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Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430634
06/08/07 11:57 AM
06/08/07 11:57 AM
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sophial Offline OP
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Hi
I've been thinking about what constitutes the legacy a composer/pianist leaves to posterity and how these define their influence on the field. Chopin and Liszt strike me as two interesting examples of different legacies. Chopin produced a body of work for the piano that will be played as long as pianos exist (or whatever instrument takes their place in the future!), music of breathtaking beauty and emotional power. In some ways it was the most perfect flowering of the romantic period. His etudes form a cornerstone of piano teaching. However, did he have a strong influence on composers who came after him? (I'm not trying to inflame Chopin lovers-- I adore Chopin. It's something I'm curious about.)

Liszt's music has been more controversial and has taken longer to be appreciated, but is also marked by great emotional power and expressiveness. He wrote not only for piano but also symphonic works, church music, and other forms. He pushed harmonic language into new territory and was a tireless proponent of musical innovation, influencing composers like Wagner and Bartok (Bartok called him the "true father of modern music".) He brought piano techniqe into whole new territory with the Transcendental Etudes. He developed the concept of the solo recital and the master class. He trained many of the most influential pianists of the next generation (Rosenthal and Tausig just to name two out of many). He championed the music of new composers like Berlioz, Wagner, and others (and he likewise adored Chopin's music and taught it till the end of his life).

So could Liszt be seen as having had more influence on the direction music took after him? If CHopin had lived longer I wonder how he might have evolved and music with him. Obviously, there are no "right" answers and I can't imagine music without either of these giants, but I'd be interested in people's thoughts on this topic.

Sophia

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Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430635
06/08/07 08:19 PM
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You do realize this is fodder for feuds? smile

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430636
06/08/07 09:15 PM
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sophial Offline OP
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well, not trying to start a conflagration but I was hoping for an interesting or let's say "spirited" smile discussion! Chopin seems unique-- but was he a musical dead end? (ok, this should start the ball rolling -- I'm being deliberately provocative now. Really, I LOVE Chopin). But seriously, how did each of these composers influence those who came after them and the field as a whole? I'd be very interested to hear different opinions on this.

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430637
06/08/07 10:25 PM
06/08/07 10:25 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
But seriously, how did each of these composers influence those who came after them and the field as a whole?
Oh, dearest Sophia: did you just arrive in a spaceship from the Andromeda galaxy, 2.5 million light years away? Whatever, this has been discussed so frequently in the Milky Way galaxy (welcome, by the way!), and I have it on good authority that in a certain planetary system, which has a planet called "Earth", there have been about a billion books written on that subject.

Seriously, I simply fail to understand the whole point of this thread. Everything you say is utterly common knowlege, and has been discussed ad infinitum here and over the years in other venues.

Judging from some of your other posts, you're not intellectually lazy (although it certainly seems that way here), yet I honestly feel this is a very worn out, tired subject.

Edit: Sophia, you've been a member here on this forum almost a year and a half longer than I. Sorry, you are from the local galaxy, which makes it even more odd that you would start a thread like this. IMHO, of course... as always... laugh


Jason
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Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430638
06/09/07 12:48 AM
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sophial Offline OP
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Dearest Jason,

What an interesting and alien response! In using the search function in this Pianist Corner forum with the terms "Liszt Chopin influence", only 10 threads other than this one popped up. In most of these the main discussion was something different and the references to this topic were incidental to other things. One that went into detail dated from 2004. Gee, by the standards of the Piano Forum where every other day there is a detailed discussion on internet sales, grey market pianos and how to buy a piano, this is positively novel.
I'm not intellectually lazy, thank you, and in some respects my questions were a bit rhetorical, but I would imagine there are some varied opinions on the topic and given the recent ABF discussions on Chopin and Liszt thought it might be interesting to discuss this IMHO. But perhaps not..... cool

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430639
06/09/07 08:48 AM
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Dearest Jason:

Don't hold back!! wink smile

If, as you say, this subject has been discussed before and at length, so what? There are always many people joining the forum everyday, and I think you do them a disservice by dismissing a topic just because it is not a new one. frown

I believe Sophia (and she is QUITE intelligent, skilled and articulate) by raising this particular question is doing just what this forum is all about. Providing "fodder" for discussion and edification and insight. bah :p

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430640
06/09/07 10:01 AM
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I was tempted to jump in earlier, but was a little exhausted from writing my own thread-starter about early childhood language and music acquisition here . (For what it's worth, I had the same concerns that my topic, too, might have been already discussed ad nauseam, and am relieved that I haven't yet been shot down as sophial was. Sophia, thanks for weighing in on that thread.)

I was curious, too, about what others would offer here, as I think it's an interesting enough subject for thoughtful and amicable discussion. So many of us love both Chopin and Liszt, after all.

