In 1720,in order to prevent the circulation of unauthorized copies in England and Europe,Händel actually published his first eight Suites for Keyboard.(Copyright laws already existed in England at the time.)He was thus aware of their increasing popularity.The fascination of these suites lies in their improvisatory freshness, combined with high contrapuntal skill and the attraction of their melodies.Their most astonishing characteristic is that under an apparently loose compositional scheme lies an iron logic of inner coherence. Every Suite is based on a certain(differentiated)chordal sequence,usually outlined in the opening movement, upon which the intricate motivic and ornamental fabric is woven.In this respect,this is quite similar to 20th century jazz improvisation techniques.In some cases,there is even a literal quotation of the same theme in various movements, a kind of pre-Wagnerian leitmotiv process(as in Suite No.5) Händel's vital force and demonic musical temperament are adorned by complex keyboard technique, and all this contributed to his eminent position among European keyboard virtuosi of his time.

The artistic life of Alexander Scriabin could be described as the individualization of Self.Totally preoccupied with mysticism towards the end of his life,he developed his own harmony and individual musical language, which borders on the hermetic and incomprehensible.
The Sonate-fantaisie,Op.19,belongs to an earlier period,where harmonic language still dwells within familiar Romantic borders.According to an oral tradition,it represents the picture of "...sea remembered.The first movement has the calm of the ocean in the moonlight,while the second depicts the stormy sea..." At times, there are four or even five layers of sound forming a typical Scriabinesque "polymelodic" texture.
The two Poèmes,Op.32, belong to his middle period, when the idea of Man-Dod already emerged in Scriabin's consciousness. The first poem, narcissistic and harmonically voluptuous, is a timeless doet; the second one expresses the elegant self-confidence, bordering on the ecstation.

Liszt's Consolations(1850)is a collection of six pieces inspired by the poems(Les Consolations,1830) of the famous French poet, writer, and critic, Sainte-Beuve(1804-1869). These miniatures are reminiscent of what lingers after a hurricane of passions, pride, worldly pleasures, and disillusions: intimate memories, hope, childlike naivety, a thought of a dear person upon hearing evening bells. They are real gems of perfect form and disarming sincerity.
Of all religious piano music composed by Franz Liszt, the Légendes(1863) are surely the most beautiful. The first one was inspired by a legend of St.Francis of Assisi, according to which the saint, who was walking with his companions in the fields, stopped in order to preach to the birds. Birds flocked to him and listened to his sermon. After the dialogue between the saint and the birds, there comes a mystical communion between the saint, nature, and God. The harmonic language borders on Impressionism. Then, the whole scene fades away enigmatically.
The second Légende is devoted to Liszt's patron saint, St.Francis of Paola. The saint asked sailors to take him by boat across the Messina Strait. They wanted him to pay, and as he was poor and had no money, they ridiculed him and his faith. Then, the saint performed a miracle, walking on the water, his stick turning into a mast and his cloak into a sail.
This particular piece had a great significance for Liszt and he played it very frequently in the ´sixties and ´seventies of the last century. Perhaps he was not slow to connect its fable with his personal struggle against seemingly insurmountable obstacles to create a new musical language and aesthetics. In this he eventually succeeded to the highest degree.
©Kemal Gekic