Poor Liszt!

Franz LisztPOOR LISZT! With all of his sparkling compositions, musical innovations and staggering virtuosity as a pianist – not to mention the 130th anniversary of his birth on October 22 – it is still fashionable in some corners to bad-mouth him.

A Gramophone critic recently related the story of how his book publisher balked at the idea of including Franz Liszt in a collection of 50 great composers. Judge for yourselves, in this multiple posting of performances of his works by world-renowned pianists that I have cobbled  together here in his immortal memory.

I have consciously split my musical presentation below into two parts )1-4 and 5-9); and each part’s component pieces are hotlinked to a performance on YouTube:

I The Virtuoso-cum-Romantic (1850-1864)
1. Etude d’execution transcendentale No. 10 in F minor (Evgeny Kissin) (1854)
2. Widmung (Dedication) [Schumann-Liszt (Kissin)1858)
3. Consolation: D flat major (Barenboim)  (1850)
4. Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (Agustin Anievas) (1861)
II The Visionary (1865-86)

5. Vier Kleine Klavierstücke (Four Little Piano Pieces)(Eduard Kiprsky)
  I in E major Adagio (1865)
II in A flat major – Moderato (1865)
III in F sharp major –  Adagio (1873)
IV in F sharp major – Andantino (1876)
6. Nuages Gris (Grey Clouds) (Andre Laplante) (1881)
7. La Lugubre Gondola I (1882) (Maestoso-allegro)
8. En Rêve (In a Dream) (Alvaro Ordonez) (1885/86)
9. Sunt Lacrymae Rerum (They’re the tears of things)  (1877)
Afterword:
Some of this material I’ve drawn from a Music Appreciation Class that I gave to a roomful of seniors at the Southeast Senior Center in Englewood 5 years ago on October 25, 2011.
Then, I was able to perform all the pieces listed before the ‘dreaded’ Depuytren syndrome severely affected my right-hand fingers that no multi-visits to experts have righted in spite of invasive operations.

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