Revolution and Religion in the Music of LisztBy Paul Merrick
This study of a hitherto neglected aspect of Liszt and his music aims to restore a balanced view of both man and artist. In contrast to the familiar portrayal of the virtuoso pianist, Liszt is considered here as a serious man of ideas: in tracing the composer's relationships and attitudes to the twin themes of revolution and religion, Paul Merrick finds much of Liszt's music, both secular and sacred, to be inspired by the same deeply felt religious conviction that also governed his private life from an early age. The first part of the book is primarily biographical and considers Liszt's reactions to the revolutions of 1830 and 1848, his relationship with the Abbe Lamennais, the Comtesse d' Agoult, Princess Wittgenstein and Wagner, and contains the first convincing explanation for the sudden cancellation of Liszt's marriage to Princess Wittgenstein. The remaining sections consider the church music and the programmatic music that is related to this.