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

Biography

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 ...

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Biography

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 Audio & Video


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Franz Liszt
Annees de pelerinage, Deuxieme annee: Italie, Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
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Annees de pelerinage, Deuxieme annee: Italie, Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
Franz Liszt
Tarantella (Annees de Pelerinage: Venezia e Napoli)
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Tarantella (Annees de Pelerinage: Venezia e Napoli)
Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique S.470, transc. for piano; 2nd movement: Un Bal
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Symphonie fantastique S.470, transc. for piano; 2nd movement: Un Bal
Franz Liszt
Rhapsodie espagnole (Folies d'Espagne et jota aragone) S.254
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Rhapsodie espagnole (Folies d'Espagne et jota aragone) S.254
Franz Liszt
Mazeppa; Feux follets; Vision; Eroica, Wilde Jagd (Transcendental Studies)
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Mazeppa; Feux follets; Vision; Eroica, Wilde Jagd (Transcendental Studies)
Richard Wagner
Spinning chorus from 'Der fliegende Hollander' S.440, transc. for piano
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Spinning chorus from 'Der fliegende Hollander' S.440, transc. for piano
Franz Liszt
Sonetto 123 di Petrarca (S.158 No.3): Io vidi in terra angelici costumi
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Sonetto 123 di Petrarca (S.158 No.3): Io vidi in terra angelici costumi
Beatrice Rana, Robert Schumann & Franz Liszt
Widmung S.566, transcribed for piano
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Widmung S.566, transcribed for piano
Franz Liszt
"Un sospiro" in D-flat major from Trois Etudes de concert, S 144.3
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"Un sospiro" in D-flat major from Trois Etudes de concert, S 144.3
Richard Wagner
Tannhauser - Overture
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Tannhauser - Overture
Daniel Barenboim
Liebestraum
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Liebestraum
Franz Liszt
Die Lorelei
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Die Lorelei
Franz Liszt
Der du von dem Himmel bist
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Der du von dem Himmel bist
Franz Liszt
Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli (S.162)
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Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli (S.162)
Franz Liszt
Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (Deuxieme Année de Pèlerinage: Italie)
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Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (Deuxieme Année de Pèlerinage: Italie)
Franz Liszt
Funerailles - No.7 from 'Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S.173'
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Funerailles - No.7 from 'Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S.173'
Franz Liszt
Nuages gris, S.199 for piano
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Nuages gris, S.199 for piano
Franz Liszt
Hungarian Rhapsody No.6, 'Carnival in Pesth'
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Hungarian Rhapsody No.6, 'Carnival in Pesth'
Franz Liszt
Aux cypres de la Villa d'Este 1; Jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este (Annees de Pelerinage, Book 3)
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Aux cypres de la Villa d'Este 1; Jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este (Annees de Pelerinage, Book 3)
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
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3
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Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3
Franz Liszt
(Schubert) Ave Maria (D.839) transcribed for piano
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(Schubert) Ave Maria (D.839) transcribed for piano
Franz Liszt
Polish (Christmas Tree Suite, S.186 No.12)
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Polish (Christmas Tree Suite, S.186 No.12)
Franz Liszt
Carillon (Christmas Tree Suite, S.186 No.6)
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Carillon (Christmas Tree Suite, S.186 No.6)
Franz Liszt
Christus - Pastorale and Herald Angels Sing (extract)
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Christus - Pastorale and Herald Angels Sing (extract)
Leslie Howard
CU20: Weihnachtsbaum S.186 for piano: Die Hirten an der Krippe (In dulci jubilo)
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CU20: Weihnachtsbaum S.186 for piano: Die Hirten an der Krippe (In dulci jubilo)
Franz Liszt
Rigoletto: Concert Paraphrase, S434
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Rigoletto: Concert Paraphrase, S434
Franz Liszt
6 Grandes etudes de Paganini S.141 for piano: no.3 in G sharp minor; La Campanella
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6 Grandes etudes de Paganini S.141 for piano: no.3 in G sharp minor; La Campanella
Franz Liszt
Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Goblins, from 2 Concert Studies)
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Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Goblins, from 2 Concert Studies)
Franz Liszt
Vallee d'Obermann
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Vallee d'Obermann
Franz Liszt
Apres une lecture du Dante - fantasia quasi sonata (Dante Sonata)
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Apres une lecture du Dante - fantasia quasi sonata (Dante Sonata)
Franz Liszt
Spinning Chorus from The Flying Dutchman, S440
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Spinning Chorus from The Flying Dutchman, S440
Franz Liszt
Ricordanza (Transcendental Study No.9)
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Ricordanza (Transcendental Study No.9)
Add music you love and enjoy it
Playlists featuring Franz Liszt
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
20 Years of Private Passions
20 Years of Private Passions
The Story of Music in 50 Pieces
The Story of Music in 50 Pieces


Franz Liszt Biography

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

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