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Der Erlkonig

I figure it’s about time to post an audio file of some piano music.  This is a Franz Liszt piano transcription of Schubert’s lied  titled Der Erlkonig. The piece was originally composed for piano and solo voice. It was difficult enough for both the pianist and the soloist, but Franz Liszt complicated things even more by reducing the entire thing into a score for a single pianist. It is actually a poem written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe put to music. It’s a dramatic story of love, seduction, and ultimately death. I have provided a link to the entire poem here.

It is one of the most technically demanding pieces in piano literature with its relentless rapidly repeated octave passages along with melodic lines to be shared by the same hand as the accompaniment. The piece also requires the hands to overlap uncomfortably. I personally feel less tired after a pronated chinup routine at the gym than after playing this piece.

Here’s my audio link: Der Erlkonig.

Here is a youtube video of Schubert’s original composition sung by the baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. I have also accompanied soloists with the original Schubert composition.

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