Franz Liszt

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Franz Liszt was born October 22, 1811, Doborján


On July 31 went from us the last of the eminent musicians, born within the decade 1803-1813, who by their achievements initiated and consummated a new era in music, that of neo-romanticism. Of this glorious band, Mendelssohn, the link between the old and the new, was the first to shuffle off this mortal coil; Chopin, Schumann, and Berlioz followed respectively at intervals of two, seven, and thirteen years; Wagner in 1883. None of those that preceded him to the grave left such a blank in the musical life of the world as Liszt, for none of them influenced it in so many ways and so directly – by playing, teaching, and conducting, by musical and literary composition, by personal character and social intercourse. We look about in vain for one to fill his place. Which of the prominent living musicians can flatter himself with the proud thought of being acknowledged, unanimously, or even by a small majority, the head of the musical republic? We have entered on an interregnum, a masterless and lawless time. May the coming of a heaven-appointed leader be at hand! As yet, undistracted by the heartless if comforting cry, Le roi est mort, vive le roi, we can abandon ourselves to the mournful but elevating contemplation of the life of him whom we have lost.

Liszt was one of the most interesting and noblest characters the world has ever seen. His wide culture and great experience of the world, combined with the consciousness of his natural powers, gave him a wonderful self-possession, which enabled him to feel equally at ease in the society of a prince and in that of a beggar. This self-possession has often been misunderstood, being confounded with assumption of superiority. Although capable of withering scorn, and rather addicted to irony in its different forms, Liszt was at bottom, as Mendelssohn remarked, ‘a good hearty fellow.’ He could be as playful as a child. I remember a quartet party at his house in Weimar in 1878. He was bubbling over with fun. At last he sat down beside me, and, slapping my knee, exclaimed, ‘Now you see what sort of a fellow I am.’ George Eliot says in her diary (1854), ‘Liszt’s conversation is charming. I never met with a person whose manner of telling a story was so piquant . . . Liszt’s replies were always felicitous and characteristic.’ The fundamental note of Liszt’s character was love. His sympathy knew no bounds, it was a sympathy unto self-abnegation. Instead of producing works for his own glory, he wrote pamphlets and essays to help others to obtain recognition. Ask his pupils – from whom he received no fees – what they think of him? Though he had earned millions he had, in the last years of his life, just enough to live comfortably. Few monarchs have been so magnificent in their charity as he. One of his last acts and sayings deserve to be recorded. Shortly before his death a pupil of his had written to him and asked, as many others had done before him, for pecuniary assistance. This came into his mind in one of his lucid moments, and he requested Madame Wagner to send a sum of money to the applicant. She replied that it should be done shortly. Liszt hereupon said: ‘No, not shortly, send it at once; the man is in want.’

It must be a great satisfaction to the people of England that among them Liszt closed his artistic career, and that he spoke to everybody of the great pleasure which his visit has given him. Another circumstance which will interest Englishmen is that the last notes which Liszt put upon paper were a few lines (alas! only a few lines) of a fantasia on subjects from Mackenzie’s ‘Troubadour,’ which the master had volunteered to write when he was in London.

Enough! Liszt has lived a noble life. It is for us to honour his memory.

Franz Liszt

was the only contemporary whose music Richard Wagner gratefully acknowledged as an influence upon his own. His lasting fame was an alchemy of extraordinary digital ability — the greatest in the history of keyboard playing — an unmatched instinct for showmanship, and one of the most progressive musical imaginations of his time. Hailed by some as a visionary, reviled by others as a symbol of empty Romantic excess, Franz Liszt wrote his name across music history in a truly inimitable manner.

There are approximately 73 films which quote from the music of this composer who, with Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann, was a father of the grand Romantic piano style. The passions and pathos of Liszt’s life are explored and outrageously amplified to the point of the cartoonishly surreal in Ken Russell’s splendid Lisztomania (1975). His Hungarian patriotism, his playboy star-status (a crazed scene with fans riding a giant prop penis), his later turn toward religion and his struggle against the Faustian “demon” Wagner — all are accompanied by perfectly chosen selections from the composer’s oeuvre. The earlier Hungarian drama Szerelmi álmok — Liszt (The Loves of Liszt, 1970) is considerably tamer.


