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: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4 / Cooke, Drake
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68117   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Piano Sonata In B Minor, Funérailles / Arnaldo Cohen
Release Date: 10/26/2004   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1253   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Les Preludes, Orpheus… / Fruhbeck de Burgos
Release Date: 03/27/2001   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1117   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Totentanz, Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Cohen, Neschling, Săo Paulo State SO
Release Date: 08/28/2007   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1530   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt, Ravel, Saint-saens / Yevgeny Sudbin
Release Date: 11/27/2012   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1828   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178

Browse 1-25 of 204 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rachmaninoff & Liszt: Piano Sonatas / Krausz
    Label: Budapest Music Center/Bmc (Hungary)   Catalog: 223 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Adrienne Krausz
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  • 2.
    Liszt & Schumann: Duels / Ghriachy
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72698 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Simon Ghraichy
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  • 3.
    Liszt: Poetic Fantasies
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2113 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sergio Gallo
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  • 4.
    Alfred Brendel: Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434302 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 114
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Imogen Cooper,  Sylvia McNair,  Eduard Brunner  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bernard Haitink,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $296.49
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  • 5.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $312.49
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  • 6.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $72.49
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  • 7.
    Liszt: Sonata In B Minor; Petrach Sonnets; Variations On Weinen, Klangen, Sorgen, Zagen
    Label: Malachite Music   Catalog: 40993 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Maria Razumovskaya
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  • 8.
    Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings (1966-1983)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 305458 Release Date: 10/23/2015   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 9.
    Liszt: Sonata in B Minor; Dante Sonata / Jorge Bolet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002386702 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
    CD: $6.99
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  • 10.
    Liszt - Le Piano De Demain / Roger Muraro
    Label: La Dolce Volta   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Roger Muraro
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  • 11.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt / Manfred Reuthe
    Label: Bella Musica   Catalog: 312462 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Manfred Reuthe
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  • 13.
    Vera Vaidman Plays Liszt & Bach
    Label: Roméo Records   Catalog: 7314 Release Date: 05/05/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Vera Vaidman
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  • 14.
    111 - The Piano - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002281002 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Géza Anda,  Martha Argerich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $162.49
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  • 15.
    Ivo Pogorelich - Complete Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002265002 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Ivo Pogorelich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $55.49
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  • 16.
    Liszt: Piano Sonata, Dante Sonata, Petrarch Sonnets / Hewitt
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68067 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Angela Hewitt
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  • 17.
    Liszt: Sonata In B Minor; Grandes Etudes De Paganini / Lazaridis
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 282 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  George-Emmanuel Lazaridis
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  • 18.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings
    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  ... 
    On sale! $167.98
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  • 19.
    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  ... 
    CD: $168.49
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    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
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  • 25.
    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
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