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Composer: Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)

© Franz Hanfstaengl, 1858
© Franz Hanfstaengl, 1858
October 2018
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OxfordThe Elements in Song: Christoph Prégardien & Ulrich Eisenlohr

The Elements in Song: Christoph Prégardien & Ulrich Eisenlohr
Schubert, Rihm, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt
Christoph Prégardien; Ulrich Eisenlohr

LondonIain Farrington (piano) - Concert 7 from Mahler Piano Series: The Popular and the Profound

Iain Farrington (piano) - Concert 7 from Mahler Piano Series: The Popular and the Profound
Lehár, Liszt, Zemlinsky, Lange, Suk, Mahler
Iain Farrington, Piano

BudapestDezső Ránki and the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra

© Csibi Szilvia | MUPA
Liszt, Wagner
Győr Philharmonic Orchestra; Kálmán Berkes; Dezsö Ránki

UtrechtMinsoo Hong & Friends

Liszt
Minsoo Hong; Tomoki Sakata; Alexey Sychev

MunichFestkonzert im Cuvilliés-Theater

Festkonzert im Cuvilliés-Theater
Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, Liszt
Munich Residenz Solisten; Andreas Skouras
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Petrenko’s Brahms reaches Alpine summits on the Mersey

Vasily Petrenko © Svetlana Tarlova
On reaching the second instalment of his Brahms cycle, Vasily Petrenko brings a fresh breath of alpine air to Liverpool, while George Li impresses in Rachmaninov’s ever popular Second Piano Concerto.
****1
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Fairy dust and explosives in Zurich

Paavo Järvi © Kaupo Kikkas
While the Tonhalle’s concert season officially began about a month ago, Paavo Järvi launched his own appointment here with demanding repertoire that met with great enthusiasm. 
****1
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The Royal Ballet opens the new season with Mayerling

Natalia Osipova (Mary Vetsera) and Ryoichi Hirano (Rudolf) in Mayerling © ROH, 2018 | Helen Maybanks
A new season for the Royal Ballet and a new star is "born" in this performance that highlights the company's strength in depth   
***11
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Carnival spirits at Helzberg Hall

George Li © Simon Fowler
Beethoven, Kurth and Grieg under the baton of Michael Stern.
***11
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ENB's Lest We Forget opens at Sadler's Wells

ENB in Liam Scarlett's No Man's Land © Laurent Liotardo
Lest We Forget, a triptych of original work first commissioned in 2014 for the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War now returns to the repertoire to commemorate a hundred years since the armistice of 1918.
****1
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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 1392 Konzertetüden: Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes), S 145 no. 2A Faust Symphony, S 108A Faust Symphony, S 108: Nocturnal processionAida: Danza sacra e duetto finale, transcription from Verdi, S 436/R 269Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie: Après une lecture du Dante. Fantasia quasi sonata, S.161 no.7Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie: Sonetto del Petrarca no. 104, S 161 no. 5Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie: Sonetto del Petrarca no. 47, S 161 no. 4Années de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse, S 160: Au bord d'une sourceAnnées de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse, S 160: Les Cloches de GenèveAnnées de pèlerinage, Troisième année: Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este II: Thrénodie, S 163 no. 3Another 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 drei Zigeuner, S 320Die stille Wasserrose, S 321En Rêve, S 207Erlkönig (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 101FunéraillesGrandes 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 Coronation Mass, S 11Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in C sharp minor, S 244/2Hungarian 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 447Kling leise, mein Lied, S 301La Lugubre Gondola for piano, S 200 no. 1La Lugubre Gondola for piano, S 200 no. 2La Lugubre Gondola for violin and piano, S 134Les 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 515Nuages gris (Grey Clouds), S 199Oh! Quand je dors, S 282On Wings of Song, transcription from MendelssohnOrpheus, 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 434Romance Oubliée, for violin (or cello) and piano, S 527Réminiscences de Don JuanRéminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor, S 397Réminiscences de Norma, S 394Ständchen "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 JagdTranscr. 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 TasseTwo Episodes from Lenau's Faust, S. 110Unstern! Sinsitre, disastro, S 208Valse caprice d'après Schubert in A minor, S 427 no.6Valse oubliée, S 215 no. 2Variations on a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen by JS Bach, S 180Venezia e NapoliVon der Wiege bis zum Grabe (From the Cradle to the grave), Symphonic Poem, S 107Wagner's Overture to Tannhäuser, transcr. for piano, S 442Weinen, 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