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"An Abbe, honorary canon of Albano, a sincere mystic and at the same time one of history's most publicized lovers, incredible showman, hypnotic virtuoso, astonishing amalgam of magician, zealot and philanthropist, Liszt is easily the most colorful personality in the history of music" (Lieberson 256.) From his dazzling beginning in the musical circles of Vienna as a child prodigy of eleven years old, Ferenc (Franz) Liszt would establish himself as the leading piano virtuoso and one of the foremost progressive forces in music of his day.
Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, Hungary (now part of Austria) about thirty miles from Vienna, Austria (Longyear 105.) His Father was steward to the family of Esterhazy and a good amateur musician; consequently, he was also Liszt's first piano teacher. Young Liszt's extraordinary abilities were recognized without delay and he was soon taken to Vienna to study piano under Czerny and composition under Salieri (the former teacher of Schubert, an acquaintance of Liszt's.) His phenomenal aptitude for the piano at the age of eleven was greeted with a kiss from Beethoven, and praised endlessly by the musical circles of the day. In 1823, Liszt went to Paris, where he studied music theory and composition (Politoske 1.) The French immediately recognized him as a brilliant performer with an almost uncanny ability to improvise on the keyboard. He had once wanted to become a priest, but inspired by the success of Niccolo Paganini, he then worked to become as much a master of the piano as Paganini was of the violin. Soon he became in touch and at home with Parisian culture, fully immersing himself in the society, literature, and art with friends such as writers Hugo, Lamartine, George Sand, Sainte-Beuve and painters like Delacroix. He also met the Countess Marie d'Agoult, the writer known as Daniel Stern, who was his mistress from 1835 until 1844 and the mother of his daughter Cosima (the future wife of Wagner) (Scholes 576). Liszt was romantically involved with many women during his life, including the writer George Sand and the Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein. In brief, Liszt quickly became a favorite of intellectual and artistic circles in France, not only because of his talent but also because of his fascinating personality; in addition, his popularity was enhanced by his generosity, his fine family background, and his ability as a writer and critic.
This first period of his writing was also referred to as the "Parisian Period" and it roughly lasted from about 1826-1839 (Longyear 105.) Most of the works written during this period were either unpublished or revised several years later; most of the changes were in pianistic layout and/or structural cohesion. Many speculate that the delayed publishing was due to Liszt's knowledge that the public was not yet ready for his new ideas. Yet in spite of all this, he still managed to write many beautiful and important works, including the first two books of Annees de pelerinage, the Transcendental Etudes, and Grand Galop chromatique, his only major work not revised (Longyear 105.) His Transcendental Etudes were works of great virtuosity but was later revised in 1852, further simplified because of the "virtually insuperable" pianistic difficulties of the 1826 and 1839 editions (Longyear 106). The pieces were written in the same school as Chopin, as proof of the etude, "a piece designed to aid the student of an instrument in developing his technical ability", as a medium to combine technical difficulty with high artistic quality, thereby creating a truly outstanding concert piece (Randal 161). The descriptively titled individual pieces in his first two books of Annees de pelerinage, translated as Years of Pilgrimage, ranged from quietly lyrical like. "Ecolgue" or "Sposs
Names mentioned in this term paper
Franz Liszt, Beethoven, Wagner, Niccolo Paganini, Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein, an acquaintance, Chopin, George Sand, Schumann, Piano, Lieberson, Salieri, Missa choralis, Stravinsky, Marie d'Agoult, Vaughan Williams, Cosima, Princess Carolyne, Arnold, d’Obermann, Orpheus, Randal, Don Sanche, Ravel, Berlioz, Richard Strauss, Szablolesi, Weimer organ, Daniel Stern, Liebesträume, Tristan un,
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Movie referenced in this essay
Isoldens Liebstod, Twilight,
Locations mentioned in this report
Vienna, Weimar, Weimer, Austria, Rome, Raiding, France, Bayreuth, Hungary, Paris, Esztergom, Germany, Budapest,
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Keywords talked about in this term paper
Liszt, piano, symphonic poems, Franz Liszt, piano concerto, Wagner, music, piano sonata, piano teacher, Weimar, harmonies, musical, piano music, Transcendental Etudes, Annees de pelerinage, Abbe, the piano, compositions, carolyne von sayn wittgenstein, George Sand, Berlioz, Beethoven, Chopin, Grand Galop chromatique, Paganini, scales and arpeggios, Parisian, first period, music theory, virtuoso, fourth period, annees de pèlerinage, Wagnerian opera, liturgical music, choral music, musical director, B minor, spending time, church music, a minor, child prodigy, Marie d Agoult, Villa d Este, progressive forces, Dies Irae, music history, circles, JS Bach, structural cohesion, Don Sanche,