Alessio Nanni plays the Ballade in b minor nr.2 by Franz Liszt.

This piano work unquestionably represents the beauty of darkness in one of Liszt’s most intriguing rendering ever.

Composed in 1835 (same year of first Chopin’s Ballade in b minor op.23), the b minor Ballade is one of the greatest masterwork realized by Liszt. Unexplainably this Ballade is also one of his great neglected piano work ever.

This piano work is based on a Byzantine myth, ‘Hero and Leander’, relating the story of Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelt in a tower in Sestos on the European side of the Dardanelles, and Leander, a young man from Abydos on the opposite side of the strait. Leander fell in love with Hero and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way.

Succumbing to Leander’s soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero allowed him to make love to her. This routine lasted through the warm summer. But one stormy winter night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero’s light, and Leander lost his way, and was drowned. Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well.

Liszt’s ending definitely is not a tragic one, though. There is certainly a storm at the end as the soaring waves of the Hellespont and the love duet commingle, but one way or another they make it out of the storm.


Recorded on may 1st 2011 at Passadori Steinway Hall – Brescia

Produced in collaboration with

Video release date : 6/6/2011


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Piano technician: Giulio Passadori

Logistic supervisor: Flavio Gheruzzi

Piano: Steinway & Sons, Concert Grand mod. D

Recorded in super high definition: 96khz/24 bit technology.

Special thanks to: Simona Passadori.

© by Alessio Nanni – All Rights Reserved