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#3126689 06/10/21 08:15 PM
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I happened to use his back door. I learned the Consolations and Nuages Gris. But I hate to admit, I have rather neglected Liszt all my life. When I went through that impressionable age (16-18 for me), Chopin was my guy. One of my bucket list pieces is the Dante Sonata.

So here's my question:

Anyone have any advice about entering Liszt's universe? Good introductory pieces, or even pieces which best exemplify his style and overall approach?

I am between concerts right now, and finally have some time to devote to new music, and I think Liszt might be my guy

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I really like the first piece from the first Annes de Pelerinage

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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
Anyone have any advice about entering Liszt's universe? Good introductory pieces, or even pieces which best exemplify his style and overall approach?
Yes, I like his Lone Ranger, er, I mean William Tell Overtu...er, I mean his William Tell Chapel.

Piety in Flash Gordon clothing - that's the essence of Francis (not of Assisi walking on water or chatting to birds, but of Liszt):






"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."
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Oh I love the Legendes!

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How difficult is the Dante Sonata 1-10?

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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
How difficult is the Dante Sonata 1-10?
I don't think someone could be ready to play a piece like this and not be able to judge its difficulty. But since you have not given any indication of your current ability(for example, pieces you have played) except "between concerts" how can we make any recommendations?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/11/21 03:30 PM.
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It doesn't get more front door than hungarian rhapsody no. 2...surely youve heard that, right? you may even be able to learn it. top 5 classical pieces for me.


My youtube channel where I discuss theory, performance, cover some tunes, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCruDLJseRHB_04Zwz0NXVGg
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
How difficult is the Dante Sonata 1-10?
I don't think someone could be ready to play a piece like this and not be able to judge its difficulty. But since you have not given any indication of your current ability(for example, pieces you have played) except "between concerts" how can we make any recommendations?

I have my judgement, was just curious about yours! I find it to be highly difficult and would require a tremendous amount of work. maybe an 8.8/10. And as far as reference... the hardest work ive performed technically is the 6th regard of Messiaen.

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Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MinscAndBoo
How difficult is the Dante Sonata 1-10?
I don't think someone could be ready to play a piece like this and not be able to judge its difficulty. But since you have not given any indication of your current ability(for example, pieces you have played) except "between concerts" how can we make any recommendations?

I have my judgement, was just curious about yours! I find it to be highly difficult and would require a tremendous amount of work. maybe an 8.8/10. And as far as reference... the hardest work ive performed technically is the 6th regard of Messiaen.
Thanks. Now it's clearer to me you are a professional pianist. I'll leave it to others to try and offer a judgement on the difficulty of the Dante Sonata.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/13/21 03:51 PM.
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I assume that you have made an enormous byway, first Messiaen and than Liszt, I did it the other way around, and that made Messiaen easier for me than it would seem. Since you are eager to involve yourself in Liszt's work and have already studied Visions, Dante is fairly easy on the memorizing side, rather more cumbersome on the technical side and enormously more difficult on the interpretational side, as trillions of very good pianists play this and other masterpieces by Liszt, esp. the sonata, I think you have an ocean of notes before you to digest, there is more to Liszt than just notes, some might argue, let them.


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As I have often opined (opined?! who uses that word, these days?) on this forum, I find some of Liszt's best writing for piano in his transcriptions, particularly those of Schubert Lieder. True, he's working with material originated by other composers, but his transcriptions, I think, are a great introduction to his writing style and fall so beautifully under the hand. They are enormously satisfying to play. Don't overlook them.

Whether one considers them "front-door Liszt" I wouldn't hazard a guess, but they certainly are not back-door, in my opinion.

Regards,


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Well, on a scale from the consolations to the transcription of Beethoven's 9th... Dante could be a... 8/10? it's extremely difficult.

Why go in the front door? As was mentioned earlier by someone else, the 2nd rhapsody is as "front door" as it gets... but c'mon now. The 2nd rhapsody? Ugh.

