Franz Liszt: Harmonium Works, Vol. 1 Lars David Kellner
- Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886): Weihnachtsbaum (S. 186/ I, für Klavier oder Harmonium)
- 1Christmas Tree, S. 186: I. Altes Weihnachtslied (Psallite)02:49
- 2Christmas Tree, S. 186: II. O heilige Nacht!05:43
- 3Christmas Tree, S. 186: III. In dulci jubilo03:29
- 4Christmas Tree, S. 186: IV. Adeste fideles04:28
- Ave Maria (für Klavier oder Harmonium):
- 5Ave Maria, S. 66703:22
- 6Ave Maria, S. 54503:27
- A Magyarok Istene (für Orgel oder Harmonium):
- 7A Magyarok Istene, S. 67404:18
- Gebet (für Orgel oder Harmonium):
- 8Gebet, S. 26502:18
- 9Resignazione!, S. 187a01:59
- Am Grabe Richard Wagners (für Orgel oder Harmonium):
- 10Am Grabe Richard Wagners, S. 26703:37
- Der Papst-Hymnus (für Orgel oder Harmonium):
- 11Der Papst-Hymnus, S. 26105:01
- O sacrum convivium (für Orgel oder Harmonium):
- 12O sacrum convivium, S. 674a07:32
Info for Franz Liszt: Harmonium Works, Vol. 1
"My reaction to Lars David Kellner’s Prokofiev disc in Fanfare 36:2 was rather mixed; this fascinating disc of late Liszt is another story. Kellner understands the enigmatic, barren world of the music of the latter stages of Liszt’s life. Liszt took his orders in 1865, becoming the Abbé Liszt; the five piano works collected under the Searle number of 192, date from between that year and 1879. The tempo indications for this group are predominantly slow, and indeed Liszt allows himself to stretch his melodies in the first three (Sehr langsam; Lento assai; Sehr langsam); only at the fourth, an Andantino, does some sense of movement, and with it, consolation, arrive, an approach to consonance that makes arrival points glow in an almost Wagnerian way. From the very first note of the first piece, Kellner is absolutely inside this music, while the enigmatic close of the final of the five pieces, “Sospiri,” is expertly managed.
The piece entitled Resignazione was written on the last page of the manuscript of Liszt’s Salve Regina, a work for organ/harmonium, and so is often listed as for those instruments. This was unpublished in Liszt’s life time (the MS is in Washington, DC). More famous is the pair of works La lugubre gondola, allegedly written in premonition of death of Wagner; we are offered the second here. Kellner has a cantabile that allows the long isngle lines to speak mournfully; a true, and extended, funeral song. There is a more transcendent belief system at work in Sancta Dorothea, its redemptive heart beautifully brought forth by Kellner before the rather more ascetic sounds of the “Vexilla Regis” first movement of Via Crucis intones forth. I choose the word “intones” deliberately; there is a feeling of chant here, of deep religiosity. This piece, written 1878/79, is subtitled “Les 14 Stations de la Croix”; this subject seems to bring out the most austere, hardcore one might say, aspects of composers (one also thinks of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Vesalii Icones). Significant interpreters of Via Crucis tends to be those who specialize in the harder-hitting music, or at least specialist pockets of the repertoire: Reinbert de Leeuw or Aribert Riemann, for example. Kellner understands the heard and structure of the work, finding maximal harmonic pain in “Simon le Cyrénéen aide Jésus à porter sa Croix” and balancing that with the soul-placating calm of the chorale “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” in the “Sancta Veronica” movement. Liszt’s use of tremolo in his late music is pronounced, and it takes a certain technique and grasp of gesture to allow them to sound with full effect; Kellner achieves this, just as he realizes that the key to Via Crucis is a complete absence of rushing. Melodies must unfold, sometimes uncurl themselves, with a sense of transcendent timelessness.
A brief word on versions of Via Crucis is in order, perhaps, to avoid confusion. The original version is S 53 and was composed 1878/9 for solo voices, mixed chorus and organ; there is an organ version (S 669b) and a version for piano four hands (S 583) as well as the present S 504a solo piano version.
