David Glass | Beethoven/Liszt      The Pastoral Symphony

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Classical: Traditional Classical: Symphony Moods: Featuring Piano
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Beethoven/Liszt The Pastoral Symphony

by David Glass

Pianist David Glass performs the rarely recorded Franz Liszt transcription for solo piano of Beethoven's Symphony N0. 6, The Pastoral.
Genre: Classical: Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Awakening of Cheerful Feelings on Arriving in the Country
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13:23 $0.99
2. Scene at the Brook
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14:37 $0.99
3. Merry Meeting of Country Folk
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5:58 $0.99
4. Thunderstorm, Tempest
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3:58 $0.99
5. Song of the Shepherds. Glad & Thankful Feelings after the Storm
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9:36 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Pianist David Glass beautifully captures the clarity and fullness of the orchestra in this special adaptation for solo piano by Franz Liszt. In his performance, David conveys Beethoven’s musical vision of the countryside through idyllic scenes; along a rambling brook, witnessing a carefree gathering of country folk, an afternoon thunderstorm and feelings of thankfulness and joy after the storm clears.

Versatile in many forms of music making, David has performed regularly throughout his career, predominantly as a classical pianist, and this release marks his debut as a solo recording artist. David is presently working on his second CD featuring his own original piano compositions, plus another CD featuring the works of early 20th century Impressionists, including the premier of his own adaptation of Debussy “Sirens” for solo piano from the orchestral work “Nocturnes”.

David Glass received his undergraduate degree in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Ma. There he was a student of Jacob Maxin and later Patricia Zandar, who has recorded and performed with cellist Yo Yo Ma. David did his graduate work in composition and electronic music at San Jose State University, under Dan Wyman and Allen Strange. He has also studied with, or performed for, Jim Gardner, Jean Phillipe Collard, Karl Schnable, Gabriel Chodos, Veronica Jochum, Justin Blasdale and Douglas Buys.

In November, 2004, David collaborated with pianist Francis Martineau and released their first CD “On Course. Improvised Piano For Four Hands.”, which was followed by a series of live concerts throughout the west coast of the US. Audiences were captivated by their unprecedented performances of improvised music, both musically and theatrically.

The Liszt transcription of the Beethoven 6th symphony has rarely been recorded. The first world premier recording of the Beethoven/Liszt transcription appeared in the early 1980’s performed by the pianist Cyprien Katsaris. Other recordings followed by such legendary pianists as Michel Dalberto, Leslie Howel, Idel Biret, Alain Planes, Adrienne Krausz, Konstantin Scherbakov, and Glen Gould. David Glass’s CD of the the Pastoral Symphony was recorded at Mesa Recording in Sebastopol Ca. and may be the American premier recording.

Further information regarding David Glass, his performance schedule, current
and upcoming releases may be obtained through www.davidglasspiano.com.


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Masterful performance; thoughtful and balanced interpretation; excellent recordi
David Glass delivers a stunning performance of the rarely-heard Liszt piano transcription of Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony. The familiar themes of this treasured work are reinvented in the Lizst/Glass collaboration, which translates Beethoven’s symphonic vision into a virtuosic masterpiece for solo piano. Glass exhibits extraordinary control over his instrument, particularly in the softer moments, which ripple with dramatic tension and quiet resolution while mysteriously conjuring the fuller sound of the familiar orchestral scoring.

Although Glass creates thunderous excitement in the fortissimo sections and beautifully articulates Liszt’s delicate ornamentations in the quieter sections, it is his consistent and compelling tone throughout the dynamic range of this work that makes his performance so special. Glass’ thoughtful and balanced interpretation transports his audience into a world that is part-Beethoven, part-Liszt, and all Glass. Like a hang-glider hovering above verdant fields who darts in and out of shadows and sunbeams, experiencing deepening mystery and unexpected clarity, Glass’ listener thrills to the journey as much as the destination. Well done!

