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#2160760 - 10/02/13 07:52 AM Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Hi Everyone,

I am wondering if this date coming up has any special significance for anyone here or if it is just another date on the calendar.

Last year I wrote a piano composition for Liszt to celebrate his birthday and which conveyed my impression of his fatherly, compassionate and otherworldly nature. I'm not sure if I'll do it again this year or not - or perhaps just notate a 2nd version of last year's composition for Liszt with added material and development.

Composition requires confidence in what is doing, or doing it in spite of a lack of confidence, and there are ebbs and flows of this state of mind.


M.

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#2160803 - 10/02/13 10:47 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Derek Hartwell Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Sayers
Hi Everyone,

I am wondering if this date coming up has any special significance for anyone here or if it is just another date on the calendar.

Last year I wrote a piano composition for Liszt to celebrate his birthday and which conveyed my impression of his fatherly, compassionate and otherworldly nature. I'm not sure if I'll do it again this year or not - or perhaps just notate a 2nd version of last year's composition for Liszt with added material and development.

Composition requires confidence in what is doing, or doing it in spite of a lack of confidence, and there are ebbs and flows of this state of mind.


M.

It IS a significant date. Liszt is one of my favourite composers and as a member of the Liszt Society I shall be attending the Liszt Society Annual Day in London on 9th November when the Liszt Society Piano Prize will be awarded after competition. Details of this and other activities/events together with news and publications on the website:
www.lisztsoc.org.uk
rk


Music Teacher (Piano/Theory/Musicianship)
#2161107 - 10/03/13 08:48 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Derek Hartwell]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Hi Derek,

I don't have any favourite composers but Liszt's music does seem to be closest to my heart in terms of both my feeling for life and my inner sense of being.

I just found this interesting recording by pianist David Bradshaw of Liszt's La Leggierezza with Leschetizky's cadenza ending. I think it might be from a live performance in 1976:



There also is this recording on youtube with him in Liszt's two-piano version of the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody:



And for a little bit more Lisztian enthusiasm here is a link from another post which is of Liszt's music being played on his 1873 Steingraeber. This is a recording I heard for the first time this morning. In it Andrea Bonatta gets almost as high a quality tone as Nyiregyhazi does in En Reve and Abschied on the Desmar LP but Nyiregyhazi did not need a piano from the 1800s to get that kind of sound. Keith Kerman posted that this piano was owned by Cosima and still is in the family which I assume means that it is in Bayreuth:




M.

#2161180 - 10/03/13 12:11 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Derek Hartwell Offline
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Thanks, Michael, for posting those recordings which are very interesting.
Although the piano playing is beyond any criticism from me, I do have to say how I dislike the piano SOUND on the first of the three 'La Leggierezza': the 'empty hall' sound! I wonder if that has been added digitally by the recording engineers ?
Best wishes.
rk


Music Teacher (Piano/Theory/Musicianship)
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#2161195 - 10/03/13 12:42 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Derek Hartwell]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Michael Sayers  Offline
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Originally Posted by Derek Hartwell
Thanks, Michael, for posting those recordings which are very interesting.
Although the piano playing is beyond any criticism from me, I do have to say how I dislike the piano SOUND on the first of the three 'La Leggierezza': the 'empty hall' sound! I wonder if that has been added digitally by the recording engineers ?
Best wishes.
rk

Hi Derek,

You have good ears! I think you may be right regarding the David Bradshaw La Leggierezza recording. The hall sound, if that is what is on the recording, seems colourless. I kept thinking to myself, "that is a terrible sounding hall"!


M.

#2161582 - 10/04/13 05:39 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Derek Hartwell Offline
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Thanks for the com(pli)ment, Michael!
However, I don't have absolute pitch. frown
Nevertheless, the sound very much reminds me of the characteristic sound of recordings on the now defunct 'Nimbus' label. It was, I believe, deliberately engineered and I dislike it.
Best wishes.
rk


Music Teacher (Piano/Theory/Musicianship)
#2164886 - 10/11/13 01:33 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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I celebrated the year of the maestro's 200th birthday listening to all 99 of Leslie Howard's disks. Since I commute an hour each way to work, this was an enjoyable way to pay honor on his anniversary. Truly amazing the depth and breadth of his collection.

Last edited by HerrLiszt; 10/11/13 01:34 PM.
#2164921 - 10/11/13 03:17 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: HerrLiszt]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Originally Posted by HerrLiszt
I celebrated the year of the maestro's 200th birthday listening to all 99 of Leslie Howard's disks. Since I commute an hour each way to work, this was an enjoyable way to pay honor on his anniversary. Truly amazing the depth and breadth of his collection.

That is a lot of lis(z)tening! The only other comparable project with Liszt's piano music I know of was Gunnar Johansen's, and of course Liszt piano works have been discovered since then which Leslie Howard was able to record.

