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Composer: Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)

Find classical music concert, opera, ballet and dance listings | Liszt
© Franz Hanfstaengl, 1858
© Franz Hanfstaengl, 1858
April 2020
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BudapestSoirées de Vienne

Soirées de Vienne
Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Grunfeld
Gábor Farkas, Piano

CambridgeSoul and Spectacle

Soul and Spectacle
Liszt, Mahler
Philharmonia Orchestra; Paavo Järvi; Zhang Zuo

BudapestLiszt: Sardanapalo

Liszt: Sardanapalo
Liszt: Sardanapalo
Staatskapelle Weimar; Giampaolo Bisanti; Airam Hernández; Joyce El-Khoury; Oleksandr Pushniak

PhiladelphiaThibaudet and Liszt

Clyne, Liszt, Strauss R.
The Philadelphia Orchestra; Stéphane Denève; Jean-Yves Thibaudet

CanterburySoul and Spectacle

Soul and Spectacle
Liszt, Rachmaninov
Philharmonia Orchestra; Paavo Järvi; Zhang Zuo
Latest reviewsSee more...

The in-laws in Atlanta: Wagner and Liszt headline Villaume's program

Emmanuel Villaume, Andrew von Oeyen and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra © Jeff Roffman
In Atlanta, guest conductor Emmanuel Villaume and pianist Andrew von Oeyen powerfully perform a Liszt concerto.
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Outstanding performance from Simon Trpčeski in Dublin

Simon Trpčeski © Benjamin Ealovega
Showing exquisite tonal colouring in Brahms and Liszt, Trpčeski mesmirised the audience with his bravura in Mussorgsky and Prokofiev. 
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Glistening dew: Alina Cojocaru at Sadler’s Wells

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Reminiscence © Andrej Uspenski
An enchanting programme of music, film and dance in material moved by the spirit of a great performer.
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Gerstein emphasizes the importance of flexible minds, not only fingers

Kirill Gerstein at Zankel Hall © Fadi Kheir
In his Zankel Hall recital, Gerstein underlined with purposeful clarity the fecundating power of just a few thematic ideas.
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Angels, devils, rites and Python: the LA Phil in London

Gustavo Dudamel © Mark Allan | Barbican
The LA Phil give us plenty of excitement in Stravinsky and Sousa and an orchestral surprise packet from Ginastera; Yuja Wang's superb pianism isn't enough to lift a disappointing Adams concerto.
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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
2 Konzertetüden: Waldesrauschen (forest murmurs), S 145 no. 13 Concert Etudes: Un sospiro, S 144 no. 33 Sonetti di Petrarca, S 1584 Valses oubliées, S 2156 Chants Polonais (after Chopin Op. 74), S 480: Frühling (Wiosna) no.26 Consolations, S 172A Faust Symphony, S 108Adélaïde de Beethoven, S 466Aida: Danza sacra e duetto finale, transcription from Verdi, S 436/R 269An die ferne Geliebte S469Années de pèlerinageAnnées de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie, S 161Années 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. 123, S 161 no. 6Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie: Sonetto del Petrarca no. 47, S 161 no. 4Années de pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie: Sposalizio, S 161 no. 1Années de pèlerinage, Première année, S 160: Suisse: Vallée d'ObermannAnnées de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse, S 160Années de pèlerinage, Première année: Suisse, S 160: Chapelle de Guillaume TellAnnées de pèlerinage, Troisième année, S 163Années de pèlerinage, Troisième année: Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este I: Thrénodie, S 163 no. 2Années de pèlerinage, Troisième année: Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este II: Thrénodie, S 163 no. 3Années de pèlerinage, Troisième année: Les jeux d'eaux à la villa d'Este, S 163 no. 4Auf dem Wasser zu singen, S 558 no. 2 (transcribed from Schubert D 774)Aus Lohengrin: Elsa's Traum, S.446/2Aus Tannhäuser: O du mein holder Abendstern, S.444Ave Maria (transcribed from Schubert), S 558/12Ballade no. 2 in B minor, S 171Berceuse, S174Capriccio alla turca sur des motifs de Beethoven, S. 388Concert Paraphrase on Ernani II, S 432Consolation no. 4 in D flat major, S 172Danse macabre, piano transcr. of Camille Saint-Saëns' Op.40, S 555Dante SymphonyDer Doppelgänger no. 7 (transcribed from Schubert's Schwanengesang), S 560/12Der du von dem Himmel bist , S 279Die Ideale, S.106Erlkönig (transcribed from Schubert), S 558 no.4Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S 314Es war ein König in Thule, S 278Fantastic Rondo on a Spanish theme "El Contrabandista," S 252Fantasy and fugue in G minor by JS Bach , BWV 542, S 463Fantasy on Hungarian folk melodies S 123Faribolo Pastour, S. 236/1Finale de Don Carlos de Verdi – Coro di festa e marcia funebre, S. 435Freudvoll und Leidvoll, S 280Frühlingsnacht, S568 (transcription from Robert Schumann)Grand Duo Concertante sur la romance de "Le Marin", S 128Grand galop chromatique S 219Gretchen am spinnrade, D 558 no. 8 (transcribed from Schubert D 118)Harmonies Poétiques et ReligieusesHarmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude, S 173 no. 3Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Cantique d'amour, S 173 no. 10Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Pensée des morts, S 173 no.4Hexaméron, Variations on the march from Bellini's Il Puriatani, S 392Hungarian Rhapsody no. 1 in C sharp minor, S 244/1Hungarian Rhapsody no. 10 in E major, S 244/10Hungarian Rhapsody no. 11 in A minor, S 244/11Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in C sharp minor, S 244/2Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6 in D flat major, S 244/6Hungarian Rhapsody no. 9 in E flat major "Carnival in Pest", S 244/9Hunnenschlacht, S 105Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, S 272Impromptu (Nocturne), S 191Introduction and Fugue from Bach's Cantata no. 21 "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis", S 660Isolde's Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, transc. for piano, S 447Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher, S 293La Cloche Sonne, S 238La Lugubre Gondola for piano, S 200 no. 1La Lugubre Gondola for piano, S 200 no. 2La MarseillaiseLes Préludes, symphonic poem no. 3, S 97Liebestraum no. 3 in A flat major, S 541Liebestraum, no. 1 in A flat major, S 541Lieder: selectionLégende no. 1 "Saint François d'Assise: la prédication aux oiseaux", S 175MayerlingMephisto Waltz no. 1, "Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke", S 514Mephisto Waltz no. 3, S 216Mephisto Waltz no. 4, S 696Mignons Lied: Kennst du das Land, S 275Missa Choralis, S 10Nuages gris (Grey Clouds), S 199Oh! Quand je dors, S 282Orpheus, symphonic poem no. 4 for orchestra, S 98Paraphrase on Verdi's "Il Trovatore", S 433Paraphrase on a Waltz from Gounod's "Faust", S 407Piano Concerto no. 1 in E flat major, S 124Piano Concerto no. 2 in A major, S 125Piano Sonata in B minor, S 178Prelude and Fuge for A minor by JS Bach (BWV543) transcribed for solo piano, S 462/1Prelude and Fugue on BACH, S 260Rhapsodie Espagnole, S 254Rigoletto: Paraphrase de Concert, S 434Réminiscences de Boccanegra, S 438Réminiscences de Don JuanRéminiscences de Norma, S 394S'il est un charmant gazon, S 284Salve Maria de Jérusalem, S 431 (trans. para piano de I lombardi de Verdi)SardanapaloScherzo und Marsch, S 177Schwanengesang S560 (after Schubert’s D957 and D965a)Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 1 en do mayor, Op.21Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 2 en re menor, Op.36Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 3 en mi bemol mayor "Heroica", Op.55Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 4 en si bemol mayor, Op.60Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 5 en do menor, Op.67Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 6 en fa mayor "Pastoral", Op.68Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 7 en la mayor, Op.92Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 8 en fa mayor, Op.93Sinfonías de Beethoven, S 464: Sinfonía núm. 9 en re menor "Coral", Op.125Ständchen no. 7 (transcribed from Schubert's Schwanengesang)Ständchen, from Schubert's Leise flehen meine lieder, D 957, S 560/7Totentanz, S 525Transcendental Études, S 139: no. 11 Harmonies du SoirTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 12 Chasse neigeTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 4 MazeppaTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 5 Feux FolletsTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 6 VisionTranscendental Études, S 139: no. 8 Wilde JagdTre sonetti di Petrarca, S 270Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, S233Valse no. 6 « Soirée de Vienne » d'après SchubertValse oubliée in F sharp minor, S215 no.1Valse oubliée, S215 no.2Variation No. 24 on a Theme by DiabelliVariations 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 53Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, organ prelude after JS Bach cantata, S 179Widmung, transcription of Schumann's liebeslied for piano, S 566Wiegenlied, S 198introduction et Polonaise de l'opéra "i puritani" S 391À la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart) S.461Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, S 306