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'Via Crucis' (PFDL016)

Franz Liszt: Via Crucis S504a performed by Alessandra Pompili (piano)

Album preview for Easter 2024


FRANZ LISZT: VIA CRUCIS S504a

[1] VEXILLA REGIS
[2] STATION I: JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH
[3] STATION II: JESUS RECEIVES THE CROSS
[4] STATION III: JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME
[5] STATION IV: JESUS MEETS HIS BLESSED MOTHER
[6] STATION V: SIMON OF CYRENE HELPS JESUS TO CARRY THE CROSS
[7] STATION VI: SAINT VERONICA
[8] STATION VII: JESUS FALLS FOR THE SECOND TIME
[9] STATION VIII: THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM
[10] STATION IX: JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME
[11] STATION X: JESUS OF STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
[12] STATION XI: JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS
[13] STATION XII: JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS
[14] STATION XIII: JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS
[15] STATION XIV: JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

 

CD cover with images of Franz Liszt and the crucification of Jesus Christ

About this album

On a cold and sunny Sunday afternoon in January 2024, Steve Plews and I met in St Elizabeth's Church in Ashley. I had hopes that my recording proposal might fall on sympathetic ears: as an admirer of the music of Franz Liszt, Steve had already produced a number of CDs with pianist Kenneth Hamilton. I thus introduced him to Liszt’s 'Via Crucis' for piano solo, a composition I have been performing in public countless times (with highlights such as the Liszt Museum and Academy in Budapest, the Vatican Museums, the Philharmonic in Krakow, Villa d’Este and Casa Verdi), written articles about and recorded live for the EBU. Liszt’ aficionados, however, are well aware that this is not your “standard” virtuoso composition but a daring, meditative and pioneering work that is far apart from what we are accustomed to associate with Liszt (so pioneering, in fact, that it was even rejected by the composer's publisher and ended up being premiered only in the 20th century). Steve was immediately taken by the music, and I had barely finished playing the second station (out of the 14) when he gave the seal of approval for a recording. We met a couple of weeks later in the same church, and this is the result. Our intention was to have the Via Crucis released for Holy Week 2024; after all, Liszt himself hoped that his music could be heard and used for the commemorations that take place on Good Friday. With the Via Crucis, Liszt looks simultaneously forward and inside himself, and the only suggestion I can give to the listeners is to take time, sit back and immerse yourself in a journey that through tragedy and despair paves the way to salvation and the light of new life.
Alessandra Pompili, March 2024

Credits

Alessandra Pompili – piano
Recorded at St. Elizabeth’s Church, Ashley, February 2024
Engineer/Producer: Steve Plews
Edited and mastered by Simon Crosby Buttle
Cover and Booklet Design: Simon Crosby Buttle

Alessandra Pompili

Alessandra Pompili sitting at the piano
Alessandra Pompili has performed as a soloist across Europe and the United States, at venues including the Concert hall of the Liszt Museum and Academy (Budapest), the Filharmonia Krakowska (Poland), Casa Verdi (Milan), Musei Vaticani, Villa d’Este (Tivoli), and the Cathedrals of Wrexham, Sheffield, Lancaster and Glasgow.

As well as being an advocate of the music of Alan Hovhaness and Sergio Calligaris, Allessandra has taken a particular interest in religious music for piano. She has performed the piano solo version of Liszt’s Via Crucis on almost eighty occasions, and gave the first performance of the solo piano version at the Liszt Museum and Academy of Budapest. Her Via Crucis recital at the Vatican Museums was recorded live by Vatican Radio, sent to the EBU-UER and inserted within the special day for Easter and Holy Week 2013. It has been broadcast by a number of important radio stations across Europe.