Looking back in 1876, Liszt admitted candidly to the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel that his “Wagner transcriptions” had “only served as modest propaganda for Wagner’s noble genius, using the meagre possibilities of the piano”. In fact, in around 1850, Wagner’s operas Der fliegende Holländer, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin – which would later be so successful – were only being performed at the Weimar Court Theatre under Liszt’s baton. Liszt was inspired to compose his Tannhäuser Paraphrase by performances in Weimar of the overture in 1848 and of the whole opera in February 1849. Liszt’s piano arrangement of the overture is a technically brilliant piece of the highest order. It is a further milestone in Henle Publishers’ series of Liszt’s Wagner arrangements.
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Looking back, Franz Liszt (1811 – 86) pointed out to the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel that his “Wagner transcriptions” would only have served “as modest propaganda at the inadequate piano for the sublime genius of Wagner at the beginning of the 50s, when the Weimar Theatre alone had the honour of staging ‘Tannhäuser’, ‘Lohengrin’ and the … 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
Mit einer prägnanten Notengrafik, Fingersätzen von Andreas Groethuysen, einem dreisprachigen Vorwort und einem detaillierten editorischen Bericht versehen bietet sie alles, was das Pianistenherz begehrt.