Arthur Friedheim's Recently Discovered Roll Recording
Gerard Carter and Martin Adler
"[...] Gerard Carter and Martin Adler’s painstaking examination of a reproducing-piano recording of the Sonata in B minor made by Arthur Friedheim between 1905 and 1907 is perhaps the most scientific and unquestionably the most serious study of any single Liszt performance [...]

The very appearance of the Carter-Adler monograph also consolidates the importance of Wensleydale Press as a publisher of independent musical scholarship. [...]"

– Michael Saffle, in: Notes (Journal of the Music Library Association), June 2011: "The 'Liszt Year' 2011: Recent, Emerging, and Future Liszt Research"

Franz Liszt completed his Piano Sonata in B minor at Weimar in 1853. It met with a mixed reception from the musical establishment of the day but is now a part of the repertoire of every leading pianist and may even be the most frequently recorded and performed piano work ever written. It is the outstanding example of the compositional process of thematic transformation. The grandeur and lyrical power of its themes, based on three motifs so clearly stated at the outset, place it at the pinnacle of the piano literature.

Wensleydale Press [Sydney] has launched a series of Liszt Piano Sonata Monographs on special aspects of musicological interest. Each monograph upholds the best traditions of modern musicological scholarship while presenting the contents in an attractive way for the general reader. The launch of the series coincides with the bicentennial of the birth of Franz Liszt (1811-1886).

The first monograph, published in 2010, discusses in detail the Hupfeld piano roll recording of the Sonata performed by Arthur Friedheim. For many years the roll was believed to have been lost or destroyed but in March 2010 it turned up in a private collection in New York. Arthur Friedheim studied the Sonata with Franz Liszt who said of his concert performance, 'that is the way I thought the composition when I wrote it!' The only other recording of the Sonata by a Liszt pupil that has come down to us is that of Eugen d'Albert but he seems never to have actually studied it with Liszt himself. (Liszt pupil Josef Weiss recorded the Sonata but enquiries to-date have failed to reveal any trace of the roll.) It follows that the Friedheim roll is an epoch-making find for scholars and performers.

The first monograph discusses:
  • Friedheim’s performances
  • Friedheim’s piano roll
  • Melody-delaying and arpeggiata
  • Friedheim amalgam
  • Other harmonic changes
  • Other textual changes
  • Final bar
  • Tempos and metronome markings
  • Stylistic freedom
  • Pedalling
  • Dynamics
  • Recitatives
  • Phonola range analysis
  • Musical aesthetic
  • Traditions
  • Timeline of performances, editions, books, recordings and events
  • Excerpts from Hupfeld catalogues
  • Tempo comparison (Friedheim vs. Brendel, Stradal and d’Albert)
  • Timing comparison (Friedheim vs. Brendel)

Paperback illustrated 90 pages 210 x 148 mm
ISBN 978-3-86931-795-3 RRP EUR 30

Errata for this publication

About the authors:

Gerard Carter is the author of several books on the Liszt Sonata and has produced CDs of historic recordings as well as of his own performance. Gerard studied the Sonata with Eunice Gardiner when he was a pupil at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Miss Gardiner had taken lessons from Claudio Arrau, which makes Gerard a great- great- grand pupil of Franz Liszt. Gerard holds the associate diploma in music (piano performing) and is a graduate in economics and law from the University of Sydney.

Martin Adler has a doctorate of natural sciences from the University of Marburg and runs an internet consultancy in Bonn where he lives with his wife and their three children. Martin has had an ever-growing fascination for the Liszt Sonata since he first heard it as a youth. He has studied it with his teacher Nelly Moser, who was a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory in the classes of the legendary pedagogues Emmanuel Fischmann and Vladimir Nielsen.


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