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 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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Berlioz/Liszt: Harold In Italy / Stumm, Pridgen
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Orchid Classics  
Catalog: 100044   Number of Discs: 1
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Wanderer - Schubert, Liszt / Luiza Borac
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2061   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: B-a-c-h Variations, Piano Sonata / Markus Groh
Release Date: 05/09/2006   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2097   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Hungarian Rhapsody no 2 in C sharp minor

Browse 1-25 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies / Artur Pizarro
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: BRI93276 Release Date: 01/01/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Artur Pizarro
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  • 2.
    Fireworks! - Scarlatti, Brahms, Debussy, Liszt / Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267125 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
    CD: $24.99
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  • 3.
    John Ogdon - The Complete Rca Album Collection
    Label: Rca   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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  • 4.
    Orient Express
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 233800 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Antonín Dvorák,  Joseph Achron,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Take Four Guitar Quartet
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  • 5.
    Great Moments: Horowitz Live At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 376860 Release Date: 11/11/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  George Szell
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  • 6.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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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: The Piano Concertos, Hungarian Rhapsodies / Freire, Pizarro
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300540 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Nelson Freire,  Artur Pizarro
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22367 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
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  • 10.
    Schubert, Bach, Liszt / Simon Trpceski
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 58 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Simon Trpceski
    CD: $18.49
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  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    Von Ungarischer Und Judischer Seele
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 98955 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Perlman,  Jenö Hubay,  Joseph Achron,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Edan
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  • 13.
    The Romantic Piano: A View From Sienna
    Label: Dal Segno   Catalog: 40 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
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  • 14.
    Wilhelm Backhaus - The Virtuoso
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12052 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Riccardo Pick-Mangiagalli,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 15.
    Solo Piano Works / Shura Cherkassky
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 17330 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Josef Hofmann  ... 
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
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  • 16.
    Lang Lang - Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001697972 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Guo-Ren Lang,  Wu Yuxia,  Chen Shasha  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Valery Gergiev,  Long Yu,  Christoph Eschenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China  ... 
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  • 17.
    Masterpieces Of Piano
    Label: Domo Records   Catalog: 73179 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Fujiko Hemming
    Conductor:  Heiko Mathias Förster
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 18.
    The Very Best Of Lang Lang
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1006752 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach,  Zubin Mehta,  Valery Gergiev,  Daniel Barenboim
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 19.
    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
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  • 20.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $27.99
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  • 21.
    Liszt: Hungarian Dances / Georges Cziffra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6787082 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  György Cziffra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    Moritz Rosenthal - The Complete Recordings
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 7503 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Moritz Rosenthal,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Moritz Rosenthal
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  • 23.
    Horowitz: 25th Anniversay Of His American Debut
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0143 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin,  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
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  • 24.
    Liszt - Un Portrait / Guillaume Coppola
    Label: Eloquentia   Catalog: 1130 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Guillaume Coppola
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 25.
    Tunes From Toons / United States Military Bands
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT55922 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  William [Tenor Vocal] Jones
    Conductor:  Ralph M. Gambone,  Albert Schoepper,  Larry H. Lang,  William F. Santelmann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Navy Band,  United States Marine Band,  United States Air Force Heritage of America Band
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