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#3073188 01/23/21 11:23 PM
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I'm learning some pieces by Franz Liszt, but there aren't metronome markings. For example, at the end of Hungarian Rhapsody 6, it says Presto, but doesn't specify a number. Same with his La Campanella, it just says Allegretto.

Any help here would be great, especially with those two pieces. Have you heard any remarks from him or any testimonies on how fast he played them? What information is there?

Thank you,

Michael

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Many composers in the 19th century - and even some later - relied on tempo designations and not specific metronome markings to indicate tempo. Some composers did indicate metronome markings in some of their works, but some these are thought, by modern interpreters, to be impractical or inappropriate on the modern piano and in a modern concert hall. Such indications may even be considered by some artists as too limiting to "artistic" interpretation.

Some editors will suggest metronome markings but keep in mind that those have not been dictated by the composer. An Urtext edition will sometimes be a reliable source for a precise tempo if the composer wrote it and will be assumed, if it's a good, reliable edition, to have been given by the composer. Can one be sure? It can be a mine-field with no hard and fast answers.

Further complications to this dilemma - if it is a dilemma - is that recordings by composers of their own works don't always observe the tempi printed in their scores.

You will find, if you listen to professional recordings by well-known and highly-respected artists that the performance tempo of a work may vary considerably from one performer to another. If such is not a help to you, then you simply have to use your own judgment about what you consider appropriate.

I have several reliable editions of various works by Liszt and no specific metronome markings are given in any. Nor have I read anywhere where Liszt mentioned specific tempi for any given work(s).

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 01/24/21 12:16 AM.

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You might try listening to the recordings of his pupils.

https://youtu.be/ep43jcGZomQ

https://youtu.be/BWsgUrVAhAY

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Listz was taught by Czerny. So you can look at some of the tempo markings that Czerny provided for Beethoven pieces. Czerny tempo tend to be on the very fast side, so typically most modern interprets play well below those. For example his allegreto is frequently between 63 and 69 (dotted quarter, dotted half, quarter, it depends on the structure of the piece).

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Listz was taught by Czerny. So you can look at some of the tempo markings that Czerny provided for Beethoven pieces. Czerny tempo tend to be on the very fast side, so typically most modern interprets play well below those. For example his allegreto is frequently between 63 and 69 (dotted quarter, dotted half, quarter, it depends on the structure of the piece).

Of course it is just an indication, Listz is already in a completely different style. So the Czerny tempo provides only a point of reference. Then it is up to you to determine what seems apropriate and also what you can technically execute.


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