Piano Forum



Crash Course: How to Teach Piano Online
What you have been wondering and perhaps worrying about for many years is suddenly upon you. The question was if online piano lesson are worth it and if so, how to get started? Now there is no more time to ponder, this week you will be teaching all your piano students online! Read more >>

Topic: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?  (Read 10379 times)

Offline cziffra

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
on: April 30, 2003, 11:40:46 AM
i was playing a Liszt Cd to a non-pianist the eother day and at the end of the song he said "gee that would have been nicer if it had a melody.  all i heard were scales.  Very impressive scales, but scales nonetheless."

i listened to it again and now i'm not so sure if liszt is quite the genius i thought- a lot of his stuff is really just piano pyrotechnics.  

what do you guys think?
NB: i'll still keep listening to it because as a pianist i can not help but listen in captivated awe.  but for a non-pianist, is there any motivation to listen?
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline frederic

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 508
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #1 on: April 30, 2003, 12:37:13 PM
read the topic i started called Liszt's music. Its here in repertoire board. its closely related to what you asked.
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline Jezzica

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 21
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #2 on: May 01, 2003, 07:17:09 AM
I think Liszt was a bit of a showoff in a way, even though he did compose great works.
Grissom: "In religion? I believe in God, in science, in Sunday supper. I don't believe in rules that tell me how I should live."
-CSI: ALTER BOYS

Offline pskim

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #3 on: May 01, 2003, 08:35:03 AM
I don't know why some people think of Liszt as a show-off.  I think he was a great artist and a showman, which all performers are.  I think it's more of envy and jealousy when people call Liszt a show-off because they can't do the things he did.  If I had the chops that Liszt did, hell, I'd show off too.

Offline chopinetta

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #4 on: May 02, 2003, 07:08:41 AM
yeah, i think he's show-offy too... but i think people who watch pianist play liszt would be captivated by the hands thing, not the music...

chopin never gave liszt pieces to his students. besides, that time all that liszt composes were a scrap. Chopin probably thought it was rubbish anyway.

i don't think he's that of a genius as other great composers, but he is still a genius, anyway!
"If I do not believe anymore in tears, it is because I see you cry." -Chopin to George Sand
"How repulsive this George Sand is! is she really a woman? I'm ready to doubt it."-Chopin on George Sand

Offline Le-ackt

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #5 on: May 02, 2003, 07:29:47 AM
let me here mention some historic informations about Liszt and what did Chopin think of his rival Liszt .

As the time around 1830s Paganini was Hot as a Rock star like today . And He was the Ultimate Magician Showman , his beyond human Virtuosity impress everyone and he has his reputation of Devil violinist .

But by the time of the romantic period Liszt was one of the guys who was influenced by Paganini's virtuosity and thus kinda shaped how his playing . And Liszt therefore became a more Showmanship invloved musician rather artisticability . He was hot and famous of cause , and very much just like Nowaday's Rock star , girls were crazy about this Pianist .
And Chopinetta was right . Chopin has said that Liszt is amazing virtuso , but among all his pieces are musicaly empty . They were friend to each other, Chopin's Opus Etudes were dedicate to Liszt . And Chopin was joking he wanted to kill Liszt when he saw how Liszt was playing his Etudes Opus 10  

Offline amee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 506
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #6 on: May 02, 2003, 07:48:05 AM
Yes, Liszt's compositions were very impressive and required awesome technique.  But that's also what the audiences wanted.  They were crazy about the speed and difficulty of the pieces.  When Chopin arrived in a city (I've forgotten the name), he found the audience was already tuned to Liszt's music and most of them wanted more impressive glissandos and the like.  Liszt had amazing audience appeal.

Yes, Chopin and Liszt were friends.  I think Liszt once said he adored all of Chopin's music except his Scherzo no. 1.
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frederic Chopin

Offline chopinetta

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #7 on: May 02, 2003, 09:58:49 AM
yes, chopin and liszt were friends... there were many anecdotes about liszt and chopin like when the lights are off, people thinks chopin is playing, but it was actually liszt who was imitating chopin's style... but liszt laughs at this... he says it is not true...
"If I do not believe anymore in tears, it is because I see you cry." -Chopin to George Sand
"How repulsive this George Sand is! is she really a woman? I'm ready to doubt it."-Chopin on George Sand

Offline rachfan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3026
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #8 on: May 02, 2003, 07:12:42 PM
As a performer and showman, Liszt was probably the Liberace of his time, but far more talented and far more technically proficient.  In regards to his composing, it falls within a wide range from masterworks to trash.  

In his defense, when one listens to the Petrach Sonnets, some of the Transcendental Etudes such as Feux-follets, Ricordanza, or Chasse-neige, or if you consider Les jeux d'eau a la Villa d'Este, Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude, the Sonata in b, Au bord d'une source, Vallee d'Obermann, and others, these pieces are not "pyrotechnics" at all.  They are some of the finest repertoire for the piano.  So I give Liszt his due.  

When someone once asked Liszt what he would be remembered for, he never mentioned his melodies, although many of them are indeed gorgeous.  Instead he said the indelible mark would be his harmonies.  Even today when I play some of Liszt's pieces, some of his harmonies are so innovative they just never lose their freshness, excitement, or appeal.  
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline amee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 506
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #9 on: May 03, 2003, 09:57:21 AM
Liszt also found Chopin's Polonaise-fantaisie "unfathomable" and went so far as to proclaim that such works were basically valueless as art!
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frederic Chopin

Offline chopinetta

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #10 on: May 04, 2003, 02:57:25 AM
what?! i never knew about that! but i don't oppose liszt... i just don't agree to what he said about chopin's piece!

well, we all know liszt like banging the piano and chopin justs love the almost quiet pianississimo...

but did you know that liszt was thundering the piano with chopin's polonaise eroica and when chopin heard it he actually trembled!

poor feeble weak chopin!
"If I do not believe anymore in tears, it is because I see you cry." -Chopin to George Sand
"How repulsive this George Sand is! is she really a woman? I'm ready to doubt it."-Chopin on George Sand

Offline amee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 506
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #11 on: May 04, 2003, 04:45:55 AM
What an interesting fact, Chopinetta!  Did Chopin actually like Liszt's way of playing his piece?
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frederic Chopin

Offline frederic

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 508
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #12 on: May 06, 2003, 12:44:40 PM
Also here is something interesting.....

When a young man played one of Chopin's polonaises to Chopin on his piano, he accidently broke one of the strings. the young man apologized to the composer. But Chopin just said " If i could play that polonaise the way it should be played, there would be no strings left by the time i get through it" this shows how he was so weak.
Also, a man stomped out of one of Chopin's concerts angrily complaining he heard nothing but pianissimo the whole night.
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline chopinetta

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #13 on: May 07, 2003, 04:24:37 AM
hello amee!!!.. i don't think Chopin liked it, he trembled, hehehe.... Chopin doesn't like fortes and fortissimos, he likes it quiet. his favorite line when a student plays loudly is "Is that a dog barking?"

and hello frederic! people who watch chopin's concert are so impatient with him because they were used to the piano-banging the artists make.

did you know that chopin got so mad in his concert in england he said to a friend after: "Anything not boring is not English!"

and while they were traveling he looked out the window and said "Do you see the cattle on the meadow? Ca a plus d'intelligence que des Anglais."

doesn't that mean, they are more intelligent thant the englishmen? that isn't very nice of him.

he can be very sarcastic, he had done that many times already.

Here's time chopin was being a bad boy:

Liszt, Chopin and Hiller indulged in friendly contests and Chopin always came off winner when Polish music was essayed. He delighted in imitating his colleagues, Thalberg especially. Adolphe Brisson tells of a meeting of Sand, Chopin and Thalberg, where, as Mathias says, the lady "chattered like a magpie" and Thalberg, after being congratulated by Chopin on his magnificent
virtuosity, reeled off polite phrases in return; doubtless he valued the Pole's compliments for what they were worth. The moment his back was presented, Chopin at the keyboard was mocking him. It was then Chopin told Sand of his pupil, Georges Mathias, "c'est une bonne caboche."Thalberg took his revenge whenever he
could. After a concert by Chopin he astonished Hiller by shouting on the way home. In reply to questions he slily answered that he needed a forte as he had heard nothing but pianissimo the entire evening!

we don't study french here... i know "c'est une bonne--" means It is a good-- (and referring to the female gender) but what does caboche mean??
"If I do not believe anymore in tears, it is because I see you cry." -Chopin to George Sand
"How repulsive this George Sand is! is she really a woman? I'm ready to doubt it."-Chopin on George Sand

Offline amee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 506
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #14 on: May 07, 2003, 06:09:52 AM
Yes, Thalberg.  He was famous for his 'three handed' way of playing.  He was a master of the sustaining pedal and could really make the piano sing.  He would use alternating thumbs to play a melody in the middle of the keyboard, while surrounding it with cascades of arpeggios.  It really seemed like he was playing with three hands!  The audience used to lean forward in their seats to see how it was done.

