About Franz Liszt's Three Sonnets by Petrarca (first version)
Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374) was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest Renaissance humanists, credited with developing the sonnet to a level of perfection unsurpassed to this day. Liszt’s three Petrarca Sonnets are derived from songs he wrote for tenor voice while travelling in Italy in 1838-39. The composer then transcribed them for piano.
The pieces were later revised by Liszt and published as part of Années de pélerinage, Second Year.
Sonetto 47 is inspired by the sonnet Blessed Be the Day, the Month, and the Year, in which Petrarch prays for divine blessing on the joys and sufferings of love.
Sonetto 104 is another love poem: Peace I Cannot Find, Yet War I Cannot Wage.
Sonetto 123 is called I Saw on Earth Angelic Grace: here Petrarch considers the difference between mortal and heavenly love.