15 Jan 2021

LISZT: Petrarch Sonnet 104, from Years of Pilgrimage Book II, Italy

From Music Alive, 8:05 pm on 15 January 2021

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Pianist Tony Yan Tong Chen

Pianist Tony Yan Tong Chen Photo: Supplied

Tony Chen is Auckland-born and his teachers here include Jian Liu, Bryan Sayer and Rae de Lisle.

Currently (2020) he’s a student at the Eastman School of Music in New York. He’s supported by Professor Jack Richards and has performed at festivals in Canada, Switzerland and Spain.

Franz Liszt wrote three collections of pieces for piano which he called “Years of Pilgrimage”, inspired, as we might expect, by his experiences while travelling. He wrote about them...

“Having recently travelled to many new countries, through different settings and places consecrated by history and poetry; having felt that the phenomena of nature and their attendant sights did not pass before my eyes as pointless images but stirred deep emotions in my soul, and that between us a vague but immediate relationship had established itself, an undefined but real rapport, an inexplicable but undeniable communication, I have tried to portray in music a few of my strongest sensations and most lively impressions.”

The three Petrarch Sonnets in this collection are piano-only versions of three songs Liszt had written – settings of poems by the great 14th century writer.

Sonnet 104

I fynde no peace and all my warre is done,
I feare and hope, I bourne and freese lyke yse;
I flye above the wynde, yet cannot ryse;
And nought I have, yet all the worlde I season,
That looseth, nor lacketh, holdes me in pryson,
And holdes me not, yet can I escape no wyse.
Nor lets me leeve, nor die at my devyce,
And yet of death it giveth none occasion.
Without eye I see, and without tongue I playne;
I desyre to perishe, yet aske I health;
I love another, and yet I hate my self;
I feede in sorrow and laughe in all my payne,
Lykewyse pleaseth me both death and lyf,
And my delight is cawser of my greif.

Recorded in the Lewis Eady Showroom, Auckland, 3 October 2020
Engineer/Producer: Tim Dodd

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes