Liszt has chosen a fitting title- “Chasse-neige” – for his brooding “finale” of 12 Transcendental Etudes. While today this word in French means totally different things ( I had quite amusing conversations with native French speakers about it and i am sure there will be heated arguments here too:)) – it is associated with skiing and actually can mean “a snowplower”, Liszt had other things in mind.
Loosely translated as “Snowstorm”, “Blizzard”, “метель” in Russian – this is a truthful depiction of one of the most fearsome expressions of Mother Nature powers. If anyone could paint with notes, Liszt certainly did. We can literally see and hear the ominous lead-black clouds, snow being driven horizontally by fierce howling winds, everything disappearing under a thick shroud of white snow, muffled cries of help from faceless victims… Even today, with all our modern technology, we are helpless in a face of nature’s fury. Our roads close, our planes unable to fly, our phones do not work, our lights and heat go off…
Thus, an average human being, living a pampered life with indoor plumbing in New York City of 21st century turns out to be just as helpless and vulnerable as our ancestors on villages of middle ages. And the whole “civilization” facade melts away under few dozen inches of rising water or couple of feet of snow. A sobering thought.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Berlin, Borough President, Buffalo, carnegie hall, Chasse-neige, Christmas, Comptroller, Daily News (New York), Franz Liszt, Great Compositions/Performances, liszt, Liszt Chasse-neige Transcedental Etude #12, Mother Nature, New York, New York City, Transcendental Études, Valentina Lisitsa