JOACHIM RAFF (1822-1882): Piano Works, Vol. 1 - Frühlingsboten, Op. 55, 3 Klavier-Soli, Op. 74, Fantaisie in B, WoO 15a.
Catalogue Number: 04N044
Label: Grand Piano
Description: The early Fantaisie was found in 2010 amongst some Liszt organ works in a Dutch library and its inspiration from Chopin and Liszt also makes it likely that Raff wrote it during his period as the latter's assistant. The dozen pieces making up the 35-minute "Harbingers of Spring" (1850-52) plainly trace a tumultuous love affair (such titles as "Vow", "Anxiety", "Confusion", "Reproach", "Aloof" leading to "Together Again" make that clear); its final "Evening" was so popular that it had to be arranged for orchestra, piano four hands and violin and piano. The "Piano Solos" are also from 1852 but were published only in 1859 and consist of "Ballade", "Scherzo" and "Metamorphoses", the whole work premiered by its dedicatee, Hans von Bülow with Liszt also known to have played the tour de force final piece several times at private gatherings. Note that the track listings in the booklet and tray-card are wrong. Op. 74 comes first, followed by Op. 55 with the only correct one being the Fantaisie last. Tra Nguyen (piano).