Works

Dramatic and vocal music

* Don Sanche, opera (1825)
* c 70 songs
* recitations

Choral music

* Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth, oratorio (1857-62)
* Christus, oratorio (1853-66)
* Missa solemnis (1855)
* Missa choralis (1865)
* Hungarian Coronation Mass (1867)
* Requiem (1867-8)
* Psalm xiii (1855)
* Psalm xviii (1860)
* Via crucis (1878-9)
* c 50 others
* 2 Beethoven cantatas (1845
* 1869-70)
* An die Künstler (1853)
* Hungaria 1848, cantata (1848)
* c 26 others.

Orchestral and chamber music

* Les préludes, sym. poem (1848)
* Ce qu′on entend sur la montagne, sym. poem (1849)
* Tasso, sym. poem (1849)
* Héroïde funèbre, sym. poem (1850)
* Prometheus, sym. poem (1850)
* Mazeppa, sym. poem (1851)
* Festklänge, sym. poem (1853)
* Orpheus, sym. poem (1854)
* Hungaria, sym. poem (1854)
* Hunnenschlacht, sym. poem (1857)
* Die Ideale, sym. poem (1857)
* Faust-Symphonie (1857)
* Dante Symphony (1857)
* Hamlet, sym. poem (1858)
* First Mephisto Waltz (1861)
* Trois odes funèbres (1866)
* Second Mephisto Waltz (1881)
* Pf Conc. no.1, E♭ (1855)
* Pf Conc. no.2, A (1857)
* Totentanz, pf/orch (1865)
* other orch works
* 9 chamber works

Keyboard music

* Grand galop chromatique (1838)
* Grosses Konzertsolo (1849)
* [12] Transcendental Studies (1851)
* [6] Paganini Studies (1851)
* Années de pèlerinage, i, Suisse (1854), ii, Italie (1849), iii (1877)
* Sonata, b (1853)
* [19] Hungarian Rhapsodies (1853, 1885)
* Third Mephisto Waltz (1883)
* ballades, nocturnes, bagatelles, marches, polonaises, variations, legends, fantasias, mood pictures
* Fantasy and Fugue on Ad nos., ad salutarem undam, org (1850)
* Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H, org (1855)

Arrangements, transcriptions

* c 250 paraphrases, mostly for pf, of works by other composers, incl. fantasias on opera themes by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Auber, Mozart, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Verdi
* transcrs. of orch works, songs and opera themes by Beethoven, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Weber, Wagner, Saint-Saëns
* c 90 arrs. of his own works

The influence of Franz Liszt as a composer and conductor has received increasing recognition. Superlatives are essential in describing this artist, whose prolific output alone would make him unique among the great 19th-century musicians. As a child, he achieved fame as a prodigy; as an adult, he became the first pianist able to support himself on his earnings as a performer. In a solo recital he could fill a hall to capacity, without the benefit of an orchestra. His pyrotechnics and digital facility are legendary. He was probably the most remarkable sight reader of all times; yet his prodigious memory is mentioned by all who knew him. One regrets that he died just a few years before the advent of recordings.

In his compositions Liszt experimented with formal changes, being among the first to unify a work by means of thematic transformation, reusing material from the first movement in successive movements but treating the material differently. His B-Minor Piano Sonata as well as both piano concertos and all of his symphonic poems are multisectional rather than multimovement works, each played without pauses between sections. Liszt grew to favor this kind of amalgamation – instead of a division into separate movements.

Answers: Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt

Hungarian piano virtuoso and composer. Among his many notable compositions are his 12 symphonic poems, two (completed) piano concerti, several sacred choral works, and a great variety of solo piano pieces.

Apart from his more than 700 compositions, Liszt was the author of books on Frédéric Chopin, Hungarian Gypsy music, Wagner’s Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, John Field’s nocturnes, the lieder of Robert Franz, and the Goethe Foundation in Weimar. His published essays and correspondence fill many volumes. A controversial figure in his time, he was attacked for his innovations, and his rivals were jealous of his brilliance and panache. For a long time he was regarded merely as a superficial composer of brilliant trifles, but in recent years his true stature has been seen more clearly as that of a composer who revolutionized the music of his time and anticipated numerous later developments. As Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein said, “Liszt has flung his spear far into the future.”

Britannica Encyclopaedia: Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt

Hungarian pianist, composer and conductor. Liszt was an innovator in his piano and orchestral works, and created new approaches to form.

