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: Les Preludes, Orpheus… / Fruhbeck de Burgos
Release Date: 03/27/2001   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1117   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: The Complete Wagner & Verdi Transcriptions / Michele Campanella
Release Date: 03/26/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94610   Number of Discs: 3
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The Russian Archives - Evgeny Kissin Plays Chopin & Liszt
Release Date: 06/26/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94397   Number of Discs: 3
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Liszt: Sonata In B Minor / Paul Lewis
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 951845   Number of Discs: 1
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The Three Great Pianist Composers, Vol. 3: Franz Liszt / Angela Brownridge
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Cameo Classics  
Catalog: 9030   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Mephisto Waltz no 1 (Piano)

Browse 51-75 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    19th Century Masterpieces
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98317 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Paul Dukas,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Aldo Ciccolini,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Ormandy,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    Lisztomagia - Piano Works By Franz Liszt / Caroline Fischer
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 89147 Release Date: 11/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Caroline Fischer
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  • 53.
    Liszt: Piano Works / Jeffrey Swann
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 245 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Jeffrey Swann
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  • 54.
    The Devil's Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578085-86 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Robert Schumann,  György Ligeti,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Idil Biret,  Laurent Martin,  Ashley Wass  ... 
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel,  Johannes Wildner,  Alfred Walter,  Christian Benda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Van Cliburn In Moscow Vol 5
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4456 Release Date: 09/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Alexander Scriabin,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
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  • 56.
    Legendary Russian Pianists
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9014 Release Date: 06/02/2009   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Kerer,  Konstantin Igumnov,  Yakov Flier,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Gauk,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  David Oistrakh,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  USSR Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Busoni: Piano Transcriptions / Holger Groschopp
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7015 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni,  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Holger Groschopp,  Ferruccio Busoni
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  • 58.
    Wolfgang Leibnitz Plays Liszt - Sonata In B Minor, Mephisto Waltz No 1, Etc
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1260 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Wolfgang Leibnitz
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  • 59.
    Ken Cowan Plays Romantic Masterworks - Liszt, Karg-elert, Reger, Reubke
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 903 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Max Reger,  Julius Reubke
    Performer:  Ken Cowan
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  • 60.
    Stephen Hough In Recital
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67686 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
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  • 61.
    Bryan Verhoye, Pianist
    Label: Bryan Verhoye   Catalog: 5637236500 Release Date: 03/09/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Enrique Granados  ... 
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  • 62.
    Encore - Liszt: Sonata In B Minor, Paganini Etudes, Etc / Agustin Anievas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35732 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Agustin Anievas
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  • 63.
    East West Encounter Vol 1 / Susan Chan
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1245 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ning-chi Chen,  Alexina Louie,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Chan
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  • 64.
    Great Interpreters Play Liszt
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93786 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Lazar Berman,  Alfred Brendel,  Emil Gilels,  Klára Würtz  ... 
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  • 65.
    Alfred Brendel - The Complete Vox, Turnabout & Vanguard Solo Recordings
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93761 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Walter Klien
    Conductor:  Antonio Janigro,  Paul Angerer,  Willfried Boettcher,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti di Zagreb,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Revolutionary / Cameron Carpenter  (Bonus Dvd)
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80711 Release Date: 09/23/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Cameron Carpenter,  Vladimir Horowitz,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Cameron Carpenter
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  • 67.
    Liszt: Sonata In B Minor, Etc / Claudio Arrau
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422060 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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  • 68.
    Night Pieces - Schumann, Liszt, Ravel, Chopin, Debussy, Holliger, Etc / Holtmann
    Label: Musicaphon   Catalog: 56904 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  Frank Martin,  Heinz Holliger,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Heidrun Holtmann
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  • 69.
    The Celebrated New York Concerts Vol 3 - Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Etc / Mordecai Shehori
    Label: Cembal D'amour   Catalog: 133 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mordecai Shehori
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  • 70.
    John Ogdon Plays Liszt
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 76429 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  John Ogdon
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  • 71.
    Liszt: Piano Concerto No 1 & 2, Etc / Bolet, Zinman, Et Al
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 72.
    Colors - Schumann: Carnaval;  Liszt / Daniel Pollack
    Label: Rcm   Catalog: 12007 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Daniel Pollack
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  • 73.
    Wild About Liszt / Earl Wild
    Label: Ivory Classics   Catalog: 77777 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Earl Wild
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  • 74.
    Liszt: Complete Piano Music Vol 24 / Giuseppe Andaloro
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557814 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Giuseppe Andaloro
    CD: $9.99
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  • 75.
    Waltzes And Polkas - Grunfeld, Liszt, Et Al / Soucek
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 204 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Grünfeld,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Matthias Soucek,  György Cziffra
    On sale! $33.98
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