Franz Liszt arranged numerous works by other composers for his instrument, in particular excerpts from the operas by his friend and son-in-law Richard Wagner. He turned to “The Flying Dutchman” twice: alongside Senta’s ballad he also made a brilliant transposition of the spinning chorus (“Summ und brumm, du gutes Rädchen”) from Act 2 for the piano. His “Spinning Song” bubbles over with virtuosic brilliance and has to this day remained one of his best-loved transcriptions. When preparing our Urtext edition, we were also able to consult the autograph score in Weimar and the composer’s own revisions in the archives of the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel.
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Piano transcriptions and paraphrases occupy a very prominent place in the oeuvre of Franz Liszt (1811 – 86). The approximately 70 opera transcriptions that Liszt composed during his lifetime were almost always based on contemporary works (his Mozart arrangements are an exception). While operas by Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini originally took a central role, his … 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.|
Henle's 'Urtext' gaat uit van de herziene versie die in 1875 uitkwam in Liszts album 'Aus Richard Wagners Opern' en is uitstekend vormgegeven en toegelicht.