There were two highlights to the evening: an impeccable Totentanz by Franz Liszt with Louis Lortie soloing at the piano. As a composer, Liszt was much more an innovator than we give him credit for. The Totentanz is a theme and variation piece on a musical motive borrowed from the liturgical canon, the motive rising up, creeping up slowly out of the lower register to reincarnate itself under different guises. The piece is surprisingly modern, with dissonant chords and funky up-and-downs on the keyboard played with the back of the nails, that we don’t often associate with a late romantic period. Louis Lortie, a Canadian pianist, played through the tricks with aplomb, going gracefully through the technical hoops of fire.