I am glad we are getting a good warm up to Liszt's birthday.

Pianist Ivan Davis for some reason doesn't seem very well known but I personally feel that his debut recording - all Liszt - has many interesting things:



And also on youtube is this recording of him as piano soloist with Eugene Ormandy conducting in Liszt's Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies:




M.

#2164998 - 10/11/13 06:51 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Seems a good place to ask this: has anyone seen the film "Song Without End"? I've been watching a couple of old Hollywood composer biopics - Song Of Love and A Song To Remember (though biopic is putting it a bit loosely with the latter). Liszt pops up in both of those to lend a friendly hand to Schumann and Chopin. But Song Without End focuses on him, of course, and I thought I'd give it a shot next (and it seems an appropriate point to watch it).

#2165135 - 10/12/13 02:51 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: The Hound]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Originally Posted by The Hound
Seems a good place to ask this: has anyone seen the film "Song Without End"? I've been watching a couple of old Hollywood composer biopics - Song Of Love and A Song To Remember (though biopic is putting it a bit loosely with the latter). Liszt pops up in both of those to lend a friendly hand to Schumann and Chopin. But Song Without End focuses on him, of course, and I thought I'd give it a shot next (and it seems an appropriate point to watch it).

I've watched Song Without End more than once and highly recommend it. I am Liszt obsessed though and a bit biased!


M.

#2165970 - 10/14/13 09:38 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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I just today noticed that the version of the Dante Symphony Liszt originally intended which has an artwork slideshow of scenes from the Dante's Divine Comedy, and also the vocal recitativo, is online at youtube. I don't want to post the entire series of videos but here is one of the clips to give some idea of it:



The remainder and various other performances of the Dante Symphony, including one with two pianos, and also a performance of the Hungarian Fantasy (Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies), are here at the same channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/bdom001/videos

Just a little more than one week to go until Liszt's birthday!


M.

#2166012 - 10/14/13 11:13 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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The Hound Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Sayers
Originally Posted by The Hound
Seems a good place to ask this: has anyone seen the film "Song Without End"? I've been watching a couple of old Hollywood composer biopics - Song Of Love and A Song To Remember (though biopic is putting it a bit loosely with the latter). Liszt pops up in both of those to lend a friendly hand to Schumann and Chopin. But Song Without End focuses on him, of course, and I thought I'd give it a shot next (and it seems an appropriate point to watch it).

I've watched Song Without End more than once and highly recommend it. I am Liszt obsessed though and a bit biased!


M.


Michael, how would you rate its accuracy? I assume some liberties will have been taken like with all biopics, but is it largely true to life, or have they basically made a new story, starring Franz Liszt?

#2166158 - 10/14/13 03:26 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: The Hound]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Michael Sayers  Offline
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Originally Posted by The Hound
Michael, how would you rate its accuracy? I assume some liberties will have been taken like with all biopics, but is it largely true to life, or have they basically made a new story, starring Franz Liszt?

I think maybe it fictionalizes some things such details in the scene for the Kiev charity concert in 1847 where Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein first heard Liszt perform - but it seems to do this as embellishment that doesn't contradict the known facts. I'm definitely not a Liszt expert - to be a Liszt expert one has to know a lot! - but I've read what I can here and there over the years. What I mainly focus on is the music and the example he set for other musicians through performing for charity and selflessly helping out other composers and pianists. One would have to look very hard in his letters to find any sentence where he admires his own skills and abilities - I haven't read anything like that from him.


M.

#2169838 - 10/22/13 12:52 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Michael Sayers Offline
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Happy birthday Liszt!


M.

#2169840 - 10/22/13 12:56 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Polyphonist Offline
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Happy 202nd Birthday! laugh


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2169861 - 10/22/13 02:13 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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ChopinAddict Offline
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Land of the never-ending music
Happy Birthday!



[Linked Image]

Music is my best friend.


#2169906 - 10/22/13 07:40 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: ChopinAddict]  
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Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
Happy Birthday!

You're a Chopin Addict. You're supposed to be Liszt's mortal enemy. grin


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2169971 - 10/22/13 10:31 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Damon Offline
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It seems strange to wish a happy birthday to someone who is deceased, but for my favorite composer, Happy Birthday. There should be an annual e-cital for his works on this date. whistle


#2169977 - 10/22/13 10:36 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Happy Birthday Franz Liszt, a composer honoured to be in my top five!

I remember reading an article by Alfred Brendel some years back wherein he compared Liszt's genius with Rachmaninov's 'elevated conversation', a view I endorse. That ought to rile a few members, but hey, take it up with Brendel, certainly nobody's fool. wink


Jason
#2169978 - 10/22/13 10:43 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Happy Birthday Franz Liszt, a composer honoured to be in my top five!

