Liszt ~ composer ABCs

Many will know the name Franz Liszt. This is because he was an accomplished pianist in addition to being a composer.

Liszt was a Hungarian, born in 1811 into a highly musical family. He was known as a prodigy early on and an established concert pianist by age 9. He wanted to enroll in the Paris Conservatoire when he was about 12 years old. He was denied admission due to the fact that he was a foreigner. He had studied under Antonio Salieri (Mozart’s teacher) and was consider a very special musician. He toured all of Europe as a teenage, performing not only in concert halls but also for kings.

One of Liszt’s abilities that few others had was the ability to improvise on a melody suggested by an audience member. This surely influenced his composition and playing abilities.

When his father died, Liszt was only 15. This was a traumatic period for him and he almost quit music completely. He pushed through and reignited his musical passions. In 1849 he accepted the position of the director of the court theater at Weimar. This meant he did not tour or do concert performances much any more.

Liszt did begin much conducting and was able to promote many other composers’ works. He was equally as talented as a conductor as a pianist. He is considered the first to have developed the symphonic poem as a form of composition, contributing a great deal to the orchestral literature of the world.

Some of his greatest compositions are for piano. However, he was such a talented pianist that few players can properly perform his piano works.

The Hungarian Rhapsody series of works is perhaps some of the most well-known of Liszt’s works. All together there are 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano. The first 15 were published during his life and the final four posthumously. These were at one time considered the bread and butter of a pianist’s repertory. They are evidentally not quite as common these days, though. They are such lovely piano works. Here is Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in D Minor.

Some of the Hungarian Rhapsodies have been orchestrated. Here is the same Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 for orchestra.

Additionally, as mentioned before, Liszt did quite a bit of work on helping the symphonic poem to become a popular form. The symphonic poem is sometimes also called a tone poem. He wrote 13 of these symphonic poems. The most popular one is the third, Les Preludes, based off of Lamartine’s Meditations poetiques.

Liszt allowed many different types of art to inspire his compositions. Not only did Lamartine influence him, but also the piece Orpheus. Victor Hugo’s Les Orientales inspired one of the symphonic poems (No. 6, Mazeppa). The set of 6 frescos by Wilhelm von Kaulbach in the New Museum at Berlin has one picture that was the basis for a musical setting of it, titled Hunnenschlact, or The Battle of the Huns.

Resources for Franz Liszt:

Some of the information in this post came from the liner notes of two CDs that I have. 1) Franz Liszt Symphonic Poems by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Hermann Scherchen, conductor, recordings from 1957 and 1958. 2) Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 1-6, Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Hermann Scherchen, conductor, recordings from 1959. Both CDs released on MCA Classics, copyright 1990.

https://www.classicsforkids.com/composers/composer_profile.php?id=42

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/liszt/

https://www.biography.com/musician/franz-liszt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Liszt

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Composer ABCs in this series:
A – Leroy Anderson
B – Bernstein, Bizet, Bax
C – Copland
D – Debussy and de Meij
E – Elgar
F – Fauré
G – Grainger and Ginastera
H – Holst
I – Ives
J – Joplin and Janacek
K – Kern

Thank you for joining me this week for Composer ABCs. Please visit the hosts to find the linky and other participants.

Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook – This week is L is for Legoland.
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses – This week is Life Skills In Your Homeschool.

Other posts from the week of Letter K –

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21 thoughts on “Liszt ~ composer ABCs

  1. Ellen July 2, 2021 at 4:18 pm Reply

    These were really good. I enjoyed them. I’m just not sure which one of the Hungarian Rhapsody pieces I like the best. The orchestrated version is nice and full, yet the piano version is simpler (with only 88 keys). I did enjoy the light up keyboard and visual affects! That was neat. The third video reminded me of orchestrated music you’d hear with some cartoons, particularly around the seven minute mark. Maybe it’s not nice to refer to these excellent pieces in conjunction with cartoons, but the music just adds so much feeling to a story line. Thank you for sharing them.

    • 3gigglygirlsathome July 4, 2021 at 4:20 pm Reply

      It is actually quite likely that the pieces have been used as music in animated pieces. Looney Tunes has used a lot of classical music, as has Disney. I found myself listening to the Liszt pieces in complete and enjoying them all the way through.

  2. […] was first given piano lessons by his mother, who recognized his talent. He began playing pieces by Franz Liszt at age 7 and was giving performances by age 9. He was enrolled in a military school and able to […]

  3. Annette Vellenga (@athomepets) July 8, 2021 at 10:50 pm Reply

    He sounds like such a bright talented man.

  4. Desiree W July 13, 2021 at 11:34 am Reply

    Wow, he started young! That alone just amazes me. Such lovely music. I enjoy listening to these and I too imagine them in cartoons and movies. Music has such power to tell stories.

  5. Nelson ~ Composer ABCs | At Home July 19, 2021 at 10:07 pm Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – […]

  6. Offenbach ~ Composer ABCs | At Home July 27, 2021 at 11:41 am Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – […]

  7. […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – […]

  8. Quilter ~ Composer ABCs | At Home August 10, 2021 at 2:24 pm Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and […]

  9. […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – […]

  10. […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR – […]

  11. […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  12. Ustvolskaya ~ Composer ABCs | At Home September 6, 2021 at 7:18 pm Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  13. […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  14. Whitacre & Willson ~ Composer ABCs | At Home September 22, 2021 at 10:33 am Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  15. Xenakis ~ Composer ABCs | At Home September 28, 2021 at 12:38 pm Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  16. Xenakis ~ Composer ABCs | At Home September 28, 2021 at 12:38 pm Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  17. Yoshimatsu ~ Composer ABCs | At Home October 5, 2021 at 5:50 pm Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

  18. Zimmer ~ Composer ABCs | At Home October 15, 2021 at 11:58 am Reply

    […] – Grainger and GinasteraH – HolstI – IvesJ – Joplin and JanacekK – KernL – LisztM – MussorgskyN – NelsonO – OffenbachP – Palestrina and ProkofievQ – QuilterR […]

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