It was Franz Liszt‘s 200th birthday yesterday. So it is quite appropriate to listen to some of his music today, I think. He was born in Raiding/Burgenland (at the time of his birth Doborán, Hungary, crownland of the old Austrian Empire). History has it, that Mr. Liszt was – apart from being a virtuoso on the piano and a remarkable composer – a womanizer of sorts and a good looking fellow. I think his music is one of the darker, heavier sort. I do like his Love Dream. But most his Les Preludes. Quote Liszt himself about this piece of music: “Was anderes ist unser Leben, als eine Reihenfolge von Präludien zu jenem unbekannten Gesang, dessen erste und feierliche Note der Tod anstimmt …”
Les Preludes, London Festival Orchestra-Alfred Scholz
But also amazing is young Khatia Buniatishvili’s interpretation of Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz.
Khatia Buniatishvili, Franz Liszt, Mephisto waltz
And here two images of the creator, one in younger years, the perfect beau, one as an old man. Not much change in hairstyle, but else… However, it is said, without his later work, there would be no dodecaphonism, no modernism in classical music.
Also funny: last evening, Franz Liszt was called a German composer on television. Yeah, and Beethoven is Austrian.