Thursday, April 13, 2017

Franz Liszt - Années de pèlerinage (Bertrand Chamayou)


Composer: Franz Liszt

  • (01-09) Première année - Suisse, S. 160
  • (01-07) Deuxième année - Italie, S. 161
  • (08-10) Deuxième année - Italie, supplément - Venezia e Napoli, S. 162
  • (01-07) Troisième année, S. 163

Bertrand Chamayou, piano
Date: 2011
Label: Naïve




In November 2011 I heard Bertrand Chamayou for the first time during the Lucerne Piano Festival, where his recital in the Lukaskirche featured an ample selection from Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage. I was frankly bowled over by the young French pianist’s staggering technique, commanding artistry, wide color palette, and controlled concentration. These qualities consistently inform his Naïve recording of the complete cycle, which may well become a version of reference alongside Muza Rubackyté’s out-of-print Lyrinx edition.

As is so often the case with great musicians, ear-catching details can be traced to the score itself. In the three Petrarch Sonetti, for example, Chamayou goes out of his way to clarify Liszt’s phrase groupings and articulations, while the slightly sec textural quality he conveys in the Pastorale’s second theme stems from Liszt’s seldom-observed “un poco marcato” directive. He dispatches the octaves in Orage, the Dante Sonata, and Vallée d’Obermann with zero effort, volatile sweep, and shapely musicality.

Book Three’s starker, slower pieces benefit from faster tempos and more transparent voicings, in contrast to Rubackyté’s weightier (though no less convincing) vantagepoint. If his repeated notes in the Tarantella do not quite match Marc-André Hamelin’s near-inhuman speed and evenness, Chamayou’s intelligent dynamic scaling and shimmering translucence positively ravish in Les jeux d’eau de la Villa d’Este. Naïve’s superb, realistic engineering makes me forgive the rather pretentious booklet annotations. An outstanding release in every way.

-- Jed DistlerClassicsToday

More reviews:


Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, organist, philanthropist, author, nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary. Liszt gained renown in Europe for his virtuosic skill as a pianist and in the 1840s he was considered to be the greatest pianist of all time. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent composers of the "New German School". Some of his most notable musical contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony.


Bertrand Chamayou (born 23 March 1981 in Toulouse) is a French pianist. He studied at Toulouse Convervatory, then with Jean-François Heisser at Paris Conservatory. He also worked with Maria Curcio in London and received advice from artists such as Murray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Dimitri Bachkirov and Aldo Ciccolini. Chamayou won fourth prize at the Marguerite Long–Jacques Thibaud Competition in 2001. In 2012, his recording of the complete Liszt's 'Années de pèlerinage' obtains the title "Best Recording of the Year" at Victoires de la musique classique.


FLAC, tracks
Links in comment


  1. Copy Adfly ( or LinkShrink ( to your browser's address bar, wait 5 seconds, then click on 'Skip [This] Ad' (or 'Continue') (yellow button, top right).
    If Adfly or LinkShrink ask you to download anything, IGNORE them, only download from file hosting site (
    If you encounter 'Bandwidth Limit Exceeded' problem, try to create a free account on MEGA.