Hungarian folk music was a source of inspiration for Liszt throughout his life. The best known example is the “Rhapsodies hongroises” for piano, which made the charac-teristic syncopated rhythms of the puszta melodies and the fiery temperament of the czardas famous throughout the world. The popularity of these very demanding showpieces for the piano is shown by the countless arrangements which even include transcriptions for orchestra.
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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 (vol. 1: nos. 1–6; vol. 2: no. 7). Two further volumes with four tunes appeared in 1843 (vol. 3: nos. 8, 9; vol. 4: … 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
Again, Henle’s preface is most informative, entertainingly reproducing both a complaint from pianist Heinrich Ehrlich (that Liszt had pinched his tunes) and Liszt’s subsequent disclaimer. The text itself adds several cadenzas Liszt later scribbled out for pubils Antonia Raab and Lina Schmalhausen – the first, although very short, manages to be tiresome but the others are fascinating options for pianists wanting even more notes to play.
This edition brings some amazing revelations, including a dozen new passages that Liszt added to the piece, presented in a single edition for the first time. It includes fingerings that are both recreational and also practical, wonderful notes and well-written, inspiring commentaries. A real treasure trove of inspiration that makes one totally rethink the piece. But there’s no spoon-feeding – the edition leaves room for originality.
Finally, tremendous gratitude and thanks to Herttrich again for an absolutely inspirational new Liszt second Hungarian Rhapsody, complete with a pull-out insert that presents fascinating extensions to various fermatas in the work which Liszt sketched for various pupils. … Even if students decide to ignore the many suggestions for extended passagework in this edition, they will unquestionably find the revelatory fingerings by Andreas Groethuysen extremely helpful. … Moreover, the beautiful layout, and the fascinating but unobtrusive footnotes, make study here a complete pleasure. Strongly recommended.
Eigentlich kaum zu glauben, dass Listzts “Ungarische Rhapsodien”, diese genialen Klavierexzesse und Lieblinge jedes Virtuosen, bislang noch in keiner ordentlichen Urtext-Ausgabe zu haben waren. Henle macht nun mit den Nummern 2 und 6 den Anfang.
De nieuwe Urtext van Henle biedt niet alleen een uiterst overzichtelijke bladspiegel voor deze Olympus der virtuositeit, maar geeft als extra bonus een inlegvel met enige door Liszt voor zijn leerlingen Raab en Schmalhausen gecomponeerde varianten en cadensen.