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Compositeur: Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)

Rechercher des événements de musique classique, opéra et ballet | Liszt
Liszt, Franz

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.

Liste des oeuvres
3 Sonetti del Petrarca: Benedetto sia il giorno, S 2703 sonetti di Petrarca, S 1584 Lieder von Franz Schubert, S.375Am Meer, S 560 no. 4 (transcribed from Schubert's Schwanengesang)Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année: Après une lecture de DanteAnnées de Pèlerinage, Troisième Année: Les jeux d'eaux à la villa d'Este, S 163 no. 4Années 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: Suisse, S 160: Au lac de WallenstadtAus Tannhäuser: O du mein holder Abendstern, S.444Ballade no. 2 en si mineur, S 171Concerto pour piano no. 1 en mi bémol majeur, S 124Concerto pour piano no. 2 en la majeur, S 125Consolation no. 3 en ré bémol majeur, S 172 no. 3Der Müller und der Bach (transcription from Die Schöne Müllerin by Schubert) S 565 no. 2Der Wanderer, S.558/11 (after Franz Schubert D649)Der du von dem Himmel bist , S 279Die Ideale, S.106Die Stadt, S 560 no. 1 (transcribed from Schubert's Schwanengesang)Erlkönig (transcr. de Schubert), S 558/ 4Es war ein König in Thule, S 278Fantaisie et Fugue sur « Ad nos, ad salutarem undam » S 259Faust-Symphonie, S 108Freudvoll und Leidvoll, S 280Fruhlingsglaube, transcription de Schubert, S 558/ 7Gretchen am spinnrade, D 558 no. 8 (transcr. de Schubert D 118)Grosses KonzertsoloHarmonies poétiques et religieuses: Bénédiction de Dieu dans la Solitude, S 173 no. 3Harmonies poétiques et religieuses: Funérailles, S 173 no. 7Historische ungarische Bildnisse, S205aIm Rhein, im schönen Strome, S 272Isoldes Liebestod du Tristan et Isolde de Wagner, transc. pour piano, S 447La Gondole Lugubre pour violoncelle et piano, S 134Les Préludes, poème symphonique no. 3, S 97Liebesbotschaft, S 560 no. 10 (transcr. de Schubert D 957 no. 1)Liebestraum no. 3 en la bémol majeur, S 541Liebesträume, S 541Lied sur Mignon: Kennst du das Land, S 275Lieder, transcr. de Schubert, S 558Légende no. 1 "Saint François d'Assise: la prédication aux oiseaux", S 175Légende no. 2 "Saint François de Paule: marchant sur les flots", S 175Marguerite et ArmandMephisto-Valse no. 1, « Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke », S 514Oh! Quand je dors, S 282Orphée symphonic poem, transcr. for piano trio by Saint-Saëns, S 98Polonaise en mi majeur, S 223 no. 2Prelude and Fuge for A minor by JS Bach (BWV543) transcribed for solo piano, S 462/1Rhapsodie hongroise no. 2 en ut dièse mineur, S 244/ 2Rhapsodie hongroise no. 6 en ré bémol majeur, S 244/ 6Rigoletto: Paraphrase de Concert, S 434Réminiscences de Don JuanRéminiscences de Don Juan for two pianosRéminiscences de Norma, S 394S'il est un charmant gazon, S 284Sonate pour piano en si mineur, S 178Ständchen, from Schubert's Leise flehen meine lieder, D 957, S 560/7Tristia, transcription de la "Vallée d'Obermann"Valse no. 6 « Soirée de Vienne » d'après SchubertValse oubliée in F sharp minor, S215 no.1Via 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 566Étude d'exécution transcendante, S 139 no. 11 : Harmonies du soirÉtude d'exécution transcendante, S 139 no. 8 : Wilde JagdÜber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh, S 306