Franz Liszt and His World
No nineteenth-century composer had more diverse ties to his contemporary world than Franz Liszt (1811-1886). At various points in his life he made his home in Vienna, Paris, Weimar, Rome, and Budapest. In his roles as keyboard virtuoso, conductor, master teacher, and abbe, he reinvented the concert experience, advanced a progressive agenda for symphonic and dramatic music, rethought the possibilities of church music and the oratorio, and transmitted the foundations of modern pianism. The essays brought together in Franz Liszt and His World advance our understanding of the composer with fresh perspectives and an emphasis on historical contexts.
Rainer Kleinertz examines Wagner's enthusiasm for Liszt's symphonic poem Orpheus; Christopher Gibbs discusses Liszt's pathbreaking Viennese concerts of 1838; Dana Gooley assesses Liszt against the backdrop of antivirtuosity polemics; Ryan Minor investigates two cantatas written in honor of Beethoven; Anna Celenza offers new insights about Liszt's experience of Italy; Susan Youens shows how Liszt's songs engage with the modernity of Heinrich Heine's poems; James Deaville looks at how publishers sustained Liszt's popularity; and Leon Botstein explores Liszt's role in the transformation of nineteenth-century preoccupations regarding religion, the nation, and art. Franz Liszt and His World also includes key biographical and critical documents from Liszt's lifetime, which open new windows on how Liszt was viewed by his contemporaries and how he wished to be viewed by posterity. Introductions to and commentaries on these documents are provided by Peter Bloom, Jose Bowen, James Deaville, Allan Keiler, Rainer Kleinertz, Ralph Locke, Rena Charnin Mueller, and Benjamin Walton.
A Book of Liszts
The extraordinary career of Franz Liszt (1811-86) as a composer, conductor, and virtuoso pianist - whose incomparable skill and personal charisma dazzled audiences all over Europe, from London and Paris to Berlin, Moscow, and even Constantinople - made him the nineteenth-century equivalent of a modern international pop star. In the spirit of Liszt's own innovative compositions and sparkling piano transcriptions of other composers' work, John Spurling here takes up the ambitious task of writing a fictionalized biography of Liszt's life. Liszt himself once said, "My biography is more to be invented than written after the fact," and Spurling's fifteen self-contained chapters-themselves virtuoso performances in a variety of styles from a variety of viewpoints - capture precisely this notion of innovation and creativity. Spurling tells of Liszt's mesmeric effect on audiences, his notorious love affairs with remarkable women, and his fraught friendship with Richard Wagner, who deeply offended Liszt by seducing and eventually marrying his daughter Cosima.
Inspired by Spurling's own fascination with Liszt's music, "A Book of Liszts" is a highly original, imaginative, and multifaceted portrait of a humorous, romantic, and passionate genius whose work and life is still not as well known as it deserves to be.
Liszt and England
The first comprehensive study in book form of Liszt's visits to England, replete with copious illustrations, appendix, and fascinating details of several previously unknown Liszt compositions. This volume certainly breaks new ground. It is full of arcana of his life and work, of the music he played, wrote, improvised, 'corrected,' or 'lost in a fire.' William Wright charts the course of the reception history given to Liszt and his music in England from 1824 to the present day. He includes all known premiere performances of Liszt's works in the country, and offers this must-have publication, providing a wealth of material about Liszt found in no other Liszt book, to scholar and general reader alike.
An engrossing new biography of the musical revolutionary who was the world's first international megastar Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was an anomaly. A virtuoso pianist and electrifying showman, he toured extensively throughout the European continent, bringing sold-out audiences to states of ecstasy while courting scandal with his frequent womanizing. Drawing on new, highly revealing documentary sources, including a veritable treasure trove of previously unexamined material on Liszt's Weimar years, best-selling author Oliver Hilmes shines a spotlight on the extraordinary life and career of this singularly dazzling musical phenomenon. Whereas previous biographies have focused primarily on the composer's musical contributions, Hilmes showcases Liszt the man in all his many shades and personal reinventions: child prodigy, Romantic eccentric, fervent Catholic, actor, lothario, celebrity, businessman, genius, and extravagant show-off. The author immerses the reader in the intrigues of the nineteenth-century European glitterati (including Liszt's powerful patrons, the monstrous Wagner clan) while exploring the true, complex face of the artist and the soul of his music.
