These Drei Notturnos appeared in 1850 in two different versions: the first for high voice and piano and the second for piano solo. In the latter version the music is preceded by the song texts (no. I Hohe Liebe, no. II Seliger Tod: with texts by Ludwig Uhland, no. III O lieb, so lang Du lieben kannst: text by Ferdinand Freiligrath). The third Liebestraum – in the best tradition of nocturnes – is one of the most frequently played piano pieces of all. This is not least because it can be played by very skilled amateurs despite its pianistic bravura (our level of difficulty is 6/7).
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Liszt’s Liebesträume appeared in 1850 in two versions simultaneously: as a set of songs for high voice and piano, and as transcriptions for piano two-hands. Before setting out to compose songs of his own, Liszt had already made piano arrangements of a great many songs by other composers, including Franz Schubert. His first original essays in this genre appeared in 1843 under … 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
The current publication uses the original edition as its source, particularly important as the autographed manuscripts are now hidden in a private collection.