Pianist Daniel Barenboim, now celebrating 75 years, has published a series of short videos titled “5 minutes on…” in which he discusses well-known piano pieces. In this episode he talks about Franz Liszt’s Funérailles from the piano cycle Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses.
Liszt built his monumental and transcendental technique on the back of Czerny’s 1,100 etudes, which, as his teacher, Czerny forced him to memorize and play incessantly. Liszt translated that incredible power to the piano. Armed with such technique, he was free to explore new directions in both composition and performance. There was, literally, nothing he couldn’t play. Because he was so gifted, he was able to break new ground by playing recitals of other composers’ music, which was unusual during the early and middle 19th century.
Piano score to download and print: