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Composer: Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)

© Franz Hanfstaengl, 1858
© Franz Hanfstaengl, 1858
August 2018
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LondonPopular piano works performed by young virtuosi from the Rachmaninov Music Academy

Popular piano works performed by young virtuosi from the Rachmaninov Music Academy
Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Beethoven, Debussy, Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev
London Russian Music School, Piano

ManchesterClaudius Tanski, piano

Claudius Tanski, piano
Liszt, Beethoven
Claudius Tanski, Piano

ManchesterGala Piano Faculty Recital 2

Gala Piano Faculty Recital 2
Debussy, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt
Gemma Beeson; Leslie Howard; Murray McLachlan; Callum McLachlan

SantanderRotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Santander

Liszt, Bruckner
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Yefim Bronfman

LondonProm 55: Iván Fischer & Budapest Festival Orchestra (II)

Liszt, Brahms, Sarasate
Budapest Festival Orchestra; Iván Fischer; József Lendvay Csócsi; József Lendvay; Jenő Lisztes
Latest reviewsSee more...

Prom 8: Youthful beginnings and untimely ends

Thomas Søndergård © Martin Bubandt
To works by Mendelssohn and Schumann, Søndergård added music by two impressive female composers who died far too young and whose works are far less known than they should be, Lili Boulanger and Morfydd Owen. 
****1
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Igor Levit delivers a majestic recital in Birmingham

Igor Levit © Robbie Lawrence
Fourth time's a charm as pianist Igor Levit returns to Birmingham for a tremendous recital. 
****1
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Intimacy and brilliant showmanship from Yuja Wang at the Barbican

Yuja Wang © Ian Douglas
A truly remarkable display from a musical giant as Yuja Wang wows the Barbican. 
*****
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Flamboyant Liszt, bold Brahms from Khatia Buniatishvili

Khatia Buniatishvili © Julia Wesely
Famed for her Liszt, the Georgian pianist also impressed with weighty, dignified Brahms in her International Piano Series recital.
****1
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Alessandra Ferri returns in Royal Ballet triple bill

Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli in Marguerite and Armand © ROH | Tristam Kenton
A random assortment of disassociated ballets performed with variable success - from the sublime to the nondescript. 
***11
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Biography

For most of us, the name of Franz Liszt conjures up a two word phrase: piano virtuoso. Liszt gave us the piano recital: before him, no pianist was so sure of his prowess and showmanship as to dare to book a large concert hall and pull in an adoring audience there to see just one man playing the piano for an entire evening.

Liszt’s vast array of piano pieces abounds with showmanship: whether or not they are more difficult to play than other composers’ works, they sound more difficult and more impressive. But amidst all the razzmatazz, it’s easy to overlook the depth, variety, innovation and sheer quality of the music. His masterwork, the single movement Sonata in B Minor, builds a series of themes into a massive musical structure with a coherence that would later be echoed in the operas of his son-in-law Richard Wagner. The shorter Totentanz is utterly convincing in its depiction of a series of shifting moods, while the Hungarian Rhapsodies alternate joyous fireworks with moments of rare delicacy. Equally impressive are Liszt’s transcriptions and “reminiscences”. Listening to his Reminiscences de Norma gives you the uncanny feeling that you’re listening to the original Bellini opera, while being aware that this can’t possibly be right since there’s only one man and a piano. Liszt formed part of the democratisation of music to wider audiences, playing music by many other composers and transcribing Beethoven’s nine symphonies for the piano.

Liszt’s output stretched far beyond piano works, including wonderful religious music and orchestral works, notably the Faust Symphony and a series of symphonic poems.

Liszt was born in 1811 to a musical German-speaking family in Sopron, in a small finger of Hungary very close to the Austrian border and the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt where Haydn was employed for many years. He was taught by Carl Czerny (the author of the dexterity studies still used by many of today's piano students) and was recognised early as a child prodigy: his one act opera Don Ssanche, ou le château de l’amour, received its première five days before his fourteenth birthday. For the first half of his life, he lived as a travelling musician, touring the major cities of Europe (particularly Paris) and dazzling an ecstatic public. His superstar nature was reflected in a prolific and tempestuous love life; although he had a series of highly public affairs and several children, he never married. In 1847, he gave up public performances to focus on composition and teaching, living first in Weimar and then in Rome. He became a revered and influential teacher: extraordinarily, he did not charge for lessons, believing that he had already made enough money from his music.

For much of the twentieth century, critics belittled Liszt’s music as flashy and superficial: he was seen as the dead end of a decadent romantic movement. More recently, music scholars have been kinder, perceiving compositional techniques which have strongly influenced 20th century music. But throughout this time, his works have been continuously popular with pianists and audiences, and he stands as one of the most memorable composers of the 19th century.

