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Mephisto Waltz
9 difficult

PREFACE

Franz Liszt (1811–1886) was a lifelong enthusiast for Goethe’s Faust. He had become acquainted with the tragedy in 1830 while a young man, according to Hector Berlioz: “Liszt visited me yesterday evening. We did not yet know each other. I told him about Goethe’s Faust, which, he confessed to me, he had not read, but about which he soon after became as enthusiastic as me” (... 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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Norbert Gertsch (Editor)

Dr. Norbert Gertsch, born in 1967 in Rheinkamp/Moers, studied piano solo at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and read musicology and philosophy at the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg and the Ruperto Carola University Heidelberg on a scholarship from the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes”. In 1996 he wrote his doctoral thesis on Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa solemnis (as part of the New Complete Edition) under Ludwig Finscher.

In the following year, he began to work at G. Henle Publishers, initially as an editor for electronic publishing. After working on a two-year project (1999–2000) sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG) preparing a new Beethoven Catalogue of Works, he became a scholarly editor at G. Henle Publishers. In 2003 he became Editor-in-Chief, in 2009 Deputy Managing Director and Head of Publishing. As of 1 January 2024, the Executive Board of the Günter Henle Foundation has appointed Dr. Norbert Gertsch, as the new managing director, succeeding Dr. Wolf-Dieter Seiffert.

Gertsch has published many Urtext editions for G. Henle Publishers, including volumes for a new edition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas together with Murray Perahia.

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

Piano Journal, 2010

De schitterende nieuwe Henle is dit stuk meer dan waard. Lenau’s tekst en een illustratie daarvan zijn afgedrukt, alsmede een sterk vereenvoudigde versie die Liszt voor barones Von Meyendorff maakte. Kan ook de amateur een echte Liszt spelen. Heerlijk!

Pianowereld, 2009

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