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 at the Opera / Louis Lortie
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10793   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt, Mendelssohn, Clementi: Music For Piano & Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 9028   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach: Original Works And Transcriptions By Franz Liszt / Schmidt
Release Date: 05/31/2011   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 11025   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: The Complete Annees De Pelerinage / Louis Lortie
Release Date: 03/29/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10662   Number of Discs: 2
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Yoonie Han - Works By Granados, Haydn, Liszt, Bach-Busoni, Albeniz-Godowsky
Release Date: 07/09/2013   Label: Victor Elmaleh Collection  
Catalog: 105   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Mephisto Waltz no 1 (Piano)

Browse 1-25 of 116 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Dramatic Visions - Beethoven, Prokofiev, Schubert, Wagner, Liszt / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638268175 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
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  • 2.
    John Ogdon - The Complete Rca Album Collection
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 1222573 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Mennin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Charles Valentin Alkan  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Igor Buketoff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    William Kapell - Complete Recordings 1944-1953
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5431362 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Jascha Heifetz,  William Primrose,  Edmund Kurtz
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Fritz Reiner,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    James Brawn In Recital
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1501 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  James Brawn
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  • 5.
    Stephen Hough - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 940229 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Benjamin Britten,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Hough,  Ronan O'Hora
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson,  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Great Pianists - Legendary Recordings from Arrau, Cherkassky, Cziffra, Gilels, Katchen
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5114 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Claudio Arrau,  Julius Katchen,  György Cziffra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Depictions - Liszt / Warren Mailley-smith
    Label: Sleeveless   Catalog: 1005 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Warren Mailley-Smith
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  • 8.
    Liszt, Vol. 2 / Garrick Ohlsson
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9409 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson
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  • 9.
    Wilde Plays Liszt
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34118 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  David Wilde
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  • 10.
    Moura Lympany - The Hmv Recordings, 1947-1952
    Label: Apr   Catalog: 6011 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Moura Lympany
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Herbert Menges,  Walter Susskind
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  • 11.
    Label: David Wasser Records   Catalog: 5637600937 Release Date: 07/20/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  David Wasser
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 14.
    James Adler & Friends
    Label: Ravello   Catalog: 7871 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leo Ornstein,  James Adler,  Paul Turok,  Seth Bedford  ... 
    Performer:  James Adler,  Jordan P. Smith,  Malcolm J. Merriweather
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  • 15.
    Fiorentino Edition Vol 2 - The Complete Liszt Recordings
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 41 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sergio Fiorentino
    CD: $32.49
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  • 16.
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 267 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Dmitri Vorobiev
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  • 17.
    Murray Perahia - The First 40 Years
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 191256 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Murray Perahia,  Michael Cox,  Leonore Smith,  Kenneth Sillito  ... 
    Conductor:  Murray Perahia,  Bernard Haitink,  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Amadeus String Quartet members  ... 
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  • 18.
    Visions Of Liszt
    Label: Cambria   Catalog: 1206 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Rufus Choi
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  • 19.
    Icon - John Ogdon
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 4637 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Paul Dukas,  Henri Dutilleux,  Florent Schmitt,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lawrence Foster,  Paavo Berglund,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    Live In Warsaw - Evgeni Bozhanov Plays Chopin, Schubert, Debussy, Scriabin, Liszt
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12015 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeni Bozhanov
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  • 21.
    Franz Liszt - Dedicated To The 200th Anniversary
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001911 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Lazar Berman,  Vladimir Ovchinikov,  Gleb Akselrod  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Mark Ermler
    CD: $29.99
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  • 22.
    Liszt: Transcendental Etudes; Hungarian Rhapsodies / Georges Cziffra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55962 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  György Cziffra
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  • 23.
    Prokofiev: Sonata No 6; Saint-Saens, Liszt / Behzod Abduraimov
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001669702 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Behzod Abduraimov
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  • 24.
    Beethoven/Liszt: Symphonies 4 & 5, Mephisto Waltzes / Cyprien Katsaris
    Label: Piano Classics   Catalog: 25 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 25.
    Fever - Liszt / Claire Chevallier
    Label: La Dolce Volta   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claire Chevallier
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