When Liszt and the Countess Marie eloped from Paris to Switzerland, Thalberg came to Paris and performed a concert.  He caused a sensation, and Liszt felt he had to return and defend his position as the champion of the piano.  With both of them in Paris, the center of the musical world at the time, tension between Liszt and Thalberg quickly mounted.  They took turns insulting each other, and the final showdown came in a salon.  Thalberg played first, then Liszt came up and played a Fantasia he had recently composed.  There was no doubt about the winner and better pianist - Liszt captivated the audience.  Thalberg's humiliation was complete and he retired from the concert platform.  He bought a small vineyard and spent the rest of his days cultivating grapes.
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frederic Chopin

Offline amp

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #15 on: May 07, 2003, 06:26:34 AM
There is a good movie about Chopin's life called "Improvtu." Don 't know how accurate it is, but a fun movie to watch.

I really like Liszts music, but it can be showy. But, if you listen hard those tangents of "flashy" playing are an important role. Try to set the scene, or a cool down after an intense section. They have there place. It's interesting, a professor at my school, who used to be a profesor at the Royal Academy, plays a lot of Liszt. But, the interesting part is that reviewers have consistenly written about him that he shuns virtuistic, "flashy" style playing, and is a reserved playing in terms of body motion. That shows to me, that Liszt's music is signifigant and is something more than "flashy."  So, the stuff we call "flashy" has a purpose in the music.
amp

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #16 on: April 06, 2004, 11:58:55 PM
Liszt was neither the show-off nor the genius alone. He was more than these. He was human who created some of the best music to touch the hearts of many a fellow human.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline rachlisztchopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #17 on: April 07, 2004, 01:50:24 AM
Quote
regards to his composing, it falls within a wide range from masterworks to trash.  

Please state which of his works are trash...ill be sure to listen to them but i really think that its just your ignorance thats getting to me...I completely agree with PeterHK...liszt is far more then a genius, hes a musical god...u guys, his melodies are just as beautiful as those of chopins, they are just covered up by complex harmonics which make the melodies hard to hear for those without a good brain...every single note Liszt wrote is necessary...not one bit of it is trash

Offline Antnee

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 535
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #18 on: April 07, 2004, 04:38:08 AM

   I think that in order to play like a god as Liszt did you have to be some kind of musical genius. But of course if you were the most gifted pianist of your time(or all time) then of course there comes a time when you're going to want to show it. As for his music, we somehow are compelled by his harmonies and complex melodies in a way unlike any composer, making Liszt the unique genius he was. I for one consider Liszt to be one of the greatest musical thinkers ever.
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." -  Stravinsky

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #19 on: April 07, 2004, 09:10:43 AM
Quote
(1) . . . Yes, Chopin and Liszt were friends. I think Liszt once said he adored all of Chopin's music except his Scherzo no.1.

and...

(2) . . . Thalberg's humiliation was complete and he retired from the concert platform.  He bought a small vineyard and spent the rest of his days cultivating grapes.


(1) Just wondering what Liszt thought was wrong with the first Scherzo of Chopin. I think it is as powerful and lyrical as many other Chopin, even Liszt. I enjoy playing this enormously.

(2) Oh? That is one amusing piece of anecdote to hear about . . . heehee. ;D What a pity, however, that Thalberg should ever have retired from the stage to pursue the career of a grape farmer! He could be both at the same time. Perhaps his grapes were too sour . . . who knows?
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline Daevren

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 700
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #20 on: April 07, 2004, 11:43:55 PM
If Liszt was just a show-off then I am a genius.

I think Liszt transcendental etudes are more musical than Chopins etudes. His concertos are better than Chopins ones because the Chopin ones lack in orchestration. Liszts sonata is better than Chopins one.

Chopin was very musical and he has the most beautiful melodies but he lacked the intellectual development Liszt possessed. This changed Liszt from a virtuoso into an excellent composer.

I can't stand his Grand Galop Chromatique though.

