During the past decade, Christopher O’Riley has been quite busy, hosting From the Top, concertizing, and recording his adaptations of pop songs by Radiohead, Nick Drake, and Elliott Smith. But he hasn’t released an all-classical CD since a Scriabin disc in 2004. That is, until 2013, when his two-CD recording of music by that barnstormer of barnstormers and finger-buster of finger-busters, Franz Liszt, saw the light of day.
2. Christopher O’Riley, “O’Riley’s Liszt” (Oxingale): I love the way pianist O’Riley moves from fascination to fascination with each new recording. This double-disc feels like a concept album: nothing but Liszt transcriptions of works by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner (“Prelude and Liebestod”) and (the pièce de résistance) Berlioz, whose “Symphonie fantastique” is rarely heard in this titanic version for solo piano. It unfolds like an ancient exploration, straight to the scaffold and the “Witches’ Sabbath.”
July 22, 2013 Christopher O’Riley performs an illustrious series of Liszt transcriptions—each brilliant, audacious, and sensuous in its own way, a dazzling tribute to the transcriber and architect of keyboard […]
June 2, 2013 Christopher O’Riley is one of classical music’s most visible populists,
May 25, 2013 Virtuoso pianist Christopher O’Riley has just released “O’Riley’s Liszt,” his latest recording inspired by Franz Liszt, the 19th-century keyboard genius with whom he has been compared both […]
May 17, 2013 Christopher O’Riley (Wendy Lynch photo) Pianist Christopher O’Riley, on a brief nationwide tour to promote his new 2-disc album (and Blu-ray/DVD) of iconic piano transcriptions by Franz […]
May 3, 2013 Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt (1811-86) made a career as the consummate concert showoff. He fully learned to be a showoff from fiddler Nicolo Paganini (1782—1840), […]