I remember reading an article by Alfred Brendel some years back wherein he compared Liszt's genius with Rachmaninov's 'elevated conversation', a view I endorse. That ought to rile a few members, but hey, take it up with Brendel, certainly nobody's fool. wink


"You cannot be serious!' (as Johnny would say) - apropos of Brendel's "Does classical music have to be entirely serious?" grin


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#2169988 - 10/22/13 11:11 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Tararex Offline
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Ah, Liszt - you've always been my favorite. You were a true Shakespeare of musical storytelling. I adore the brilliantly intense narratives with perfectly timed wink & nudge to remind us it's only make-believe. Your damn-the-torpedoes bombast - hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And for sharing from the depths of your own sorrow I present many thanks for that gentle caution not to dwell on darkness.

Happy Birthday memories to the man and his music.


[Linked Image]

Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


#2169994 - 10/22/13 11:20 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Happy Birthday, dear Franz Liszt-- quite possibly the greatest pianist who ever lived, virtuoso and consummate musician, composer, innovator, conductor, transcriber, generous colleague, teacher for the ages, and humanitarian. The word "genius" is tossed around easily, but Liszt truly was one. Thank you for so many sublime musical moments.

#2170010 - 10/22/13 11:44 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Still the best - nobody else even comes close...

#2170014 - 10/22/13 11:51 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Happy Birthday Franz Liszt, a composer honoured to be in my top five!

Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Chopin. No Liszt.

He is in my top ten though.
The sonata is among the greatest piano works of the Romantic era - some would say THE greatest, although I disagree.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2170017 - 10/22/13 11:53 AM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
I remember reading an article by Alfred Brendel some years back wherein he compared Liszt's genius with Rachmaninov's 'elevated conversation', a view I endorse. That ought to rile a few members, but hey, take it up with Brendel, certainly nobody's fool. wink

Yes, he is. Brendel doesn't understand music. This much should be obvious to whoever has heard him play late Beethoven, in which he supposedly "specializes." As for his view of Rachmaninoff, it is hogwash.


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2170022 - 10/22/13 12:05 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Polyphonist]  
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Happy Birthday Franz Liszt, a composer honoured to be in my top five!

Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Chopin. No Liszt.

He is in my top ten though.
The sonata is among the greatest piano works of the Romantic era - some would say THE greatest, although I disagree.


Why are you even crashing the Liszt birthday party?

I'm checking the punchbowl.


[Linked Image]

Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


#2170026 - 10/22/13 12:09 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Michael Sayers]  
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Polyphonist Offline
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I'm not crashing the party. To prove it, I will post this work, one of my favorite Liszt miniatures. It is a stroke of absolute genius.



Regards,

Polyphonist
#2170039 - 10/22/13 12:28 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: Polyphonist]  
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That's better!

Please understand, if it were "Polyphonist's birthday celebration" and someone was all up here talking 'meh...' about you, I would fast be handing them their hat and showing the way to the door! smile


[Linked Image]

Piano is hard work from beginning to forever. Accept this as truth or risk a quick exit with tail between legs.


#2170273 - 10/22/13 08:28 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: sophial]  
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argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted by sophial
Happy Birthday, dear Franz Liszt-- quite possibly the greatest pianist who ever lived, virtuoso and consummate musician, composer, innovator, conductor, transcriber, generous colleague, teacher for the ages, and humanitarian. The word "genius" is tossed around easily, but Liszt truly was one. Thank you for so many sublime musical moments.

Many thanks for your post, sophial. You said it so well. heart

I find it inexplicably astounding that anyone could rate Rachmaninov a greater composer than Liszt. Rachmaninov had his limited bag of tricks which he expertly manipulated and recyled, but Liszt was always on to something new, throwing his compositional spear into new realms, and continually reinventing himself.

Why is it that so many PW members confuse talent with genius?


Jason
#2170277 - 10/22/13 08:42 PM Re: Liszt's birthday on October 22, 2013 [Re: argerichfan]  
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Polyphonist Offline
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Polyphonist  Offline
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Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by sophial
Happy Birthday, dear Franz Liszt-- quite possibly the greatest pianist who ever lived, virtuoso and consummate musician, composer, innovator, conductor, transcriber, generous colleague, teacher for the ages, and humanitarian. The word "genius" is tossed around easily, but Liszt truly was one. Thank you for so many sublime musical moments.

Many thanks for your post, sophial. You said it so well. heart

I find it inexplicably astounding that anyone could rate Rachmaninov a greater composer than Liszt. Rachmaninov had his limited bag of tricks which he expertly manipulated and recyled, but Liszt was always on to something new, throwing his compositional spear into new realms, and continually reinventing himself.

Why is it that so many PW members confuse talent with genius?

Jason, they were both geniuses, and I am not going to argue right now that one is greater than the other. However, what I will say is that Chopin surpassed them both.



Regards,

Polyphonist
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