In his own words…

“Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words. If music has one advantage over the other media through which a person can represent the impressions of the soul, it owes this to its supreme capacity to make each inner impulse audible without the assistance of reason… Music presents at once the intensity and the expression of feeling. It is the embodied and intelligible essence of feeling, capable of being apprehended by our senses. It permeates them like a dart, like a ray, like a mist, like a spirit, and fills our soul.”

Franz Liszt embodied all of the great ambitions of the Romantic era, and many of its contradictions. His life spanned three generations of Romantic composers. In his early life, he was an extravagant virtuoso, the darling of the ladies, and a creator of new and adventurous music. In his old age, he turned to the church, becoming a priest, writing sacred music, and championing the music of a new generation.

Essentials of Music Franz Joseph Liszt

Franz Liszt

Central to Liszt’s achievement was his prodigious keyboard virtuosity, his inventiveness and his ability to devise new techniques that revolutionized the approach to the instrument. Thus it may be held that his copious solo piano output is the most crucial part of his legacy, including the B minor Piano Sonata, his Années de Pèlerinage and the etudes. But his orchestral tone poems – the so-called programme music – are in a real sense his most permanent imaginative achievement. The Dante and Faust symphonies are both major testaments to a concern with literal and philosophical truths expressed in music, and as such are central to the 19th-century Romantic tradition. They are also clear examples of the sometimes demoniacal energies to be found in his music. Liszt has also often been cited as important in these works in his coining and development of the idea of theme transformation, rather than the more traditional ideas of Classical development. This approach perhaps reached its apotheosis in Wagner.

Classical Net: Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt

wrote a great deal of music for the piano, some of which was later revised, and consequently exists in a number of versions. In addition to original piano music, he also made many transcriptions of the work of other composers and wrote works based on national themes. The violinist Paganini was the immediate inspiration for the Etudes d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini, dedicated to Clara Schumann, wife of the composer Robert Schumann, and based on five of the 24 Caprices for solo violin by Paganini and on the latter’s La campanella. The Transcendental Studies, revised in 1851, Etudes d’exécution transcendante, form a set of twelve pieces, including Wilde Jagd (a Wild Hunt), Harmonies du soir (Evening Harmony), and Chasse-Neige. The three collections, later given the title Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), wander from Switzerland, in the first book, to Italy in the second two, a series of evocative poetic pictures, inspired by landscape, poems and works of art. The earlier volumes stem from the years of wandering with Marie d’Agoult, and the last from the final period of Liszt’s life, based in Rome. The Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, written between 1845 and 1852, represent, in the ten pieces included, something of the composer’s lasting religious feelings, evident also in the Légendes of 1863, the first of the two representing St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds and the second St. Francis de Paul walking on the water. The remarkable Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, based on a theme from a Bach cantata, mourns the death of his elder daughter Blandine. His Fantasia and Fugue on the letters of the name of Bach – B flat – A – C & H(which is B natural in English notation) – was originally written for organ. Liszt wrote one sonata, novel in its form.

Albums:

