Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Franz Liszt

Discussion in 'Pianists' started by pianolady, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    Dunno how I missed this thread!!!!!

    Not that I have anything much to add at the moment, just poking my nose in for a gander.

    Mon, the Walker bios (there're three of them, right?) are worth the investment then??



    I thought I'd echo how old Franz seemed to be a very generous man. in addition to the support of young composers, he also almost single-handedly arranged the funds for Beethoven's grave. Arranged benefit concerts and such, since no one else was doing anything about it some decades after Ludwig's passing.
     
  2. Daniel Hoehr

    Daniel Hoehr Guest

    Welcome to the FL Chat :)
    Actually, it wasn't his grave, it was the Beethoven monument in Bonn. Liszt raised the money, organised the Beethoven Festival, composed a cantata, played Beethoven's 5th piano concerto on an instrument that can still be seen in the house where Schumann died and didn't even get a proper thank you. He wasn't even invited for the 1870 Beethoven Festival...
     
  3. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    Oh yeah! ... :oops: .... faulty memory ... I DID turn 33 last friday! old man, me! :lol:

    He certainly was under-rated. It's funny how those prejudices still endure with musicians today. I played the sopalizio for a temporary teacher I had last year (which is one of the most wonderfully romantic pieces .... *wistful sigh w/hand to forehead*), and her first comment was, "yeah, I forget how little melody his music has" .... that was our last lesson! lol That, of all his pieces, surely can't be called unmelodic.

    And can we rhapsodize a bit about his forward-thinking pianism?? How so many of his pieces reflect pianistic trends of 20th century composers?? impressionism, 12-tone ... atonal ... you name it, it's there. The only pianistic movement he didn't foresee, as far as I can tell, is Kapustin! i.e. - jazz. :lol:
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Hi Nathan. About time you showed up here! :lol:

    Yes – in fact, I just finished it two nights ago. You know… this puts an idea into my head that we here at PS should form a ‘book club’. Someone picks out a book (about a musician, of course), we all read it, and then we discuss it. It will probably never happen, but at least we can talk about Liszt now. I’m glad you quys know so much about him. I feel that although I have read the complete Walker biography, there is so much information contained in those books that it’s hard to keep it all in my head. Talking about it helps, and hearing another person’s point of view is what I find very interesting. I have another friend (a Granados expert) who steered me toward a certain Granados book that was also fascinating – so much so that I can’t stop thinking about it. I am fortunate to have two very interesting conversations going on at the same time.

    So now back to Liszt – Again I am saddened from reading about the horrible neglect shown on him during his dying days. Stavenhagen and the other students simply acted as if it was nothing that this man Liszt – a genius composer, a phenomenal pianist, who helped so many fellow musicians and gave so much of himself to others – was on his death bed in the next room and mostly left to suffer alone.

    And the relationship between Schmalhausen and Liszt is rather complex. He certainly was very protective of her and she worshiped the ground he walked on. Do you know if there were ever any ‘romantic’ activities going on between the two of them? According to these books, Liszt was like an indulgent father showering his attentions on his favorite daughter. But Schmallhausen was deeply in love with him and they were so intimate that I wonder if their relationship ever strayed into another sort of territory. What are your thoughts on that?

    The photos in “The Death of Franz Liszt” are interesting. I see that the two in the book are different from the ones you (Daniel) showed me earlier. In the book you see him holding the small bouquet of flowers that Lina placed in his hand. And you can see in one of the photos how much hair she cut off from the side of his head. In the book, she chastised herself for hastily cutting a rather large lock in so prominent a place.

    Another photo I find very interesting is the one of the actual funeral procession moving along Maximilianstrasse. All those people! I know most of them were there for the Wagner festival, but I never really realized how many people were actually around at these times in history that we read about. If only there were more photos of Chopin in his day!

    This brings me to a point you made regarding that other biographical novel on Liszt that overstresses the relationship between Liszt and Chopin. How much does it overstress it? This alone is another confusing subject matter to me, as I’ve read many conflicting reports.

    Back to Liszt, and now Cosima: Certainly a subject matter that can go on for a long time. Right now I’m finding it hard to put into words how I feel about her. There are always two sides to a story. It says in the book that she had diaries too. Do you know about them? Were they ever published? Are they on display at the Liszt Museum? And speaking of that, I see on the internet that there are three Liszt museums. Pretty impressive but it does not surprise me given the fact that his life was long a very full!

    A little tidbit, though, is that the museum in Weimar shows us Liszt's salon which is supposedly unchanged. The color scheme is bright and colorful - cheery yellows and bold reds. Chopin preferred more subdued colors like dove gray, burgundy reds, creamy off-whites. Seems that these two men's tastes in style and decor reflected their personalities.



