Muza Rubackyte Liszt: "Annees de Pelerinage"
Lyrinx LYR 2216; 3 CDs. (Super Audio CD plays on SACD or standard compact disc players.)

Saint Louis Today - Music
Extraordinary pianist gives impact to Liszt's music 22/07/2004

As a Soviet artist, pianist Muza Rubackyte had a restricted career; offers to perform in the West were turned down by the culture apparatchiks who decided who could leave the country and who couldn't. As a Lithuanian artist, she's been making up for lost time. Her new collection of Franz Liszt's complete "Annees de Pelerinage" ("The years of pilgrimage") should help in that process.

The "Annees" are three collections, one a year, each dealing evocatively with particular locations - Switzerland, Italy and Rome - and particular episodes in the composer's life. These 26 brief pieces, ranging from under two minutes to more than 14 in length, are often performed as stand-alones, but they gain an impact here from being heard as a whole.

They give Rubackyte an opportunity to demonstrate her facility in expressing widely ranging musical moods, varying from miniature to miniature. This is an artist of extraordinary sensitivity and fine technique, and the "Annees" give her ample opportunity to demonstrate both, from the melancholy majesty of "Chapelle de Guillame Tell" and the fierce wildness of "Orage" ("Storm") to the bell-like delicacy of the "Angelus! Priere aux anges gardiens" and the dreamy water images of "Les Jeux d'eau a la villa d'Este."

This three-CD set is a fine addition for those of us who like to have complete versions of music, while bringing to the fore a superior performer who deserves to become better known in this country.
Sarah Bryan Miller