Often referred to by pianists as the “Dante Sonata”, it is the closing piece in the second volume of the “Années de Pèlerinage” (HN 174) and is now finally available as a single edition. In 1839, while under the spell of Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, Liszt had begun work on a “fragment dantesque”. He later incorporated the work in revised form into the volume “Italy” of his “Années de Pèlerinage”.
The single-movement sonata is based on the Canto “Inferno” in Dante’s poem. It describes the wild ride of the soul into hell in an effective manner, finally closing with several forgiving chords in a kind of transfiguration – one of the best examples of Liszt’s technical ingenuity and sound artistry.
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This single edition of Franz Liszt’s (1811–86) “Dante Sonata” has been extracted from the Henle edition Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année (HN 174). Liszt wrote the three books of the Années de Pèlerinage at very different times. Volumes I and II, Suisse and Italie, were created mostly in the 1830s, when he was travelling in these countries with Marie … more
About the composer
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.
|1811||Born 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.|
|1822||Relocation of the family to Vienna, studies with Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri.|
|1823||Relocation of the family to Paris. Composition studies with Ferdinando Paër and Antonín Reicha (1826). Performances in salons, concerts.|
|1824–27||Concert tours through France, to England and Switzerland. Composition of opera paraphrases for piano.|
|1830||Acquaintance with Berlioz, self-study by reading. He becomes Parisian society’sfavourite pianist and piano teacher.|
|1835||He moves to Switzerland with Countess Marie d’Agoult: their first child together, Blandine-Rachel, is born here. He continues concertizing in Paris.|
|from 1839||Continuous concert tours throughout Europe.|
|from 1847||Symphonic 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”).|
|1848–61||Kapellmeister in Weimar; he advocates for progressive music (Wagner, Schumann, Berlioz).|
|1857–62||Oratorio, “The Legend of St. Elisabeth.”|
|1861–68||Resident in Rome.|
|1865||Takes minor holy orders.|
|1871||Appointed Hungarian court councilor; he lives in Rome, Weimar, and Budapest.|
|1886||Death in Bayreuth on July 31.|
About the authors
Het stuk heeft heel veel noten, is echt voor de gevorderde pianist, en is voortreffelijk uitgegeven.