LISZT: Faust Symphony (A) (NTSC) 2072078 Orchestral
LISZT: Symphonic Poems, Vol. 4 8.557847 Orchestral
ROMANTIC PIANO FAVOURITES, VOL. 2 8.570083 Instrumental
Romantic Piano Favourites, Vol. 7 8.570088 Instrumental
ROMANTIC PIANO FAVOURITES, VOL. 9 8.570090 Instrumental
ROMANTIC PIANO FAVOURITES, VOL. 1 8.570082 Instrumental
ROMANTIC PIANO FAVOURITES, VOL. 8 8.570089 Instrumental
WAGNER / LISZT / RAVEL / TCHAIKOVSKY: Orchestral Spectacular 8.571081 Orchestral
101 CLASSICS – The Best Loved Classical Melodies 8.508004 Instrumental
A TO Z OF CONDUCTORS 8.558087-90 Orchestral
A TO Z OF PIANISTS 8.558107-10 Instrumental
AVE MARIA – Les plus beaux Ave Maria et chants a la Vierge (The Most Beautiful Ave Marias and Songs to the Virgin) 8.570886-87 Choral – Sacred
AVE MARIA: Madonna Mystica – BACH, J.S. / HANDEL, G.F. / SCHUBERT, F. / BRUCKNER, A. / BRAHMS, J. / LISZT, F. 8.551267 Choral – Sacred
BARENBOIM, Daniel: Liszt Recital (The) (NTSC) 2056748 Classical Concert
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies (arr. F. Liszt for piano), Vol. 1 – Nos. 1, 2 (Biret Beethoven Edition, Vol. 2) 8.571252 Instrumental
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies (arr. F. Liszt for piano), Vol. 2 – Nos. 4, 5 (Biret Beethoven Edition, Vol. 6) 8.571256 Instrumental
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies (arr. F. Liszt for piano), Vol. 3 – Nos. 7, 8 (Biret Beethoven Edition, Vol. 9) 8.571259 Instrumental
BJORLING, Jussi: Bjorling Collection, Vol. 5: Lieder and Songs (1939-1952) 8.110789 Vocal
BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSIC (A) 8.503134 Instrumental
Cello Recital: Kosower, Mark – BARTOK, B. / DOHNANYI, E. / KODALY, Z. / LISZT, F. / (Hungarian Music for Cello and Piano) 8.570570 Chamber Music
CHOPIN, F.: Rondo in C major / SCHUBERT, F.: Fantasie in F minor / LISZT, F.: Concerto pathetique / MILHAUD, D.: Scaramouche (Vronsky, Babin) (1956) 9.80287 Concertos
CHOPIN: Piano Works (Moiseiwitsch, Vol. 11) (1916-1927) 8.111117 Instrumental
CHRISTMAS (THE VERY BEST OF) 8.570344-45 Instrumental
CHRISTMAS CHILL – The Ultimate Collection 8.578013-14 Orchestral
CLASSIC ARCHIVE: Piano Virtuosos (NTSC) 3085288 Classical Concert
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS – Franz Liszt C49037 Concertos, Orchestral, Instrumental

Naxos: LISZT, FRANZ BIOGRAPHY

Franz Liszt

became renowned throughout Europe for his great skill as a performer during the 19th century. He is said to have been the most technically advanced and perhaps greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edward Grieg and Alexander Borodin.

As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the “Neudeutsche Schule” (“New German School”). He left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.

Wikipedia: Franz Liszt

Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum

The museum is a reconstruction of Liszt’s last Budapest flat on the first floor of the old Academy of Music, where the composer lived between 1881 and 1886. The collection of the museum contains his original instruments, furniture, his books, scores and some personal objects and memorabilia. The Liszt Research Centre in the house coordinates Liszt-research in Hungary and abroad as well.

Liszt Museum: Franz Liszt

Welcome to the Franz Liszt Site!

While I regret not being able to communicate in all languages, luckily we have music – the universal language. However, with a basic knowledge of English you should be able to enjoy this site. Regards.

Before beginning your journey into the fascinating world of Franz Liszt I would like to mention that many individuals have dedicated their lives to furthering the awareness of Franz Liszt and in my endeavors I have come across many, yet these three stand out…

D-Vista: The Franz Liszt Site

Download sheet music and midi files for Franz Liszt

Liszt: Consolation No.3: Cello
Liszt: Consolation No.3: Clarinet
Liszt: Consolation in E: Trumpet, 2 Trombones and Tuba
Liszt: Consolation in E: 3 Alto Saxes, Tenor Sax
Liszt: Consolation in E: Flute, Oboe, 2 Clarinets
Liszt: Consolation in E: Wind Quartet
Liszt: Consolation No.2: Flute
Liszt: Consolation in E: Piano
Liszt: Consolation No.2: Piano
Liszt: Consolation No.3: Piano
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.06
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.07
Liszt: Liebestraume: Notturno 3, O Lieb
Liszt: Un Sospiro: Etude No. 39

Music-Scores. Franz Liszt

Liszt Ferenc Society

The Liszt Ferenc Society bears the name of the famous Hungarian pianist and composer, Ferenc (Franz) Liszt. There were attempts to form a society bearing his name already in his lifetime. The Hungarian Liszt Society was founded in 1893 and functioned with several interruptions until the end of World War II. The Society did not line up to any political program, therefore it could not function in the years of severe communist oppression. Its second foundation was in 1973. Since the political changes of 1990 it is a free civil association promoting the culture in Hungary.

Liszt Ferenc Society: Liszt Ferenc Society

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