Franz Liszt
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1811-10-22
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/2cd475bb-1abd-40c4-9904-6d4b691c752c

Franz Liszt Biography (BBC)

Franciscus Liszt – named after the monastic order which his father Adam had once joined – was born in Raiding in eastern Austria, where Adam Liszt was a manager on the Eszterházy estates, and had been a cellist in the palace orchestra when Haydn was Kapellmeister. Adam took his amazingly gifted young son first to Vienna to study with Czerny (piano) and Salieri (composition), then to Paris. Aged 15 when Adam died, Liszt was already famous as a pianist of mesmerising virtuosity and musicianship.

The 1830 Paris revolution established Liszt’s republican political sympathies. Further radical influences were the music of Berlioz, Paganini’s violin playing, and friendship with the maverick Catholic Abbé Lamennais. A relationship with the older (and married) Countess Marie d’Agoult necessitated the couple’s elopement to Switzerland and Italy, where their three children were born (their daughter Cosima was to become Wagner’s second wife). When the River Danube disastrously flooded in 1838, Liszt’s fundraising concerts awoke a proud awareness of his Hungarian roots. The next years of concert touring thrilled audiences from Ireland to the Ukraine, with Liszt performing a formidable repertoire, ranging from Handel to Chopin besides his own music.

From 1847 Liszt rarely played in public. Settling in Weimar with the Ukrainian (and married) Princess Carolyne Sayn- Wittgenstein, he composed, taught piano pupils and conducted and enlarged the Weimar orchestra: major events were the premiere of Wagner’s Lohengrin (1850) and two Berlioz festivals. Revisions of piano music from the Swiss and Italian years produced supreme Romantic masterworks in the first two books of Années de pèlerinage (1838–61) and Études d’exécution transcendante (1838–51), and a remarkable fusion of sacred inspiration and secular forms in Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (1833–53). Besides the Sonata in B minor (1852–3), Liszt also completed two piano concertos (1849–56 and 1859); his Dante Symphony (1856–7) and Faust Symphony (1856–7); a Missa solemnis for the new cathedral of Esztergom (Gran) in 1855–8; and an uneven, but powerfully influential set of 12 symphonic poems (1841–58).

In 1861 Liszt followed Princess Carolyne to Rome, where Vatican-related intrigues concerning the annulment of her Catholic marriage destroyed her and Liszt’s own marriage plans. Staying on in the city, Liszt took minor Catholic orders and completed two large-scale oratorios, St Elisabeth (1857–62) and Christus (1866– 72). From 1869 Abbé Liszt divided his life between Rome, Weimar and Budapest, completing a third book of Années de pèlerinage in 1877, and exploring an astonishing, pre-modernist sound-world in his last piano and choral works.

Profile © Malcolm Hayes


Franz Liszt Performances & Interviews


Franz Liszt Tracks

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Franz Liszt
Liebestraume (S.541) no.3 in A flat major
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Liebestraume (S.541) no.3 in A flat major
Franz Liszt
Saint Francois d'Assise: La predication aux oiseaus, S175 No.1
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Saint Francois d'Assise: La predication aux oiseaus, S175 No.1
Franz Liszt
Sposalizio (Années de pèlerinage)
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Sposalizio (Années de pèlerinage)
Franz Schubert
Wandererfantasie transcribed from the piano solo for piano and orchestra (S.366)
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Wandererfantasie transcribed from the piano solo for piano and orchestra (S.366)
Franz Liszt
Liebestraum No.3 in A flat major
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Liebestraum No.3 in A flat major
Franz Liszt
Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 in C sharp minor
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Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 in C sharp minor
Franz Liszt
Waldesrauschen - from Two Concert studies for piano (S.145)
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Waldesrauschen - from Two Concert studies for piano (S.145)
Franz Liszt
Transcendental Studies, S139 No.9 Ricordanza
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Transcendental Studies, S139 No.9 Ricordanza
Franz Liszt
Tre sonetti di Petrarca: No.1 Pace non trovo
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Tre sonetti di Petrarca: No.1 Pace non trovo
Franz Liszt
12 Études d'exécution transcendante: No 9 "Ricordanza"
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12 Études d'exécution transcendante: No 9 "Ricordanza"
Franz Liszt
Excerpts from from Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses: 10 pieces for piano S.173
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Excerpts from from Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses: 10 pieces for piano S.173
Franz Liszt
Sonnet 47 (Tre sonetti di Petrarca)
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Sonnet 47 (Tre sonetti di Petrarca)
Franz Liszt
Grandes Etudes de Paganini: La Campanella
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Grandes Etudes de Paganini: La Campanella
Franz Liszt
Rigoletto: concert paraphrase
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Rigoletto: concert paraphrase
Franz Liszt
Legende No.1: St Francois d'Assise prechant aux oiseaux (S.175)
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Legende No.1: St Francois d'Assise prechant aux oiseaux (S.175)
Franz Liszt
Années de pèlerinage - Première année: Suisse - Vallée d'Obermann
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Années de pèlerinage - Première année: Suisse - Vallée d'Obermann
Franz Liszt
Grande Étude de Paganini No. 4 'Arpeggio'
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Grande Étude de Paganini No. 4 'Arpeggio'
Franz Liszt
Sonata in B minor S.178 for piano
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Sonata in B minor S.178 for piano
Fryderyk Chopin
6 Polish songs (S.480) transc. for piano, no.2; Fruhling [Wiosna]
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6 Polish songs (S.480) transc. for piano, no.2; Fruhling [Wiosna]
Franz Liszt
Ständchen - Leise flehen meine Lieder (No. 7a from Schwanengesang, S560, after Schubert)
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Ständchen - Leise flehen meine Lieder (No. 7a from Schwanengesang, S560, after Schubert)
Franz Liszt
Mephisto Waltz No.1 (S.514) [transcribed for piano; originally for orchestra]
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Mephisto Waltz No.1 (S.514) [transcribed for piano; originally for orchestra]
Franz Liszt
Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli (S.162)
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Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli (S.162)
Franz Liszt
3 Concert studies for piano (S.144), no.3 in D flat major; Un Sospiro
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3 Concert studies for piano (S.144), no.3 in D flat major; Un Sospiro
Franz Liszt
Hymne de l'enfant a son reveil for female chorus, harmonium and harp (S.19)
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Hymne de l'enfant a son reveil for female chorus, harmonium and harp (S.19)
Franz Liszt
Transcendental Study XI Harmonies du Soir
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Transcendental Study XI Harmonies du Soir
Franz Liszt
Jeux d'Eau a la Villa d'Este
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Jeux d'Eau a la Villa d'Este
Franz Liszt
Hungarian Rhapsody No.11 in A minor
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Hungarian Rhapsody No.11 in A minor
Richard Wagner
Summ' und Brumm
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Summ' und Brumm
Franz Liszt
Etudes d'execution transcendante... for piano (S.140), no.3; La Campanella
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Etudes d'execution transcendante... for piano (S.140), no.3; La Campanella
Franz Liszt
Weihnachtsbaum S.186 for piano (In dulci jubilo)
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Weihnachtsbaum S.186 for piano (In dulci jubilo)
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