story of the two royal children, separated by the deep waters of the Hellespont, is dramatically condensed until the tragic finale - a roaring feast of sound for Julia Hermanski, who is able to elicit grandiose sound effects from the Steinway concert grand "Manfred Bürki" from 1901.