Liszt - Harmonies Poetiques Et Religieuses - 04 Pensée des morts
Type of Spiritual Experience
Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (Poetic and Religious Harmonies), S.173, is a cycle of piano pieces written by Franz Liszt at Woronińce (Voronivtsi, Polish-Ukrainian country estate of Liszt’s mistress Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein, née Iwanowska) in 1847. The ten compositions which make up this cycle are:
- Invocation (completed at Woronińce);
- Ave Maria (transcription of choral piece written in 1846);
- Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude (‘The Blessing of God in Solitude,’ completed at Woronińce);
- Pensée des morts (‘In Memory of the Dead,’ reworked version of earlier individual composition, Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1834));
- Pater Noster (transcription of choral piece written in 1846);
- Hymne de l’enfant à son réveil (‘The Awaking Child’s Hymn,’ transcription of choral piece written in 1846);
- Funérailles (October 1849) (‘Funeral’);
- Miserere, d’après Palestrina (after Palestrina);
- (Andante lagrimoso);
- Cantique d’amour (‘Hymn of Love,’ completed at Woronińce).
The history of Liszt’s Harmonies poétiques et religieuses is long and complex: the eventual series of ten works was published by Kistner in 1853, having been finally revised and prepared by the end of 1851. Many of the pieces in that collection started life somewhat earlier. The works may be divided into three groups: the early pieces; the 1847 series; and the 1851 series.
The 1847 series - The second group of pieces was all completely worked out in Sketchbook N9, over a period from October 1847 to early January 1848, during which time Liszt was staying with the Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein at her Polish estate, Woronince.
"At some point that book was mutilated, probably by Liszt himself – it is clear that he used it as the basis for the later version of all the similar material in the final published collection." Such is grief.
A description of the experience
Pensée des morts,
No. 4 from
Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses
Recorded at the Henry Wood Hall, London