“Playing on the Bechstein in Liszt’s House is always a special experience for me. The sound is soft but crisp and precise. I can’t get enough of it – it’s addictive!”
Cora Irsen, a pianist based in Weimar who performs all over Germany, is a passionate musician with a vast repertoire, most well-known for her outstanding interpretation of works by Franz Liszt. Winner of the International Franz Liszt Competition in Weimar and the International Chopin Competition in Göttingen, she has performed solo and as a chamber musician in various countries (Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Malaysia, Australia and Japan, where she goes on tour every year). Her chamber music partners include Mirijam Contzen, Ralph Manno, Charles Neidich, Hartmut Rohde, Guido Schiefen, Jörg Brückner, Matthias Moosdorf, Erich Krüger and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.
Fascinated by Liszt for more than twenty years, Irsen recorded a CD in 2001 on the Bechstein that once belonged to the great composer and is still kept in Weimar. Her discography also includes Liszt compositions accompanying texts by Goethe recited by the actor Lutz Görner (2009), two CDs featuring works by Liszt interspersed with passages relating the composer’s biography (2011 and 2012), and a CD of Wagner transcriptions by Liszt.
In 2010, Irsen initiated the festival Konzerte in Wort und Musik, where she plays works by Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Robert and Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Frédéric Chopin, interspersed with anecdotes, excerpts from letters and biographical information on the composers and pianist Alice Herz-Sommer. This harmonious association between the lives and works of the artists is accentuated by her natural and emotional piano style.
Photos: © Guido Werner