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 Biography (Wikipedia)
Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz, in modern usage Liszt Ferenc,; October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, organist, philosopher, philanthropist, author, nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.
Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his prodigious virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age, and in the 1840s he was considered to be the greatest pianist in history. However, Liszt himself stated that Charles-Valentin Alkan had superior technique to his own. Liszt was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (Neudeutsche Schule). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony. He also played an important role in popularizing a wide array of music by transcribing it for piano.
- "One of the great piano performances of the last 20 years"http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03ydypd.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03ydypd.jpg2016-06-15T11:22:00.000ZJames Rhodes discusses Sergio Tiempo performing Liszt.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03ydyzr
"One of the great piano performances of the last 20 years"
- Louis Lortie plays Liszt live on In Tunehttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03vqf16.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03vqf16.jpg2016-05-20T10:09:00.000ZSonetto 123 del Petrarca (Annees de pelerinage - 2me annee)http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03vqgg6
Louis Lortie plays Liszt live on In Tune
- Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minorhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03xs7kq.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03xs7kq.jpg2016-04-26T14:01:00.000ZSarah explores the pioneering approach to musical structure that Liszt used in his dramatic B Minor Sonata for piano.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03xp9l4
Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor
- Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major (extract)http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03nwz0r.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03nwz0r.jpg2016-04-19T11:00:00.000ZPreview of music performed at the BBC Proms.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03nwz26
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major (extract)
- Dinara Klinton plays Liszt live in the studiohttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03nszhb.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03nszhb.jpg2016-03-23T14:37:00.000ZPianist Dinara Klinton plays 'Feux Follets' from Liszt's Études d’exécution transcendante live in the In Tune studio.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03nt0vs
Dinara Klinton plays Liszt live in the studio
- Franz Liszt - Symphonic Poemshttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02gj6mm.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02gj6mm.jpg2015-01-09T13:00:00.000ZDonald Macleod explores the life and work of Franz Liszt.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02gj6sh
Franz Liszt - Symphonic Poems
- Liszt and His Worldhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01yqc65.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01yqc65.jpg2014-05-01T14:57:00.000ZDonald Macleod explores Liszt's extraordinary contribution to the piano repertoire, alongside the music of his friends, rivals and proteges.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01yb773
Liszt and His World
- Franz Liszthttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01yb5yk.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01yb5yk.jpg2014-05-01T14:37:00.000ZDonald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Liszt, including his early life, touring, his music written in Weimar and Rome, and his later workshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01yb5zw
- Franz Liszt - Life in Lettershttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01yb2hb.jpghttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01yb2hb.jpg2014-05-01T13:54:00.000ZDonald Macleod explores Liszt's life through his letters.http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01yb2jt
Franz Liszt - Life in Letters
Franz Liszt Performances
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