Biography of Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Composer and Hungarian pianist who was born in Raiding and died in Bayreuth. His father, a farm foreman who possessed knowledge of music, taught her son the principles of piano. When he was only nine years old, he made his first appearance at Oedenburg, and made a great impression on the Hungarian nobility who helped him financially so that he could continue his studies.

Franz Liszt.

He moved to Vienna, where he studied piano with Czerny and Salieri and Randhartinger harmonica. He later studied in Paris and gave some concerts in Western Europe and England. In 1827, after the death of his father, he decided to devote himself to teaching, in order to be able to support his family. He continued, also with his concert career and soon improved their economic situation. He traveled to Paris and met several musicians and famous writers, among them: Chopin, Weber, Paganini, Berlioz, Victor Hugo, Lamartine and George Sand. He began a relationship with the Countess D'Agoult, married woman, several years older than him, who wrote several books under the pseudonym of Daniel Satern. From this union were born four children; his daughter minor, Cosima, was the wife of Von Bülow first and then Richard Wagner.

He gave concerts in major cities and won large sums of money. He helped the young musicians of talent, he gave money to make could end in Bonn the monument to Beethoven, which had suspended works for economic difficulties.In 1849 he was appointed director of the opera of the Court in Weimar and unveiled the works of many of his contemporaries. In this city he wrote most of his compositions, encouraged and helped by the Princess Karoline Sayn-Wittgenstein. It became the most famous pianist in the world.

In 1861 he moved to Rome, where he taught piano and began to compose sacred music, devoting most of his compositions to religious themes. In 1865 he was appointed director of the Budapest Academy of music. He died in 1886 in Bayreuth, where he had been transferred to visit his daughter Cosima and take part in a festival.

Their production can be divided into three groups of works: piano, Orchestra and sacred music. Liszt was above all a great pianist, and from 1834, entrusted to the single voice of the piano evoking pictures and landscapes, the commentary of literary texts, and animation symbols. The poetic and religious harmonies are inspired in lamartiniana. He wrote other works aimed at the virtuosity: studies of transcendental execution, in 1838; three large studies for concert, in 1848; the studies called Ab irato. He also made some transcriptions of famous particles and bright paraphrase of the operas of fashion. Two concertos for piano and Orchestra in 1849; The sonata in b minor, in 1853; The legends of San Francisco of Assisi and San Francisco de Paula; Fantasia on the name Bach; Spanish Rhapsody; Nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies; Chromatic Gallop; Valses-caprichos; Dream of love; ballads Berceuse, Elegies, and appearances.

Franz Liszt. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

The orchestral works are another paragraph: twelve symphonic poems preludes, Mazeppa, etc., symphonies with Choir: Faust, Dante, etc., and a final group, which includes the works that require a more orchestral as the Mefistovals and numerous arrangements virtuosity: Divertimento to the Hungarian, marches of the Schubert and Rakoczy March.

From 1855, the religious music dominates his activity of composer, with masses and oratorios: mass of great, mass of the Hungarian coronation, several Psalms and cantatas, a requiem, and for organ, one mass pro body. Two chapels: the legend of Santa Elisabet and Christus.

As pianist is one of the largest in the world. Chopin, his contemporary and friend, acknowledged that it could not compete with the in force of attraction, for not having the necessary physical strength to achieve the spirited highlights of interpretations of his colleague. He contributed mightily to the Romantic movement of the 19th century, invented the symphonic poem. His most important contribution was having widened the harmonic language and tonality, and have been prepared in this way, the evolution of the language of numerous composers of the 20th century.

Franz Liszt. Au bord d'une source, s. 160 No. 4.

Links on the Internet ; Web page of Franz Liszt. ; Page of the society SLKE (Liszt-Kodály society in Spain) where you can find information of those two composers in Spanish.