About Franz Liszt's Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses
One of Liszt’s most personal and confessional piano cycles, the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses contains two of his best-loved masterpieces – the serenely contemplative Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude (No. 3) and the heroic elegy Funérailles (No.7). The title is taken from a group of poems by Alphonse de Lamartine which inspired the set. Several of the pieces are headed by excerpts from the Lamartine poems, giving insight into Liszt´s programmatic intentions.
The cycle was composed in the years immediately after Liszt had abandoned the concert stage, persuaded by his lover Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein to concentrate on composition.
Many of the pieces here were written at Woronince, the Ukrainian country estate of Sayn-Wittgenstein.