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 Post subject: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 715
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Online at http://www.archive.org/stream/franzlisz ... 1/mode/2up
Might interest a few. (I've read his Chopin, which is full of thoroughly purple prose, and am having a look at this one.)


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 Post subject: Re: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Thank you, Andrew! I've also read Hunecker's Chopin book, but I don't think I've read this Liszt book. However, I so much enjoyed Alan Walker's three-volume set on Liszt that I think I am biased and spoiled now and can't imagine any book being better than his!

You know what's weird though? Right before I saw your posting here, I was reviewing some text on the book "Letters of Franz Liszt". A man emailed me earlier today saying that PS had some incorrect dates and a wrong word on our Liszt publication that we have on the site. On one part, the year shown in the table of letter contents - no. 19 Robert Schumann 1820 - the man told me it should be 1819, when in fact I looked at the letter and it's actually 1839. And then he also pointed out the word 'site' should be 'sight' which is right. But I'm surprised because I read a little further and found two more typos. Seems this book is littered with them and it's all over the Internet. Anyway, I've made some corrections on 'our' publication, which means we have the most correct version out there! :)


You can see some of the corrections I made on the attachments. But now I'm even more shocked because I just caught this one: The first sentence: Isn't Liszt Hungarian and not Austrian? Actually I see that Raiding was in Hungary but now it's in Austria? I've just never seen it written that Liszt was Austrian before.


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 Post subject: Re: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Yes, of course Liszt is Hungarian. But, as you said, the village where he was born is now part of Austria. Additionally he didn't speak Hungarian.

I have Alan Walker's three volumes also; very well-written they are too!


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 Post subject: Re: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
andrew wrote:
Yes, of course Liszt is Hungarian. But, as you said, the village where he was born is now part of Austria. Additionally he didn't speak Hungarian.

I have Alan Walker's three volumes also; very well-written they are too!


Ditto on what Andrew and Monica say regarding Mr. Walker's work, of which I have read only two: A great read!

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:10 pm 
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I would say Liszt (who by rights ought to be called Franz List and not Liszt Ferenc) pretended to be Hungarian. His whole family was of Germanic extraction and, as Andrew reminds us, he could not even speak the language (though his father could and did). He certainly made the same big blunder Brahms made, that is, to think that Gypsy "art" music was Hungarian folk music.

Now, take Sibelius, who was a member of the Swedish minority, but who took the trouble to learn the language and culture of the place he was born in (the Grand-Duchy of Finland, at the time a part of the Russian Empire). Maybe he spoke Finnish with a Swedish accent and all that, but this is more than can be said about Liszt.

As for difficulties, Hungarian cannot be classed as harder than Finnish, as both belong to the same language family, Finno-Ugrian, and present the same difficulties to a speaker of a Germanic language, which both German and Swedish, of course, are.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Location: U.S.A.
Liszt did speak French, German and Italian. (I believe he knew just a bit of English, but not enough to converse or write in it.) It is odd that he never learned his native Hungarian tongue, although he hardly ever spent much time there during his life.

David

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 Post subject: Re: James Hunecker book on Liszt
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:57 am 
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Maybe he could not be bothered. Even the Emperor (who, though no Hungarian, was also King of Hungary) was was supposed to speak it a bit.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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