List of works
12 Transcendental Études, S 1393 Concert Etudes: Un sospiro, S 144 no. 33 Sonetti di Petrarca, S 1586 Chants Polonais (after Chopin Op. 74), S 480: Frühling (Wiosna) no.26 Chants Polonais (after Chopin Op. 74), S 480: Mädchens Wunsch (Zyczenie)/Souhaits d'une jeune fille no.1A Faust Symphony, S 108A Faust Symphony, S 108: Nocturnal processionAdélaïde de Beethoven, S 466Aida: Danza sacra e duetto finale, transcription from Verdi, S 436/R 269An die ferne Geliebte S469Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie: Après une lecture du Dante. Fantasia quasi sonata, S.161 no.7Another PlaceAuf dem Wasser zu singen, S 558 no. 2 (transcribed from Schubert D 774)Bagatelle sans Tonalite, S 216aBallade no. 2 in B minor, S 171Bist du, S 277Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne (Bergsinfonie), symphonic poem no. 1, S 95Christus: March of the three kingsComment, disaient-ils, S 276Consolation no. 1 in E major, S 172Consolation no. 2 in E major, S 172Consolation no. 3 in D flat major, S 172Consolation no. 4 in D flat major, S 172Consolation no. 5 in E major, S 172Consolation no. 6 in E major, S 172Dante SymphonyDer du von dem Himmel bist , S 279Die Forelle (transcribed from Schubert), S 563/6Die Lorelei, S 273Die stille Wasserrose, S 321Du bist wie eine Blume, S 287Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S 309Elegy no. 1 for cello and pianoEn Rêve, S 207Enfant, si j'étais roi, S 283Erlkönig (transcribed from Schubert), S 558 no.4Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S 314Fantasia and Fugue on "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam" S 259Fantasie and fugue on the theme B-A-C-H, S 529Fantasy on Hungarian folk melodies S 123Festklänge, symphonic poem, S 101FunéraillesGrand Duo Concertante sur la romance de "Le Marin", S 128Grandes Études de Paganini S 141: no. 3 in G sharp minor, "La Campanella"Grandes études de Paganini, S 141Gretchen am spinnrade, D 558 no. 8 (transcribed from Schubert D 118)Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Funérailles, S 173 no. 7Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Pensée des morts, S 173 no.4Hungarian Rhapsody no. 1 in C sharp minor, S 244/1Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in C sharp minor, S 244/2Hungarian Rhapsody no. 3 in B flat major, S 244/3Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6 in D flat major, S 244/6Hungarian Rhapsody no. 8 in F sharp minor, S 244/8Hungarian Rhapsody no. 9 in E flat major "Carnival in Pest", S 244/9Hunnenschlacht, S 105Ihr Glocken von Marling, S 328Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, S 272Isolde's Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, transc. for piano, S 447La Lugubre Gondola for piano, S 200 no. 1La Lugubre Gondola for piano, S 200 no. 2Les Préludes, symphonic poem no. 3, S 97Liebestraum no. 3 in A flat major, S 541Lieder: selectionMarguerite and ArmandMayerlingMephisto Waltz no. 1, "Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke", S 514Mephisto waltz no. 2, S 515No Man's LandNuages gris (Grey Clouds), S 199Oh! Quand je dors, S 282Orpheus, symphonic poem no. 4 for orchestra, S 98Orphée symphonic poem, transcr. for piano trio by Saint-Saëns, S 98Paraphrase on Verdi's "Il Trovatore", S 433Piano Concerto no. 1 in E flat major, S 124Piano Concerto no. 2 in A major, S 125Piano Sonata in B minor, S 178Prelude and Fugue on BACH, S 260Prometheus, S 99Rhapsodie Espagnole, S 254Rigoletto: Paraphrase de Concert, S 434Réminiscences de Boccanegra, S 438Réminiscences de Don JuanRéminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor, S 397Réminiscences de Norma, S 394Salve Maria de Jérusalem, S 431 (trans. para piano de I lombardi de Verdi)Salve Polonia, S.113/2SardanapaloStändchen "Horch, horch! die Lerch" S 558 no. 9 (transcribed from Schubert's D 889)Ständchen no. 7 (transcribed from Schubert's Schwanengesang)Symphonic poem no. 6 "Mazeppa", S 100Tasso: Lament and Triumph, symphonic poem, S 96Totentanz for piano and orchestra, S 126Transcendental Études, S 139: no. 10 in F minorTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 11 Harmonies du SoirTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 4 MazeppaTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 5 Feux FolletsTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 8 Wilde JagdTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 9 RicordanzaTranscr. from Wagner's Solemn March to the Holy Grail from Parsifal, S 450Tre sonetti di Petrarca, S 270Trois odes funèbres, S 112: Le triomphe funèbre du TasseUnstern! Sinsitre, disastro, S 208Valse caprice d'après Schubert in A minor, S 427 no.6Variations on a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen by JS Bach, S 180Venezia e NapoliVergiftet sind meine Lieder (My songs are poisoned), S 289Via Crucis, S 53Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (From the Cradle to the grave), Symphonic Poem, S 107Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, organ prelude after JS Bach cantata, S 179Widmung, transcription of Schumann's liebeslied for piano, S 566Wie singt die Lerche schön, S 312