No other Liszt biography in English is as colorful, witty, and compulsively readable, or reveals as much about the true nature of this extraordinary, outrageous talent.
The Virtuoso Liszt
The greatest virtuoso career in history - that of Franz Liszt - has been told in countless biographies. But what does that career look like when viewed from the perspective of European cultural history? In this study Dana Gooley examines the world of discussion, journalism, and controversy that surrounded the virtuoso Liszt, and reconstructs the multiple symbolic identities that he fulfilled for his enthusiastic audiences. Gooley's work is based on extensive research into contemporary periodicals - well-known and obscure journals and newspapers - as well as letters, memoirs, receipts and other documents that shed light on Liszt's concertising activities. Emphasising the virtuoso's contradictions, the author shows Liszt being constructed as a model aristocrat and a model bourgeois, as a German nationalist and a Hungarian nationalist, as a sensitive romantic artist and a military dictator, as a greedy entrepreneur and as a leading force for humanitarian charity.
Liszt as Transcriber
Franz Liszt's colleagues considered him to be one of the most accomplished and innovative practitioners in the field of musical reproduction, a reputation for which he is still admired today. Yet, while his transcriptions are widely performed, few studies have investigated the role that transcriptions played in Liszt's artistry, to say nothing of the impact they had on the music-making experience of his day. Using a host of interdisciplinary methods and primary source materials, this book provides a comprehensive survey of Liszt's lifelong involvement with the transcription, in which he assumed the roles of composer, collaborator, propagandist, commemorator, philosopher, and artist while simultaneously disseminating - often critically - the music of Beethoven, Berlioz, Schubert, Wagner, and other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century composers. By recognizing transcription as an extraordinarily flexible tool for Liszt and his contemporaries, Liszt as Transcriber provides numerous musical, cultural, and historical contexts for this fundamentally important practice of the period.
The Cambridge Companion to Liszt
This Companion provides an up-to-date view of the music of Franz Liszt, its contemporary context and performance practice, written by some of the leading specialists in the field of nineteenth-century music studies. Although a core of Liszt's piano music has always maintained a firm hold on the repertoire, his output was so vast, influential and multi-faceted that scholarship too has taken some time to assimilate his achievement. This book offers students and music lovers some of the latest views in an accessible form. Katharine Ellis, Alexander Rehding and James Deaville present the biographical and intellectual aspects of Liszt's legacy, Kenneth Hamilton, James Baker and Anna Celenza give a detailed account of Liszt's piano music - including approaches to performance - Monika Hennemann discusses Liszt's Lieder, and Reeves Shulstad and Dolores Pesce survey his orchestral and choral music.
Reflections on Liszt
In a series of lively essays that tell us much not only about the phenomenon that was Franz Liszt but also about the musical and cultural life of nineteenth-century Europe, Alan Walker muses on aspects of Liszt's life and work that he was unable to explore in his acclaimed three-volume biography of the great composer and pianist. Topics include Liszt's contributions to the Lied, the lifelong impact of his encounter with Beethoven, his influence on students who became famous in their own right, his accomplishments in transcribing and editing the works of other composers, and his innovative piano technique. One chapter is devoted to the Sonata in B Minor, perhaps Liszt's single most celebrated composition.
Walker draws heavily on Liszt's astonishingly large personal correspondence with other composers, critics, pianists, and prominent public figures. All the essays reveal Walker's broad and deep knowledge of Liszt and Romantic music generally and, in some cases, his impatience with contemporary performance practice.
Revolution and Religion in the Music of Liszt
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.