Category Archives: Liszt – Years of Pilgrimage, Three Volumes

Happy Birthday, Franz Liszt

Raise a glass to Liszt today, on his birthday. Here he is, below centre, celebrating his 73rd birthday in Weimar with some of his students in 1884.  Advertisements

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The Postcards, the Painting, and the Bolognese Sauce.

It all started with the Postcards; six or seven of them, dated from 1st to the 19th October, 1945, showing black and white views of Bologna, similar to these ones found on Wikipedia. The ink of the handwriting on the … Continue reading

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I stood in Venice… Liszt’s Gondoliera

How different it was for Liszt when he first visited Venice as a young man many years before, aged twenty-seven. ‘Have you ever been to Venice? Have you ever glided on the sleepy waters in a black gondola down the … Continue reading

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From Darkness to Light

The Sursum Corda , the final, uplifting piece of Liszt’s Troisième Année, is well placed; it is preceeded by two works which show Liszt’s Hungarian blood and which are both about death. Sunt lacrimae rerum – En mode hongrois, like Funérailles, was a response to … Continue reading

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All Roads Lead to Rome – via Budapest and Weimar

It is unlike either of its predecessors. No geographic subtitle, such as Suisse or Italie; no easily discernible thread linking all of its movements. It even looks different: simpler, more white space on the staves, some titles and quotations in Latin. It sounds … Continue reading

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Venice and Naples – optional excursions

‘Have you ever been to Venice? Have you ever glided on the sleepy waters in a black gondola down the length of the Grand Canal or along the banks of the Giudecca?… Have you seen the moon cast its pale … Continue reading

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Abandon hope , all ye who enter here – unless your octaves are up to speed…

Liszt’s ‘Dante Sonata’, Après une lecture de Dante, takes its title from the poem by Victor Hugo, but its subject matter from Dante’s La Divina Commedia, in which Dante and Virgil travel through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. Liszt started composing it … Continue reading

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