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Hungarian Rhapsody no. 15 - Rákóczi March
8 difficult

PREFACE

Liszt’s active interest in the national music of Hungary began in the late 1830s. In 1840, Haslinger in Vienna published two volumes of Hungarian national melodies, Magyar Dallok – Ungarische Nationalmelodien, containing Liszt’s arrangements of seven tunes VI Rózsavölgyi in Pest. Liszt rightly found it incomprehensible that this edition never materialized; the publisher, h... more

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

About the Composer

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Franz Liszt

The most famous piano virtuoso of the nineteenth century is regarded as the most influential artist and composer (with Berlioz, Wagner) of the so-called New German School. His immense musical oeuvre comprises, above all else, works for solo piano, including numerous transcriptions; he also devised the symphonic poem. Important, too, are his sacred and secular choral works and songs.

1811Born in Doborján/Raiding (Sopron) on October 22, son of an official in the service of Prince Esterházy. First piano lessons from his father, early first attempts at composition, first public performance at age nine.
1822Relocation of the family to Vienna, studies with Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri.
1823Relocation of the family to Paris. Composition studies with Ferdinando Paër and Antonín Reicha (1826). Performances in salons, concerts.
1824–27Concert tours through France, to England and Switzerland. Composition of opera paraphrases for piano.
1830Acquaintance with Berlioz, self-study by reading. He becomes Parisian society’sfavourite pianist and piano teacher.
1835He moves to Switzerland with Countess Marie d’Agoult: their first child together, Blandine-Rachel, is born here. He continues concertizing in Paris.
from 1839Continuous concert tours throughout Europe.
from 1847Symphonic poems, including No. 2, “Tasso: lamento e trionfo”; No. 1, “Ce qu‘on entend sur la montagne” (‘Bergsymphonie,’ ‘Mountain Symphony’); “A Faust Symphony in Three Character Pictures”; “A Symphony to Dante’s Divine Comedy” (‘Dante Symphony’); as well as [No. 11], “Hunnenschlacht” (“Battle of the Huns”).
1848–61Kapellmeister in Weimar; he advocates for progressive music (Wagner, Schumann, Berlioz).
1857–62Oratorio, “The Legend of St. Elisabeth.”
1861–68Resident in Rome.
1865Takes minor holy orders.
1866–72Oratorio, “Christus.”
1871Appointed Hungarian court councilor; he lives in Rome, Weimar, and Budapest.
1886Death in Bayreuth on July 31.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

About the Authors

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Ernst Herttrich (Editor)

Dr. Ernst Herttrich, born in 1942 in Würzburg, read musicology, history, German and theology at the universities in Würzburg and Cologne. In 1970 he earned his doctorate in Würzburg with a study of the expression of melancholy in the music of Mozart.

From 1970 to 1990 he was an editor at G. Henle Publishers in Munich, after which he was Head of the Beethoven Complete Edition for over 15 years. In 1999 he took over as Head of the Beethoven-Haus Publishers, and from 2001 was made Head of the Beethoven-Archiv, the research centre at the Beethoven-Haus.

He has been a visiting professor at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo and has undertaken several lecture tours both there and to Kyoto. His research interests include source studies, editorial techniques and music history. Herttrich’s publications include “Beethoven. Liederkreis an die ferne Geliebte” (Bonn 1999) and “Ludwig van Beethoven. Biographie in Bildern” (Bonn, 2000). Herttrich has edited over 100 Urtext editions for G. Henle Publishers.

Andreas Groethuysen (Fingering)

Prof. Andreas Groethuysen, born in 1956 in Munich, studied music with Ludwig Hoffmann in Munich and, on a scholarship from the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”, with Peter Feuchtwanger in London.

After several years as a soloist, Groethuysen formed a piano duo with Yaara Tal, which has now become the focus of his artistic work. The duo regularly performs in many European countries, in Israel, China, North and South America. In exclusive cooperation with SONY CLASSICAL the internationally acclaimed piano duo has released a great many CDs – 28 to date – almost all of which have been awarded prizes.

Mária Eckhardt (Preface)

Mária Eckhardt, born in 1943 in Budapest, studied at the Budapest Academy of Music (Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, today University of Music), and in 1966 she graduated with a diploma in choral conducting and teaching music. After holding different posts at the Hungarian National Library Széchényi and at the Institute for Musicology at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences she worked at the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre of the Liszt Academy of Music, of which she was Head between 1986 and 2009.

Eckhardt has been awarded numerous prizes for her Liszt research, in Hungary, and also in Europe and the US. Alongside Franz Liszt, her main research interests include the musical life of the 19th century and Hungary’s musical history.

I am sure these new Liszt editions of standard works from the ‘bravura repertoire’ will be well … received.

Piano Journal, 2010

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