Happy Birthday Franz Liszt!

Hungarian pianist and Romantic Era composer, Franz Liszt, was born this day, October 22, in the year 1811. Franz Liszt was one of the greatest piano virtuosos of his time.

Franz Liszt [Oct. 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886]

From Britannica.com-bio-Franz Liszt: “Franz Liszt, … (born October 22, 1811, Doborján, kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire [now Raiding, Austria]—died July 31, 1886, Bayreuth, Germany), Hungarian piano virtuoso and composer. Among his many notable compositions are his 12 symphonic poems, two (completed) piano concerti, several sacred choral works, and a great variety of solo piano pieces.

“Franz Liszt was the greatest piano virtuoso of his time. He was the first to give complete solo recitals as a pianist. He was a composer of enormous originality, extending harmonic language and anticipating the atonal music of the 20th century. He invented the symphonic poem for orchestra.”

Also, from the Britannica Bio of Liszt: “From [Hector] Berlioz he inherited the command of the Romantic orchestra and also the diabolic quality that remained with him for the rest of his life. He achieved the seemingly impossible feat of transcribing Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique for the piano in 1833, and he helped Berlioz by transcribing other works of his and playing them in concert. In March 1831 he heard Niccolo Paganini play for the first time. He again became interested in virtuoso technique and resolved to transfer some of Paganini’s fantastic violin effects to the piano, writing a fantasia on his La Campanella. At this time he also met Frederic Chopin whose poetical style of music exerted a profound influence on Liszt.

Please turn up the volume, play in full screen and enjoy some great music from the great Franz Liszt, on this his birthday.

Franz Liszt: La Campanella:

Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto #1 in E Flat Major:

Franz Liszt: Liebestraum No. 3, “Love Dream”:

Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody #2 [orchestra]:

Franz Liszt: Les Preludes:


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