    Yes! So much information. And also some interesting info about certain pieces he composed, and how other composers 'borrowed' little bits and fragments.


    Then I am doomed, because I am older than you!

    I would like to look at that piece someday. Is it hard?


    Speaking of being pianistic (sort of): Somewhere in the books it describes how Liszt used creative, unusual, but also logical fingering to manage certain passages in difficult pieces. It's really neat!


    About the Beethoven festival that Liszt practically managed by himself - specifically, the statue of Beethoven that was erected in the center of the square. (At least I think it was Beethoven - I could be wrong and it's someone completely different - been reading too books at the same time!) Anyway, (I think that) a statue of Beethoven was accidentally positioned backwards. Can you imagine a large crowd gathered by the statue, eagerly anticipating its unveiling - probably someone gives a speech, maybe a band starts to play, and someone shouts, "voilá" as he pulls off the draping, only to reveal that the statue is turned around and showing his backside to the crowd. I think that's so funny!

    Oops, looks like this was a little long-winded.
     
  5. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    The sopalizio isn't too hard ... by lisztian standards anyway ... the major difficulty is the rapidly descending LH octave passagae in climax. I remember you saying something about hurting wrists. I'm actually gonna post this and the other 2nd year of pilgrimage pieces (it may be my first CS, but don't tell Chris! ) That man sure loved his damn octaves ... and I just can't play them at speed with my back the way it is right now. Besides, after Ishay's recent performances, I'll have to post ultra-clean (for me 8) ) posts for a while!

    I LOVE the idea of a book club (ish); I'm a voracious reader. At least one book every day or two. Of course, now that I'm in bed bulk of time, it's easy to find the time to read! :p

    Speaking of Cosima/Wagner letter and such to Liszt, you might check out Project Gutenberg ... here's the liszt letters page: http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/l#a1266 I haven't spent the time to actually look thru these, but at first glance they seem to be extremely revealing.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Oh wow - there's a lot of stuff on those pages! Thanks, Nathan. That'll give me something better to do besides folding the laundry.

    Regarding the sopalizio piece: The words, 'rapidly descending octaves' scares me. I think I will just rather listen to you play it. Hope your surgery gets you up and playing again soon!

    Me too. So what's our next book? :wink:
     
  7. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    How about "Hot Summer Lovin'" by Suzanne Donaldson?? :roll: :lol: 8)
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    I already read that one. 8) 8) :lol:
     
  9. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    :roll:

    had a starring role, you mean! :shock: :p
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Ok, well, I just read through the Liszt-Wagner letters. Not every word of course, there is way too much! But you can certainly tell how 'chummy' the two were with each other. And also how Wagner was often asking for money.

    What I find interesting is just the way people back then 'talked' with each other in their letter writing. Men in particular used a lot of flowery words in their greetings and closings. Wagner often wrote: "My dearest, best beloved friend" as his greeting to Liszt. And he would close a letter like: "Wholly Thine," or "Adieu, you best and dearest of all men; continue to love me."

    Liszt used words like, "Most glorious friend", or "Your cordially grateful and truly devoted".

    I have the book Chopin's Letters and he writes the same way; very loving words to his male friends, like: "My dearest life." But his letters are filled with funny and goofy things, sometimes nasty little remarks about someone that irks him. On one letter he signed it, "Your old Ch. with a longer nose than ever." I like his letters. Though, I'm sure all these people would not be happy to know that their personal letters were published. I can't imagine if someone got a hold of my letters. I'd die of embarrassment.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    You did well to ditch that teacher. Spozalizio is IMO one of Liszt loveliest compositions, certainly among my favourites, together with its neighbouring pieces Il Pensieroso and the Canzonetta di Salvator Rosa. I have often contemplated recording these three but never got around to it. I will be eagerly awaiting your CS of the Italian Pilgrim Years (whoa, that Tarantella.....)
     
  12. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Last Name:
    Coleman
    First Name:
    Nathan
    Now, don't go getting ahead of ourself!! I was intending on just the original 7 at first ... that Dante sonata is hellish enough ... hehe.

    That Tarantella is a right bastard of a piece. Before my back had gotten real bad I was about ready to post everything but the Dante. *sigh* I'm supposed to be seeing neurosurgeon soon (hope springs eternal) and he's gonna solve all my problems! 8)

    Anyway, I've always thought the Italian Pilgrimage was the best of the lot ... although there are some individually great pieces there. But the 2nd year was the most consistently awesome, IMO.
     

Share This Page