Franz Liszt has to be one of the most fascinating of the great composers. On the one hand he was the poster boy Romantic Don Juan – a reputation he did nothing to discourage – while on the other he was devoutly religious and a member of the Third Order of St Francis. His effect on people, male and female, at his concerts is the stuff of legends. The term “Lisztomania” was coined, not by British film-maker Ken Russell but by the German poet Heinrich Heine, and Nietzsche referred to “Liszt, or the art of running after women”, although it was often the other way around.

These two seemingly opposed aspects of the man are examined by the exceptionally talented Croatian pianist Martina Filjak in her latest album Light and Shade, inspired by Goethe’s quote “A strong light casts a deep shadow”. She takes seven of his pieces and rounds them off with an encore – Arvo Part’s Fur Alina, by way of a cleansing sorbet.

At 42 Filjak’s modest discography belies her growing international reputation as a poetic performer...

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