The recording of the piano (a Steinway Model D) in Kleines Theater, Haar, Germany, and produced in HiRes audio, is excellent. Kellner’s performance is issued via recordJET; a search for the website reveals a fascinating enterprise that seeks to improve and expand on the work of such services as CDBaby, ReverbNation and so on. This review comes from a physical product, one of their many services. Those under the spell of the late works of Liszt should note that Kellner’s disc only overlaps by one piece with Cédric Tiberghien’s excellent recent Hyperion recording, which features the whole of the third and final book of Années de pèlerinage plus six other late pieces. The overlapping piece is La lugubre gondola II; Tiberghien finds an equivalent desolation, his staccatissimo spread left-hand chords in measures 6-8 astonishingly dry and impactful. It is a close run race, though, and anyone under the spell of the works of the Abbé Liszt should surely aim to hear both." (Colin Clarke)
Lars David Kellner, harmonium
Lars David Kellner
was born in Weiden in der Oberpfalz (Bavaria, Germany). He received his first piano lessons at the age of 7 from his father. In subsequent years, his piano tutor was the Czech music pedagogue, Franz Ondrušek. In the years between 1985 and 1995 he studied at the »Hochschule für Musik« (music conservatory) in Nuremberg under Erich Appel, and won several prizes in the state competition for young musicians, »Jugend musiziert«. During his training as a soloist, Kellner participated regularly in international master classes in chamber music under Eckart Besch and Klaus Schilde. He received further inspiration from Elza Kolodin in Freiburg.
In 1996, Lars David Kellner continued his musical career and training under Karl-Hermann Mrongovius at the »Hochschule für Musik und Theater« in Munich. After receiving his diploma as a concert pianist, he completed a course in music pedagogy there in 2001.
Lars David Kellner has since been giving recitals and concerts for many years, mainly in southern Germany. These include performances in the Gasteig Concert Hall in Munich. His specialty is the music of the Romantic era, particularly of Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt, the Russian masters, Modest Mussorgsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev, and the compositions of the French giants, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Erik Satie.
His love for and intense study of Sergei Rachmaninoff`s music led to a close cooperation with the singers Susanna Proskura and Marina Ushchapovskaya. In order to mediate Rachmaninoff’s songs to the German speaking audience, Lars David Kellner adapted many Russian lyrics to his mother language. These adaptations are regularly recited in concert. Rachmaninoff’s »songs without opus number« were published by Sikorski Musikverlage Hamburg, including Kellner’s German texts.
In the year 2010 Lars David Kellner recorded piano pieces composed by Modest Mussorgsky on the famous Horowitz piano, including a world premiere recording of ‚Gnomus‘ in the composer’s original version. In 2011 the complete »Pictures at an Exhibition« were premiered by Lars David Kellner in their original versions.
At an early age Lars David Kellner experienced an intensive exposure to Leoš Janáček’s music under the influence of Franz Ondrušek, which instilled an empathy for the Czech master musician’s very distinct musical work. It is of great importance to Lars David Kellner to immerse himself fully into all aspects of the musical piece he performs.
After intensive studies of various sources, he recorded Janáček’s original complete works for piano, some of which were first recordings. In the years between 2011 and 2016 he premiered several of Janáček’s pieces in concert, for example in recitals at Gasteig concert hall, Munich.
Viewing himself more generally as a keyboard artist rather than solely a pianist, Kellner began to expand his art on related instruments during the last years, ranging from toy piano through grand piano and organ. Recently Kellner has focused particularly on the harmonium. His effort has been to revitalize this instrument, and he has played several world premieres and first recordings of solo and lieder works on that instrument.
He has already released several CDs with music ranging from Frédéric Chopin to Marko Tajčević.
Besides his education as a classical concert pianist, Lars David Kellner is also approbated as physician and has been working in a psychiatric hospital next to Munich for many years. One part of his occupation is music therapy with chronically ill patients.
Since many years Kellner works as a free-lance member in the Department for Molluscs, »Zoologische Staatssammlung« (»The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology«), Munich. Besides scientific publications in international malacological journals he has described a newly discovered conch species (sea shell) and named it in honor of Sergei Rachmaninoff.