Excerpts from Wagner operas have, on countless occasions, been transcribed for piano. A fairly long list of transcribers could be made, starting with Joseph Rubinstein, the first transcriber of an extract from Parsifal, going on through Bülow to Brassin, then from Carl Tausig to August Stradal, to speak only of those who were pupils of Liszt. It is an established fact that Liszt, the greatest master of transcription and paraphrase, made very little use of Wagner’s works. In this highly-regarded recording, once more appearing on CD, the transcription honours are shared between Liszt and Kocsis.
“He graduates the ascent to the Prelude’s climax beautifully, however, while still leaving something in reserve for the climax of Liebestod. In the latter Kocsis demonstrates enviable control of the demisemiquaver tremolos and responds well to the rapid ebb and flow of the music’s emotions. … Kocsis’s performance [of the “Feierlicher Marsch” from Parsifal] is excellent. The digital recording is at once lifelike and unobtrusive.” Gramophone