Offline rachlisztchopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 275
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #21 on: April 08, 2004, 07:43:25 AM
Quote
If Liszt was just a show-off then I am a genius..

huh?  :-/  
Quote

I think Liszt transcendental etudes are more musical than Chopins etudes. His concertos are better than Chopins ones because the Chopin ones lack in orchestration. Liszts sonata is better than Chopins one.

Chopin was very musical and he has the most beautiful melodies but he lacked the intellectual development Liszt possessed. This changed Liszt from a virtuoso into an excellent composer..

I STRONGLY disagree with you there....u need to sort out ur musical taste...theres no comparison between them two...they are like brothers
Quote

I can't stand his Grand Galop Chromatique though.

WHAT!!?!? I  LOVE THAT PIECE!!!! how can u not like it...its a wonderful dance...i have gyorgy cziffras recording and its awesome

Offline comme_le_vent

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 792
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #22 on: April 08, 2004, 06:20:05 PM
i have it on dvd, and its evern more awesome,but its a very jolly piece, you have to be in a jolly mood  ;D
https://www.chopinmusic.net/sdc/

Great artists aim for perfection, while knowing that perfection itself is impossible, it is the driving force for them to be the best they can be - MC Hammer

Offline comme_le_vent

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 792
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #23 on: April 08, 2004, 06:22:45 PM
and i wonder, what piece was this 'just scales' piece?
https://www.chopinmusic.net/sdc/

Great artists aim for perfection, while knowing that perfection itself is impossible, it is the driving force for them to be the best they can be - MC Hammer

Offline Daevren

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 700
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #24 on: April 08, 2004, 09:18:55 PM
"I STRONGLY disagree with you there....u need to sort out ur musical taste...theres no comparison between them two...they are like brothers"

Me why? You like Grand Galop Chromatique, not me  :P

I also like Chopin and I think you can compare music the way I did. Also, if you can't compare Liszt with Chopin then what is there left to compare at all? I read bios of both of them and to me Chopin was more musical but Liszt was more intellectual so Liszt actually developed his style. From showoff virtouso to semi-genius composer.

"i was playing a Liszt Cd to a non-pianist the eother day and at the end of the song he said "gee that would have been nicer if it had a melody.  all i heard were scales.  Very impressive scales, but scales nonetheless."  "

Analyse the harmony in the scales. If its one of Liszts good works you will find out that it is quite ingenious.


Also, non-musicians can't really hook on to very complex and subtle musical expressions. I started Listening to Liszt before I tried to play the piano and I am not a pianist.

" but for a non-pianist, is there any motivation to listen? "

Its nice music!

Offline trix

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #25 on: April 08, 2004, 09:48:06 PM
A genius showoff  ;D.
Generally speaking, people suck.

Offline cziffra

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 416
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #26 on: April 11, 2004, 02:04:40 PM
i can't remember the piecewith certainty-  i think it was the water fountains of the villa deste
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline donjuan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3139
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #27 on: April 15, 2004, 01:26:50 AM
i think everyone should listen to more liszt.  NOT the virtuosic, egotistical liszt, but the sincere romanitc liszt.  

Liszt was indeed an egotistical, conceited person.  Why else do you think he would have invented the piano recital in 1840? However, he WAS aware of the public and came to know what they need to hear as an audience.  If you want to hear some of the best liszt,

I SUGGEST
"Les Preludes" (symphonic Poem)
"Reminiscences of Norma" (Opera transcription of Bellini)Consolation NO's 2 and3
Valse- Impromptu
"Funerailles" from the poetic and religious harmonies

There are many others, but you will find strong melodies in this music with not one note more than required to create a certain effect--an emotional effect within the audience.

Please don't get hung up on the showy showy-look at me--i'm so great--blahblah.. part of liszt.  He's is indeed a genius with a sense of artistry.  

I suggest you play some of Liszts later (after 1850) work to the non - pianist and get new feedback.  

FINALLY, LISZT'S MUSIC OFTEN REVOLVES AROUND A MAIN THEME SURROUNDED BY SCALES TO ENHANCE THE THEME.

Listen to "Reminiscence of Norma" and pay attention to the later melody surrounded by beautiful arpeggios sweeping up and down the keyboard.  THIS IS LISZT AT HIS BEST!  

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #28 on: April 15, 2004, 02:16:14 AM
Just to add a few more to the list of Liszt at his finest, most poetic and touching:

1. Trois (Three) Etudes de Concert - il lamento, la leggierezza, un sospiro
2. Vallee d'Obermann - Annees de pelerinage I: Suisse - No.6
3. Sonettos 47, 104, 123 del Petrarca - Annees de pelerinage II: Italie - No.4, 5, 6
4. Three Liebestraumes
5. Paysage, Ricordanza - Etudes d'execution Transcendante No.3, 9
6. Elegie Heroique - Hungarian Rhapsody 5
7. Aux cypres de la Villa d'Este - Threnodies I, II - Annees de pelerinage III - No.2, 3

Every bit of technical demand is utilised to convey the heart-felt musical ideas in these pieces.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline DarkWind

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 729
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #29 on: April 17, 2004, 06:04:51 AM
Quote
When Liszt and the Countess Marie eloped from Paris to Switzerland, Thalberg came to Paris and performed a concert.  He caused a sensation, and Liszt felt he had to return and defend his position as the champion of the piano.  With both of them in Paris, the center of the musical world at the time, tension between Liszt and Thalberg quickly mounted.  They took turns insulting each other, and the final showdown came in a salon.  Thalberg played first, then Liszt came up and played a Fantasia he had recently composed.  There was no doubt about the winner and better pianist - Liszt captivated the audience.  Thalberg's humiliation was complete and he retired from the concert platform.  He bought a small vineyard and spent the rest of his days cultivating grapes.


Actually, the score had been unsettled, and the Countess held a second competition, this time more towards composing. They had to make variations on Bellini's Puritana March. There a few other composers who wrote variations, namely Chopin. There were six in total. After all the pieces were played, there was still unrest between who should have won. But, cunning Liszt knew something like this would happen, so, he had written variations in the styles of all the other composeres as well. When he played the one in Thalberg's style, he just gaped and muttered curses. Now everyone knew who was the true virtuoso! Also, Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums, and I love piano!  :) Seems like a great community

Offline donjuan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3139
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #30 on: April 17, 2004, 07:17:55 PM
Hi DarkWind!

I'm also quite new to this forum.  it's nice to see someone as crazy about liszt as me.  I enjoyed reading your mini-essay on Liszt.  We need more people like you in the forum! ;)

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #31 on: April 17, 2004, 07:34:50 PM
Quote
Hi DarkWind!
I'm also quite new to this forum.  it's nice to see someone as crazy about liszt as me.  I enjoyed reading your mini-essay on Liszt.  We need more people like you in the forum! ;)

Hi donjuan,

Do count me in. I am a big admirer of Liszt. I am currently re-working on nine pieces by the composer. Finished packing four of them back on my fingers and memory already.:)

And if time allows I will add two or three more to the list. Actually planning for an all-Liszt recital.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline donjuan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3139
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #32 on: April 17, 2004, 09:19:51 PM
Quote

Hi donjuan,

Do count me in. I am a big admirer of Liszt. I am currently re-working on nine pieces by the composer. Finished packing four of them back on my fingers and memory already.:)

And if time allows I will add two or three more to the list. Actually planning for an all-Liszt recital.


Hi PeterHK!
Wow!! which pieces of Liszt are you playing now or are planning to play?  What is your favorite work of Liszt?  

Offline DarkWind

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 729
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #33 on: April 17, 2004, 11:09:05 PM
Although Liszt is a great, the only composer who I like more is Maurice Ravel, but, you could probably hear all his piano music in one day, whereas Liszt, it's almost impossible. So basically they're relatively tied in my roster. Anyways, at the moment, I'm practicing his Mephisto Waltz, La Campanella, and Gnomenreigen at the current moment.

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #34 on: April 17, 2004, 11:14:37 PM
Quote


Hi PeterHK!
Wow!! which pieces of Liszt are you playing now or are planning to play?  What is your favorite work of Liszt?  

Hi donjuan,

1-3: '3 Etudes de concert':
- Il lamento
- La leggierezza
- Un sospiro

4. 'Etude d'execution transcendante'
- No.6: Vision

5. 'Annees de pelerinage I - Suisse'
- No.6: Vallee d'Obermann

6-9: 'Annees de pelerinage II - Italie'
- No.4-6: Sonettos 47, 104, 123 del Petrarca
- No.7: Apres un lecture du Dante - Fantasia quasi Sonata

My most loved ones are the Vallee d'Obermann, Il lamento, Un sospiro.