Considering that you've already played some hideously difficult stuff like Messiaen, go for whatever you want to. The Dante Sonata... why not?

I can just give a few recommendations, or, really, Liszt pieces that are in my own bucket list:

*Spanish Rhapsody (Front-doorish, more manageable than Dante in almost every way, for most pianists at least)
*Ballade no. 2 (Should be played more often than it is)
*B-minor sonata (who would've guessed...)
*Don Juan fantasy (.....)
*La Sonnambula fantasy (Gorgeous finale)
*Norma fantasy (Gorgeous-er finale, brilliant work)
*Lucrezia Borgia fantasy (underrated, tremendous work, but is almost impossible to play)
*Transcription of Beethoven's 9th (Listen to Katsaris' interpretation, try to play parts of the finale, and start crying)
*Legendes (as were already mentioned... I really love them too)
*Deuxieme annee de pelerinage (avec le supplement, of course)

I've played Benediction de Dieu Dans la Solitude, and I very much recommend this as well as an example of his later style. It's one of my most favorite pieces of music overall.

But a piece/pieces that best exemplifies his overall approach? uh... the B-minor sonata, the transcendental etudes and the three years of pilgrimage probably. Amongst the original works at least. Among his paraphrases/fantasies, Norma is often seen as the most brilliant, and the transcriptions - of course Beethoven's 9th.

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Originally Posted by CianistAndPomposer
Well, on a scale from the consolations to the transcription of Beethoven's 9th... Dante could be a... 8/10? it's extremely difficult.

Why go in the front door? As was mentioned earlier by someone else, the 2nd rhapsody is as "front door" as it gets... but c'mon now. The 2nd rhapsody? Ugh.

Considering that you've already played some hideously difficult stuff like Messiaen, go for whatever you want to. The Dante Sonata... why not?

I can just give a few recommendations, or, really, Liszt pieces that are in my own bucket list:

*Spanish Rhapsody (Front-doorish, more manageable than Dante in almost every way, for most pianists at least)
*Ballade no. 2 (Should be played more often than it is)
*B-minor sonata (who would've guessed...)
*Don Juan fantasy (.....)
*La Sonnambula fantasy (Gorgeous finale)
*Norma fantasy (Gorgeous-er finale, brilliant work)
*Lucrezia Borgia fantasy (underrated, tremendous work, but is almost impossible to play)
*Transcription of Beethoven's 9th (Listen to Katsaris' interpretation, try to play parts of the finale, and start crying)
*Legendes (as were already mentioned... I really love them too)
*Deuxieme annee de pelerinage (avec le supplement, of course)

I've played Benediction de Dieu Dans la Solitude, and I very much recommend this as well as an example of his later style. It's one of my most favorite pieces of music overall.

But a piece/pieces that best exemplifies his overall approach? uh... the B-minor sonata, the transcendental etudes and the three years of pilgrimage probably. Amongst the original works at least. Among his paraphrases/fantasies, Norma is often seen as the most brilliant, and the transcriptions - of course Beethoven's 9th.

I'd add to the list, the following pieces:

*Fantasy on Motifs from Beethoven's Ruins of Athens, for piano and orchestra (listen to Egon Petri!)
*Apparition No. 1 in F-sharp (gorgeous work from Liszt's early period, it sounds a LOT like late Liszt due to its directly expressive nature)
*Mephisto Waltz No. 2 (the ending though!)
*Mephisto Waltz No. 3 (truly revolutionary work that anticipates Bartok's percussive nature, and Scriabin's middle period's sound world while still being ambiguously tonal. perhaps Liszt's best work!)
*Nuages gris (though technically simple, it's harmonically complex)


Pianist-in-training who changes his signature...alot.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCApZEtefyPogkULpO9BSMmw

I believe certain composers and their pieces in the less-played repertoire ought to be re-examined.

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