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Franz Liszt

Biography

Born: 1811   Died: 1886   Country: Hungary   Period: Romantic
Liszt was the only contemporary whose music Richard Wagner gratefully acknowledged as an influence upon his own. His lasting fame was an alchemy of extraordinary digital ability -- the greatest in the history of keyboard playing -- an unmatched instinct for showmanship, and one of the most progressive musical imaginations of his time. Hailed by some as a visionary, reviled by others as a symbol of empty Romantic excess, Franz Liszt wrote his name Read more across music history in a truly inimitable manner.

From his youth, Liszt demonstrated a natural facility at the keyboard that placed him among the top performing prodigies of his day. Though contemporary accounts describe his improvisational skill as dazzling, his talent as a composer emerged only in his adulthood. Still, he was at the age of eleven the youngest contributor to publisher Anton Diabelli's famous variation commissioning project, best remembered as the inspiration for Beethoven's final piano masterpiece. An oft-repeated anecdote -- first recounted by Liszt himself decades later, and possibly fanciful -- has Beethoven attending a recital given by the youngster and bestowing a kiss of benediction upon him.

Though already a veteran of the stage by his teens, Liszt recognized the necessity of further musical tuition. He studied for a time with Czerny and Salieri in Vienna, and later sought acceptance to the Paris Conservatory. When he was turned down there -- foreigners were not then admitted -- he instead studied privately with Anton Reicha. Ultimately, his Hungarian origins proved a great asset to his career, enhancing his aura of mystery and exoticism and inspiring an extensive body of works, none more famous than the Hungarian Rhapsodies (1846-1885).

Liszt soon became a prominent figure in Parisian society, his romantic entanglements providing much material for gossip. Still, not even the juiciest accounts of his amorous exploits could compete with the stories about his wizardry at the keyboard. Inspired by the superhuman technique -- and, indeed, diabolical stage presence -- of the violinist Paganini, Liszt set out to translate these qualities to the piano. As his career as a touring performer, conductor, and teacher burgeoned, he began to devote an increasing amount of time to composition. He wrote most of his hundreds of original piano works for his own use; accordingly, they are frequently characterized by technical demands that push performers -- and in Liszt's own day, the instrument itself -- to their limits. The "transcendence" of his Transcendental Etudes (1851), for example, is not a reference to the writings of Emerson and Thoreau, but an indication of the works' level of difficulty. Liszt was well into his thirties before he mastered the rudiments of orchestration -- works like the Piano Concerto No. 1 (1849) were orchestrated by talented students -- but made up for lost time in the production of two "literary" symphonies (Faust, 1854-1857, and Dante, 1855-1856) and a series of orchestral essays (including Les préludes, 1848-1854) that marks the genesis of the tone poem as a distinct genre.

After a lifetime of near-constant sensation, Liszt settled down somewhat in his later years. In his final decade he joined the Catholic Church and devoted much of his creative effort to the production of sacred works. The complexion of his music darkened; the flash that had characterized his previous efforts gave way to a peculiar introspection, manifested in strikingly original, forward-looking efforts like Nuages gris (1881). Liszt died in Bayreuth, Germany, on July 31, 1886, having outlived Wagner, his son-in-law and greatest creative beneficiary. Read less
Liszt: Duo Sonata On Polish Themes
Release Date: 12/09/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573145   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Complete Piano Music Vol 13 / Jenö Jandó
Release Date: 10/26/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554481   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Complete Piano Music Vol 1 / Arnaldo Cohen
Release Date: 06/10/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553852   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Liszt: Piano Concerto No 1
Release Date: 09/30/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570716   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Transcriptions And Arrangements  / Soyeon Kate Lee
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572589   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178

Browse 1-25 of 223 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings [51-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236002 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mikhail Kopelman,  Valentin Berlinsky,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Kurt Sanderling,  Witold Rowicki,  János Ferencsik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moragues Woodwind Quintet members,  Borodin String Quartet,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $160.49
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  • 2.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
    CD: $111.99
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  • 3.
    Annie Fischer Essential Collection
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32730 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Ervin Lukács
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 4.
    Ernst Levy Vol. 4 - Forgotten Genius - Unpublished Concert And Studio Recordings
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52072 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Ernst Levy
    CD: $36.99
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  • 5.
    Liszt: Sonata In B Minor / Paul Lewis
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 951845 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Paul Lewis
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  • 6.
    The Three Great Pianist Composers, Vol. 3: Franz Liszt / Angela Brownridge
    Label: Cameo Classics   Catalog: 9030 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Angela Brownridge
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 7.
    Franz Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Sonata In B Minor
    Label: Doron Music   Catalog: 4025 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    On sale! $15.98
    CD: $13.99
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  • 8.
    Liszt: Piano Sonata; 8 Etudes D'execution Trancedante; Aux Cypres De La Villa D'este; Threnody 1; Hungarian Rhapsody No. 17; Valse Oublee No. 3
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350078 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    On sale! $26.98
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  • 9.
    Annie Fischer - The Centennial Collection
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 41011 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Heribert Esser,  Ervin Lukács
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $48.99
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  • 10.
    Journeys Of The Soul - From Bach To Balakirev / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638269058 Release Date: 04/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Ravel,  Franz Liszt,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
    CD: $24.99
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  • 11.
    Superstar!: Music Of Franz Liszt / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267244 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
    CD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    Schumann, Liszt: Romantic Sonatas
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2145 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Lazar Berman
    CD: $18.99
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  • 13.
    Vladimir Horowitz Plays Great Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7884092 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
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  • 14.
    Carnegie Recital / Daniil Trifonov
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001989102 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Nikolai Medtner
    Performer:  Daniil Trifonov
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  • 15.
    Icon: Witold Malcuzynski - The Polish Master Pianist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 924428 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Witold Malcuzynski
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Paul Kletzki,  Fritz Rieger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 16.
    Liszt - Solo Recordings / Claudio Arrau
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001225941 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    On sale! $44.99
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    $37.99
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  • 17.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 18.
    Romantic Sonatas / Boris Giltburg
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100035 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Boris Giltburg
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  • 19.
    Yojo, 17: Piano
    Label: Tyx Art   Catalog: 13028 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Klaus Caspers,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yojo
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 21.
    Grieg, Liszt, Mozart: Piano Sonatas In Concert, 1971
    Label: First Hand Records   Catalog: 19 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Edvard Grieg,  Paul Pabst,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 22.
    Liszt: Piano Sonata; Petrarch Sonnets; Mephisto-waltz; La Campanella
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100031 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Alexei Grynyuk
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  • 23.
    Liszt: Sonata In B Minor; Petrarch Sonnets; Granados: El Amor Y La Muerte
    Label: Odradek   Catalog: 303 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Enrique Granados
    Performer:  Domenico Codispoti
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Liszt: Piano Sonata In B Minor / Vardan Mamikonian
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 730 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Vardan Mamikonian
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Alfred Cortot: Anniversary Edition
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 4907 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Cortot,  Pablo Casals,  Jacques Thibaud,  Charles Panzera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  International String Quartet
    On sale! $150.98
    CD: $115.99
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