But I'm thinking of adding either the Three Liebestraumes or some more etudes from the Transcendentals, most likely No.4: Mazeppa, or No.9: Ricordanza, or No.11: Harmonies du soir. These are also my very loved ones, but I've never memorised them before so extra work will be necessary here.:-/
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline thracozaag

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1311
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #35 on: April 17, 2004, 11:17:32 PM
Quote

Hi donjuan,

1-3: '3 Etudes de concert':
- Il lamento
- La leggierezza
- Un sospiro

4. 'Etude d'execution transcendante'
- No.6: Vision

5. 'Annees de pelerinage I - Suisse'
- No.6: Vallee d'Obermann

6-9: 'Annees de pelerinage II - Italie'
- No.4-6: Sonettos 47, 104, 123 del Petrarca
- No.7 Apres un lecture du Dante - Fantasia quasi Sonata

My most loved ones are the Vallee d'Obermann, Il lamento, Un sospiro.

But I'm thinking of adding either the Three Liebestraumes or some more etudes from the Transcendentals, most likely No.4: Mazeppa, or No.9: Ricordanza, or No.11: Harmonies du soir. These are also my very loved ones, but I've never memorised them before so extra work will be necessary here.:-/


 What a wonderful program!  I was trying to convince my friend of doing an all-Liszt program of the B-minor ballade, Dante, first half and the B minor sonata 2nd half.
 Vallee D'obermann is one of my favorite pieces as well, I especially enjoy playing the Horowitz version (with some, eh "modifications" of my own, heh.)

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #36 on: April 18, 2004, 12:08:26 AM
Hey koji,

Well the B minor Sonata is most definitely my loved one but the massive length and structure of the work frightens me even to this moment, let alone technical demands. I would still need to pack up some guts to break it down and seriously work on it - and I know I will, because that is one heart-felt monument.

On La leggierezza there is a section where the right hand is divided into two versions - the normal version and the ossia version. Curiously it is the ossia that I hear everybody play in recordings and recitals. I am using the normal version. Has anybody got any idea what is going on here - which one is the authentic, or did Liszt deliberately write two variants?
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline thracozaag

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1311
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #37 on: April 18, 2004, 08:24:00 PM
Quote
Hey koji,

Well the B minor Sonata is most definitely my loved one but the massive length and structure of the work frightens me even to this moment, let alone technical demands. I would still need to pack up some guts to break it down and seriously work on it - and I know I will, because that is one heart-felt monument.

On La leggierezza there is a section where the right hand is divided into two versions - the normal version and the ossia version. Curiously it is the ossia that I hear everybody play in recordings and recitals. I am using the normal version. Has anybody got anty idea what is going on here - which one is the authentic, or did Liszt deliberately write two variants?


 I understand your trepidation regarding the Sonata.  It is, indeed, arguably the greatest single large-scale piece written for the piano, ever.  I keep meaning to learn it at some point...in fact encouraged by fellow pianists.."while you still have your octaves" :P
 As far as La leggierezza, I'm really not sure who is responsible for the variant (I much prefer the thirds, but it is, of course, quite a bit more difficult than the other version).  There's also a nice coda that two pianists in particular, Moiseiwitsch and Barere, play.  The Moiseiwitsch coda he probably picked up from his studies with Leschetizky.

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #38 on: April 18, 2004, 09:00:54 PM
Hi koji,
Interesting! I think - maybe for an encore - I should also try work on the version in thirds, which is difficult in another way. But the normal version is by no means easy, especially with those frequent 3 versus 7 or 3 versus 8 figures . . .:-/
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline dj

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #39 on: April 20, 2004, 06:11:13 AM
just an interesting note on the subject of the value of liszt's music: horowitz often would modify the music of liszt in his performances, while i don't think he ever took such measures with the music of chopin....correct me if you have information that shows otherwise, but i would speculate that this may have been because horowitz found liszt's music to be somewhat lacking in depth or texture or something....just a thought

-david joe
rach on!

Offline DarkWind

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 729
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #40 on: April 20, 2004, 06:19:57 AM
If he thought the piece lacked depth, he would have never taken the time to play it in the first place.

Offline dj

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #41 on: April 20, 2004, 06:52:11 AM
Quote
If he thought the piece lacked depth, he would have never taken the time to play it in the first place.


well that....or he woulda modified it to give it more depth :)
rach on!

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #42 on: April 20, 2004, 08:36:00 AM
Quote
well that....or he woulda modified it to give it more depth :)

I would hesitate on that. I am not for the practice of tampering with the score, not because he was Horowitz that I don't admire in general, but because such practice is a disrespect to the original composer.

At least I wouldn't call a Horowitz-modified Liszt piece a piece by Liszt, but rather by Liszt-Horowitz. Like the piano arrangement of the Chaconne by Bach-Busoni.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline eViLben

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 34
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #43 on: April 20, 2004, 02:31:55 PM
I think there are two Liszt, the show-offy one, and the poet.

actually i do find that there are more show-offy pieces than poetic ones.
i can't bear the "Grand galop chromatic", "preludio", some of the transcandental etudes, la campanella .... (wouhou some people are going to kill me) and even his first piano concerto (some parts at least)
but i must admit that pieces like "Funérailles", Vision, sonata in b minor, jeux d'eau à la villa d'este, au bord d'une source, and even his second Polonaise are true masterpieces i can't stop to listen to.
to put it in a nutshell, i love the serious Liszt, but i hate the show-offy one.
" Je ne suis vraiment moi-même que dans la musique. La musique suffit à une vie entière. Mais une vie entière ne suffit pas à la musique."
S.R.

Offline thracozaag

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1311
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #44 on: April 20, 2004, 04:14:02 PM
Quote
just an interesting note on the subject of the value of liszt's music: horowitz often would modify the music of liszt in his performances, while i don't think he ever took such measures with the music of chopin....correct me if you have information that shows otherwise, but i would speculate that this may have been because horowitz found liszt's music to be somewhat lacking in depth or texture or something....just a thought

-david joe


 He (and pianists of the golden age) made textual changes in music from Bach to Mussorgsky.  In this puritannical age however, such things are sadly frowned upon.

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline ted

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3986
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #45 on: April 21, 2004, 05:30:26 AM
Whatever else Liszt or his music was or was not, he was certainly one of the most unconditionally generous musicians there has ever been, considering his fame and wealth. He dispensed in charity much of the vast fortune he earned, he gave free lessons to anybody (imagine today's virtuosi doing that !) and perhaps most importantly of all he generously encouraged and promoted Grieg, Faure, Wagner, Berlioz and many others.

It seems, from most biographies, that his old age was not happy. He drank, was not treated well by his daughter and was the subject of envious derision by people who should have known much better, e.g. Clara Schumann. His last works, which uncannily foreshadow twentieth century music's direction were not taken seriously.  

I cannot help seeing a parallel with Waller, in a different idiom, a few decades later. The public wanted to see an empty, womanising showman with Liszt and a drunken clown with Waller. Both judgements are ludicrously wide of the mark, but these spectres still haunt our objective thinking today.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce

Offline donjuan

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3139
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #46 on: April 21, 2004, 05:50:15 AM
Hi Ted,
I once read that Liszt refused to give Lessons to anybody except those who came to him already proficient in technique and theory.  Perhaps you have been watching too much "Liszt's Rhapsody"?...

Liszt was known for his massive ego.  Why else did he invent the Piano Recital in 1840? In his mind, everyone loved him.  I know he worked with Grieg, Chopin and others on composition, but I didn't think he gave money to charities.  

Where did you get your information?  Please dont tell me you read it off some Crappy Geocities site...
donjuan

Offline DarkWind

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 729
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #47 on: April 21, 2004, 06:30:02 AM
I once read that a pianist was in this city, forget which one, giving a recital, claiming herself as a pupil of Liszt, though she was not. Then she found out Liszt was in town, and panicked, so she went and told Liszt what she was doing. So, Liszt told her to play the pieces she was gonna play, watched her, and gave her some advice. Then, just before she left, he said, "Now you are a pupil of Liszt." Pretty nice anecdote, no? :)

Offline trunks

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #48 on: April 21, 2004, 09:16:07 AM
Hi DarkWind,
Yes that anecdote also appeared in my junior school textbook!
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline ted

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3986
Re: LISZT: Showoff or Genius?
Reply #49 on: April 21, 2004, 11:22:17 PM
Donjuan:

One reference to Liszt's charity is from Percy Scholes in the Oxford Companion to music.

Clara Schumann's diaries contain several small-minded comments about Liszt. These are published in a number of books about her.

I read about his old age in a biography I borrowed from the local library some years ago and I cannot remember the author. It was actually a pretty good, down to earth one. I might see if it's still there.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert