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Franz Liszt: Beethoven Symphonies

Liszt began his Beethoven Symphony transcriptions in 1838, completing Symphonies Nos. 5, 6 and 7.  But it would not be until 1865 that Liszt would complete his set at the behest of the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel.
Liszt reworked the original three transcriptions and sped his way through the remaining Symphonies, although he conceded "the impossibility of making any pianoforte arrangement of the 4th movement [of the 9th symphony] ...that could in any way be...satisfactory".
Liszt´s Beethoven transcriptions remain a mountain in the piano repertoire: they bear witness both to his reverence for Beethoven and his genius in the art of transcription.

Sheet Music Downloads:

TitleASTKey Published Type Level
Beethoven Symphony 1 Op. 21C Major 1800 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 2 Op. 36D Major 1802 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 3 "Eroica" Op. 55E-flat Major 1803 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 4 Op. 60B-flat Major 1806 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 5 Op. 67C Minor 1808 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 6 Op. 68F Major 1808 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 7 Op. 92A Major 1812 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 8 Op. 93F Major 1812 Transcription 8+
Beethoven Symphony 9 Op. 125D Minor 1824 Transcription 8+

Posts in the piano forum about Beethoven Symphonies by Liszt:

xx Beethoven-Liszt Symphonies
June 25, 2008, 05:02:19 PM by akonow

Are the Beethoven-Liszt symphonies particularly difficult in comparison to other Liszt pieces? No. 6 in particular.

xx Beethoven Symphonies - Which one would you play?
October 06, 2007, 05:04:39 AM by dnephi

As many of you know, the Beethoven-Liszt Symphonies stand as arguably the greatest work of transcription ever completed.

Horowitz said that they were "the greatest piano pieces ever written." 

Now, if you were to play one, and only one- which one would it be?

Things to consider:

1. Length - How long will it take to perform/learn?
2. Difficulty - How much work & for how long would you need to work?
3. Suitability- How effectively is the music conveyed through the keyboard?

I look forward to hearing your responses.

xx Beethoven symphonies piano transcriptions and Sonatas
June 17, 2005, 01:54:23 PM by stormx

Hi !! Smiley Smiley

Recently, i have been listening to Beethoven's symphonies Liszt piano transcriptions (N° 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9. Konstantin Scherbakov(sp?), NAXOS).

Let suppose you ignore they are indeed piano transcriptions of orchestral music, and analyse them as PIANO WORKS.

My questions:

How do they compare with Beethoven's piano sonatas?
Do they have the structure of a piano sonata?
Do they sound much different than Beethoven's piano sonatas?
What are, if any, the most obvious differences?


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