Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Still Wondering If Liszt Was Any Good
NYT ^ | 10/21/2011 | Kenneth Hamilton

Posted on 10/21/2011 3:17:12 PM PDT by Borges

On Oct. 22, 1811, Franz Liszt was born in the Hungarian (now Austrian) village of Raiding. His bicentenary follows hard on the heels of Chopin’s, last year, and anticipates Wagner’s and Verdi’s, in 2013.

But whereas no one really doubts the greatness of Wagner or Verdi, and Chopin seems universally beloved, things are not so straightforward with Liszt. He was, to be sure, an unrivaled performer (“A god for pianists” in Berlioz’s words), a man of unusually catholic artistic interests and the 19th century’s nearest approach to a Hollywood superstar. But although he is surely significant enough to celebrate, the question whether his music is actually any good has never really gone away.

It probably never will. Liszt, like his music, was constructed of paradoxes, as he well knew. “Half Gypsy, half Franciscan monk,” he called himself; another contemporary called him “Mephistopheles disguised as a priest.” But if his life was to some extent a touring soap opera played out publicly on various European stages, what the more prudish Mendelssohn described as a “constant oscillation between scandal and apotheosis,” it was at least a drama with a sympathetic protagonist. And for all his worldly success, Liszt didn’t have a particularly easy ride.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: clasicalmusic; classicalmusic; franzliszt; liszt

1 posted on 10/21/2011 3:17:16 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: .30Carbine; 1cewolf; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; afraidfortherepublic; ...

Classical Ping


2 posted on 10/21/2011 3:19:16 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

No question about. 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody.


3 posted on 10/21/2011 3:22:58 PM PDT by AndyJackson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum No.3 is my favorite classical piano tune. I like the version by Arthur Rubinstein.


4 posted on 10/21/2011 3:25:34 PM PDT by EEGator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

So, they’re saying he’s not on the A-Liszt?


5 posted on 10/21/2011 3:26:38 PM PDT by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

"Eh, what's up, Doc? Who...? Franz Liszt? Never heard of him... Wrong number."

6 posted on 10/21/2011 3:28:49 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AndyJackson

Take your pick;

The Cat Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NXo7pr8iRM

Or

Bugs Bunny
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYM84n-2Sas


7 posted on 10/21/2011 3:33:07 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Borges

As a pianist, I don’t think he has the raw genius of a Chopin or the power of Beethoven, but he has to rank high in the pantheon.


8 posted on 10/21/2011 3:36:53 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

All of the Hungarian Rhapsodies are wonderful, IMHO. Even if Franz DID derive some of his melodies from existing Gypsy tunes (So did Brahms! LOL)
My favorite version of The Hungarian Rhapsody #2 is the Tome and Jerry Version, and also the Bugs Bunny version! };-)

Les Preludes is nice too, as well as Liebestraum #3.

I grew up with the orchestral version of Hungarian Rhapsody #2, but as a pianist, I now listen to them all for solo piano.


9 posted on 10/21/2011 3:47:46 PM PDT by left that other site (Psalm 122:6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Are you saying he wouldn’t be on your liszt?


10 posted on 10/21/2011 3:48:31 PM PDT by bcsco (A vote for Cain will cure the Pain!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Sorry I’m late, I’m bach from chopin at Frye’s for a better oven, but I boughton shoes, mann!


11 posted on 10/21/2011 3:49:50 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: left that other site

He didn’t hide the fact that he derived those melodies. It was considered an act of homage to that culture.


12 posted on 10/21/2011 3:50:40 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Borges

That is true. He was very proud of his heritage. In fact, he rhapsodized over it! LOL!


13 posted on 10/21/2011 3:52:52 PM PDT by left that other site (Psalm 122:6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: AndyJackson
absolutely...
14 posted on 10/21/2011 3:55:56 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Chode

Just happened to play Les Preludes in iTunes last night.

Of course that led to other other things.

Rick


15 posted on 10/21/2011 4:22:12 PM PDT by RickGee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RickGee
another wonderful piece used in cinema... Flash Gordon theme also iirc
16 posted on 10/21/2011 4:28:41 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Borges

I’ll give him a liszten.


17 posted on 10/21/2011 4:29:41 PM PDT by Larry Lucido ("#Occupy America" is a great success! I got mail today addressed to "Occupant"!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

A first rate second rate composer.


18 posted on 10/21/2011 4:35:46 PM PDT by oldsicilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AndyJackson
Trauervorspeil und Trauermarsch played by Lazar Berman in 1979 at Carnegie Hall was just awesome.

The Beethoven Symphony transcriptions are pretty amazing too. Katsaris plays on the recordings I have. Symphony No. 7 is my favorite.

ML/NJ

19 posted on 10/21/2011 4:46:09 PM PDT by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Borges; mickie
IMO, the NYT critique was rather unnecessarily negative.

I like it when my classical station regularly plays one or two piano or orchestral pieces by this wonderful composer.

My musical life without him would be quite listzless and lacking paprika.

Leni

20 posted on 10/21/2011 4:54:28 PM PDT by MinuteGal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj

The Beethoven transcriptions are titanic, likewise the Wagner.


21 posted on 10/21/2011 5:10:22 PM PDT by Argus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Not the full version, but it’ll have to do:

Beethoven’s Kiss

Andor Foldes wrote of his first praise as a pianist at the age of sixteen, during a “time of personal crisis” with his music teacher.

“Then the renowned pianist Emil von Sauer, Liszt’s last surviving pupil, came to Budapest and asked me to play for him. He listened intently to Bach’s toccata in C major and requested more. I put all my heart into playing Beethoven’s “Pathetique” sonata and continued with Schumann’s “Papillons.” Finally, von Sauer rose and kissed me on the forehead. “My son,” he said, “when I was your age I became a student of Liszt. He kissed me on the forehead after my first lesson, saying, ‘Take good care of this kiss — it comes from Beethoven, who gave it to me after hearing me play.’ I have waited for years to pass on this sacred heritage, but now I feel you deserve it.”


22 posted on 10/21/2011 5:45:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Borges

DSOTM’s got some really good sax work on side two.


23 posted on 10/21/2011 6:18:35 PM PDT by Grut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges
Well, where would the Lone Ranger have been without Les Preludes?.....
24 posted on 10/21/2011 6:19:51 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges
Franciscans aren't monks, they're friars.

Monks in the Middle Ages lived off by themselves in monasteries, away from the general population, praying and working (at least those who were serious about keeping their vows), staying put in one place. The Franciscans and Dominicans began in the early 13th century as mendicants, preaching to the people in the towns, begging for food to stay alive (inspired by chapter 10 of the Gospel according to St. Luke). To be sure as time passed the mendicant orders settled down, possessed houses to live in (friaries) and books, taught in universities, etc., but the difference between them and monks never entirely disappeared.

25 posted on 10/21/2011 6:22:26 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Beautiful. Never heard this story before. Many thanks.


26 posted on 10/21/2011 6:31:41 PM PDT by oldsicilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Intolerant in NJ

The Lone Ranger had the William Tell Overture. Flash Gordon used Les Preludes.


27 posted on 10/21/2011 6:44:03 PM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: oldsicilian

The original (by the pianist mentioned) appeared in Reader’s Digest in the 1980s.


28 posted on 10/21/2011 7:35:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Borges
The Transcendental Etudes. Especially No. 11, Harmonies du Soir. And as played by Jorge Bolet.

10:21 long. It gets revved up around 6:16.

29 posted on 10/21/2011 7:51:31 PM PDT by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

It has been about 150 years since he died and and we know who Franz Liszt.


30 posted on 10/21/2011 7:57:40 PM PDT by ThomasThomas ( If you can't laugh at your self, I well for you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator; left that other site

Y’all forgot “Rhapsody in Rivets”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTlWMRf4Hjs


31 posted on 10/21/2011 8:39:02 PM PDT by Huntress ("Politicians exploit economic illiteracy." --Walter Williams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Huntress

So many of the great composers went to folk songs and the people’s music for inspiration for their compositions. Dvorak comes to mind, and so many others. Don’t understand why that would factor in on who is great or not, as so many of the greats pulled from the folk music of the areas they lived in.


32 posted on 10/21/2011 8:48:18 PM PDT by flaglady47 (When the gov't fears the people, liberty; When the people fear the gov't, tyranny.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Borges
The Lone Ranger had the William Tell Overture. Flash Gordon used Les Preludes...I was listening to the Lone Ranger sixty-five years ago - The William Tell Overture was his theme, but sections of Les Preludes and other classical pieces including Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave were also used to help spice up the narrative.......
33 posted on 10/21/2011 9:04:02 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Chode
another wonderful piece used in cinema... Flash Gordon theme also iirc

The Buster Crabbe series, not the Steve Holland series. I think some of it was on The Lone Ranger (along with Wagner's Flying Dutchman, etc.)

34 posted on 10/22/2011 12:48:09 AM PDT by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (Budget sins can be fixed. Amnesty is irreversible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Borges; Intolerant in NJ

There is a Katherine Hepburn move “Song of Love” about Robert and Clara Schumann. In one scene, Clara (Hepburn) hinted that Liszt is shallow compared to Robert.

One of Liszt’s friends declared, “She has insulted you!”

Liszt replied, “She has done worse than that. She has described me!”


35 posted on 10/22/2011 1:03:12 AM PDT by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (Budget sins can be fixed. Amnesty is irreversible.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Please add me to your ping list if you would, thanks!


36 posted on 10/22/2011 1:03:46 AM PDT by jocon307
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: EEGator
Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum No.3 is my favorite classical piano tune.

Definitely one of my favorites too.

Liszt was and is better than very good.

37 posted on 10/22/2011 1:37:38 AM PDT by Rum Tum Tugger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Borges

This article may be good or it may not. But those three little letters...’NYT’ prevent me from reading it.


38 posted on 10/22/2011 2:46:49 AM PDT by AdaGray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huntress

WOW! I thought I had seen them all!

Were those UNION construction workers? LOL!


39 posted on 10/22/2011 5:20:41 AM PDT by left that other site (Psalm 122:6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas
i liked Buster as Flash better than Holland
40 posted on 10/22/2011 6:50:15 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Intolerant in NJ

Ever listen to von Suppe’s overtures...”Light Cavalry” is my favorite, but “Poet and Peasant” is also quite stirring..


41 posted on 10/22/2011 7:16:15 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: AdaGray

They do some great Arts writing.


42 posted on 10/22/2011 9:00:50 AM PDT by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Used to read it all the time. They lost me in the 1990’s.


43 posted on 10/22/2011 11:20:43 AM PDT by AdaGray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Used to read it all the time. They lost me in the 1990’s.


44 posted on 10/22/2011 11:20:44 AM PDT by AdaGray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Used to read it all the time. They lost me in the 1990’s.


45 posted on 10/22/2011 11:20:52 AM PDT by AdaGray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: ken5050

Like ‘em both, although I remember asking for and receiving an LP recording of the “Poet and Peasant” for my birthday when I was in junior high school back in the ‘50’s - recording was by the Boston Pops and Arthur Fiedler I think - so maybe that makes the P and P my favorite - hard to believe ( that I was in junior high in the ‘50’s, not that I asked for a recording of the Overture).....


46 posted on 10/22/2011 8:00:19 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Not fair to judge him by anything but his best output, and by that criterion his music was very good indeed.


47 posted on 12/01/2011 3:07:02 AM PST by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Intolerant in NJ
I was listening to the Lone Ranger sixty-five years ago...

So was I. Good to see a few old timers chiming in. And the Lone Ranger's music, all chosen from the public domain, couldn't have been more appropriate.

48 posted on 12/01/2011 3:13:23 AM PST by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson