In February 1847, Liszt played in Kiev . There he met the Polish Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein , who was to become one of the most significant people in the rest of his life. She persuaded him to concentrate on composition, which meant giving up his career as a travelling virtuoso. After a tour of the Balkans, Turkey and Russia that summer, Liszt gave his final concert for pay at Yelisavetgrad in September. He spent the winter with the princess at her estate in Woronince.  By retiring from the concert platform at 35, while still at the height of his powers, Liszt succeeded in keeping the legend of his playing untarnished. 
The German baritone Matthias Goerne articulates Eisler’s anguish with crisp diction couched in a velveteen musicality. More even than Dietrich Fscher-Dieskau, who took up these songs half a century ago, Goerne goes to the heart of pain without a trace of pity and with sudden flashes of wit. He turns wilder and more dramatic in a set of Bertolt Brecht songs for voice and piano, accompanied by Thomas Larcher, who also performs Eisler’s earliest work, a 1923 piano sonata dedicated to Schoenberg. The sound is exemplary and the cover image arresting; this is a near-perfect record.
The Hexameron was not a new musical instrument come to market in the 1830’s. Though of biblical genesis, the title for this homage to Bellini was named Hexameron rather for the six separate components of this collaborative work. There had been a longstanding legend that at one time all the pianists were gathered in the salon of the enterprising Princess, to perform the variations on six pianos; but as an acclaimed exponent of this difficult work, pianist Raymond Lewenthal reflected in his comments on Hexameron , it would have been wonderful if that had occurred, but there’s not an iota of confirmation.