Malcolm Campbell, KALX 90.7 fm Berkeley

Exquisite. Makes Beethoven's "Pastoral" seem truly destined for the piano.
A truly superb performance of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony (No. 6). It reminds me of Sari Biro's wonderful
rendition of Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition".
I like it better than any orchestral version that I've heard. It almost seems as if it were destined to be a piano
piece rather than a symphony. Beautifully done, exquisite.

Joanna Chapman

fabulous performance
Solo piano beautifully executed gives a whole new sensitivity to the well known pice of music. Bravo !

Stuart Heggie

Beethoven/Liszt The Pastoral Symphony
Wonderful recording of a unique interpretation of Beethoven by Liszt! Really crisp playing and great sensitivity to the feelings invoked by Beethoven's symphonic original.

Steven White

Awesome, Uplifting, Fantastic energy in the performance
This has become one of the stars in my collection. It is a rarely performed transcription and this version really shines. It is incredible how David Glass weaves the multiple themes together with finesse and power as this music demands of the performer. It is a rare feat and a joy to the ear bringing with it all of Beethoven's vision of the countryside.

Ruth Adams

Fantastic CD capturing the visions of Spring with clarity & melody
I am enjoying David's renditon of the Pastoral Symphony tremendously.It is beautifully played capturing the mood of the various movements To me it is even better listening to David's performance of this symphony than the orchestrial version. It is so very melodious and apropos to the essence of Spring. A Winner!!


This CD was a masterpiece. It is clearly some of the best classical music performed during this modern age. Glass is exquisite and he really captures the complexity of the music with one piano. Not to be missed.

Kathy Parsons

David Glass’ performance of the Liszt piano transcription of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, “Pastoral,” is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Franz Liszt transcribed all of Beethoven’s symphonies for his own performance as well as for other pianists, attempting to make Beethoven’s music accessible to more people. It was difficult, if not impossible, for orchestras of that time to move from town to town performing symphonic works, so Liszt took it upon himself to “reduce” many orchestral pieces to solo piano. The catch was and still is that Liszt was possibly the greatest pianist and showman to ever grace a concert stage, and some of his work is monstrously difficult. David Glass was introduced to Cyprien Katsaris’ world premier recording of this work as a student at The New England Conservatory of Music. Determined to learn it himself, Glass went looking for the transcription, and was intimidated by its immense difficulty. While working on his Masters Degree, Glass did a research paper that focused on the Liszt transcriptions of all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies. Years later, Glass’ wife gave him the transcription as a gift, and he picked at it off and on over several years before committing himself to the work in 2003. Glass was ready to record his first solo CD in 2005. He felt he should do a recording of classical music after devoting so much of his life to the classics, but he didn’t want to record the same music that thousands of pianists had already played. He chose this transcription of the “Pastoral Symphony” for his solo debut. It may be the first American recording of the work.

It was fascinating to listen to this CD after reviewing David Glass’ 2007 CD of original piano solos, as it clearly indicates what a versatile and powerful artist Glass is. He composed the music for “Beginning the Journey” after recording the Beethoven work, needing to express himself in a more contemporary and less technical way. The recordings couldn’t be more different, but they also complement each other by showing the full range of emotions and playing styles that one person can extract from the piano with enough training, artistry, and heart.

In a nutshell, the five movements of “Pastoral” tell the story of a day in the country beginning with a bright, cheerful awakening. Often dancelike, this first movement is magical and full of promise. The second movement is titled “Scene at the brook,” and is full of graceful movement as well as the piano describing birds and other nature sounds. The third movement is “Merry meeting of country folk,” and is about as jolly as carefree as music can be. The fourth movement is “Thunderstorm. Tempest,” and what an incredible work it is! At four minutes in length, it must leave the pianist completely drenched from exertion. “Song of the shepherds. Glad and thankful feelings after the storm.” brings a return of the joyful mood and carefree sunshine.

One of Beethoven’s most popular symphonies, this is a recording that should not be missed! Very highly recommended to those who love huge classical piano works and artists who have mastered them.