Liszt CD package praised in review

It happens so rarely that the packaging gets noticed in a music review, but here you go:


American Record Guide, May/June 2015

LISZT: Dante Sonata; Mephisto Waltz 3; Petrarch Sonnets; Totentanz Carlo Grante, p—Music & Arts 1285— 67 minutes It was inevitable that Italian virtuoso Grante turn again to the music of Franz Liszt. It was also inevitable that he add something unusual to his recital—here the Busoni transcription of Mephisto Waltz (after the orchestral version), and the rarely done solo piano version of Totentanz. The attractive package is illustrated by mostly period sources. Grante’s notes pours forth a wealth of information to justify his title, ‘Liszt Art & Literature’, with emphasis on the literary. Additional kudos to Allison Rolls for outstanding graphic design that even extends to the disc itself.
Totentanz—that masterpiece of Lisztian rhetoric with its persistent use of the ‘Dies Irae’—comes across even more vulgar and tiresome without its orchestral garb. Mephisto Waltz appears flashier than ever as Grante makes his way through Busoni’s reworking of it. The Dante Sonata has plenty of rhetoric too, but the pianist makes a tasty meal of the central lyrical episode. This and the three Petrarch Sonnets are performed with all the style and understanding one could wish for. With audio engineering that fully captures the magnificence of the Bosendorfer, this is a recital few Liszt aficionados will want to miss.
-Alan Becker