View RSS Feed

Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Better Late Than Never - The Liszt Bicentennial

Rate this Entry
Related Threads:
Franz Liszt
Best Liszt piano transcriptions..........
In what way do you think Franz Liszt made the most lasting impact?

En français

On October 22nd, Franz Liszt would have turned 200 years old. We were in the midst of a blog series in October, and had some other topical subjects to tackle in November, so here we are, 6 weeks late, but now we can sample some of Liszt's great music together.

Pianist, composer, lothario... Liszt was Wagner before Wagner - not too ironic then that Liszt's illegitimate daughter shacked up with Wagner!

Enough gossip... Liszt gave us scores and scores of music, mostly for the piano, but also is credited with the innovation of the tone poem, and like other great composers befoire him, adapted the work of others for his use and re-invention: the Beethoven symphonies, Schubert lieder (wthout the words) and championed the work of Wagner and Berlioz (just to name a few).

I chose to assemble a YouTube playlist that tries to sample most of Liszt's contributions: my favourite Tone Poem (Les préludes), a combination of an homage and a work for piano and orchestra (The Fantasy on the Ruins of Athens), an excerpt from his momentous Faust Symphony, one of his many Hungarian Rhapsodies (do you recall the Cat Concerto?) and probably one of Liszt's most mesmerizing pieces for solo piano (his sonata in B Mibor).

If you dig through the web, you will find many more examples. Why, on my YouTube channel I have Switzerland and the Dante Sonata from Annees de Pelerinage...



Franz LISZT (1811 – 1886)

Les préludes, S. 97
Tone Poem no. 3 after Lamartinebased on the prelude to the cantata Les quatre elements

Wiener Phuilharmoniker under Valery Gergiev

Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178
Clifford Curzon, piano

Fantasie über Beethovens Ruinen von Athen (Fantasy after Beethioven's Ruinen von Athen), S.122
Michel Béroff, piano and Gewandhaus-Orchester Leipzig under Kurt Masur

Eine Faust-Symphonie, S.108
(Excerpt from Mephistopheles)
Kenneth Riegel, tenor, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein
[Complete performance]

Magyar rapszódiák (Hungarian Rhapsody) No. 2, in C-sharp minor, S. 244, no. 2
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

Your Playlist:

December 9, 2011, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will be adding a new montage "Heavenly Bodies" to its Pod-O-Matic Podcast. Read our English and French commentary December 9th on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.
Likes Vesteralen liked this post

Updated Dec-06-2011 at 11:41 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Composers , Recorded Music


  1. Sid James's Avatar
    He's a favourite of mine of the ages. Such an innovator. I like a lot of his music, too many works to mention really.

    His anniversary was a bit overshadowed by Mahler's, I feel, at least here anyway.

    But this year, I did hear live performances of his At Wagner's Grave for piano & string quartet, a haunting almost minimalistic piece (review of that concert on my blog) & also two of his Hungarian Rhapsodies (I'm not a huge fan of these now, rarely listen to them now, but they were among my intro to his music in my days of youth).

    I'll try to get to the things on your Liszt "list" (had to make that timeworn "joke!"), some treasures of recordings there for sure...
    Updated Dec-07-2011 at 04:53 by Sid James
  2. Vesteralen's Avatar
    I've read a bit about this Liszt this year since his bicentennial got some space in the music magazines I read, and what I read has led me to hold my tongue a little more about him than I have in the past. There is more to Liszt than meets the ear (at least my ear so far), so if and when I get the chance I will sample some more of his music and your offerings give me some places to go. Thanks