Personally, I think of Chopin and Liszt as part of a continuum. From that point of view, there wouldn't be respective legacies so much as a shared one (Mozart > Hummel > Chopin > Liszt). Of course, I'm completely lacking in formal music education, too.

Chopin and Liszt were contemporaries, but it's easy to feel that the influence was more in the stated direction than the other way around. Then, too, Liszt seems to follow Chopin by virtue of having outlived him for so long!

In the specific area of pedagogical legacies, there doesn't seem to be any question that only Liszt had gifted pupils who outlived him and passed their knowledge on to future generations.

I am guessing that the mutual influence of Chopin and Liszt upon one another has been discussed endlessly, too? Dang. frown

Steven

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430641
06/09/07 10:20 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
I am guessing that the mutual influence of Chopin and Liszt upon one another has been discussed endlessly, too? Dang. frown
Well, really, it has. Perhaps not so much here -and no insult intended to the lovely Sophia- but there are mountains of discussion along those lines in print (some of it pure rubbish, some of it illuminating), not to mention personal discussions and fights I've had with colleagues. Apologies, just burn-out on my part.

That said, I shan't be a party pooper and instead watch the thread for interesting contributions. smokin


Jason
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430642
06/09/07 10:30 AM
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Kathleen, thanks! all I'm "looking for" is some interesting exchange of opinions and ideas and I appreciate your contribution and hearing Rubinstein's thoughts (although he might be a little biased wink ).

Steven, thanks as well. While the mutual influence of the two is of interest, I was thinking more of the influence each has had on subsequent composers and pianists.

and Jason, I do hope you contribute as it sounds as if you've been over this ground a few times! As you mentioned, there are different views, some with good foundation, some rubbish. The common wisdom is not always Received Truth, right?

Thanks!

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430643
06/09/07 11:26 AM
06/09/07 11:26 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Quote
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
I am guessing that the mutual influence of Chopin and Liszt upon one another has been discussed endlessly, too? Dang. frown
Well, really, it has. Perhaps not so much here -and no insult intended to the lovely Sophia- but there are mountains of discussion along those lines in print (some of it pure rubbish, some of it illuminating), not to mention personal discussions and fights I've had with colleagues.
But really, the fact that something has been discussed ad nauseum in print is no reason to not discuss it here. Otherwise we could all just spend our time reading those books and discussing nothing here...
Ah, let's discuss what's in those books!


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430644
06/09/07 12:30 PM
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I will add my voice to the voices of my friends here in persuading Jason to speak. I can't remember the topic of 'influences' being discussed here recently.

Anyway, I thank sophial for the intriguing topic and I wish the topic will continue .. growing.

Regarding 'uneducated opinions' .. I am very happy to add one now laugh A very personal (and descriptive) one I am afraid. Maybe new insights will hit my brain once the debate begins .. cool

Anyway here are some points in attempt to open up for more *cough-cough* flame-wars ehm debates laugh

1) The fact that Chopin died young, many years before Liszt, makes direct comparison difficult.

2) Appreciating Liszt takes a long(er) time.

3) I have discovered say 90% of Chopin .. however I still did not discover 10% of Liszt. And I am slowly and slowly recognizing more of his works with time.

4) Chopin had some influence on Liszt. The reverse is not true or at least not that apparent (the Etudes maybe?).

5) Those who were influenced by Chopin and tried to imitate .. failed.

6) Chopin, however, had his more 'unique' sound to him. This makes it difficult to spot who exactly was influenced by him.

7) We cannot say that Liszt influenced certain people or composers .. he just influenced the direction of piano in the years to come.

5) Hmm .. Chopin did not compose Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

6) But Liszt also did not compose the funeral march sonata

7) Looking again at the troublesome situation, notice that Chopin did not compose Liszt's Sonata in B minor.

In conclusion:
Chopin will be the ever more popular. But, when regarding influence, Liszt was the man. smokin

Ultimately, I call a tie. smokin

Do I make sense here? I really don't know how I wrote this weird post. laugh
And as I said .. maybe new insights will hit my brain once the debate begins .. cool

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430645
06/09/07 02:18 PM
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Sophia: I am curious to know why you think Rubinstein was biased. I'm not saying he wasn't. But he performed the music of so many other composers. Why did he have a particular proclivity towards Chopin's music?

If it is of interest to anyone, would you like to venture your opinion. I hope this question isn't veering from the original topic. But since Rubinstein (in so many people's opinions...though I sense not too many people here on the PC,) was considered the finest pianist of his day (OK, maybe Horowitz may have been crowding him a bit), I believe it would be revealing to understand why this giant of the keyboard treasured Chopin's music as he did.

Obviously he had so much knowledge of the music of others to which he could hold a comparison. He found in Chopin's music that which was unique and exquisite, perhaps not to be found elsewhere.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430646
06/09/07 03:44 PM
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Hi Kathleen
I was kidding a little bit but he of course was one of the most famous proponents of Chopin's music and one of the all time best (if not the best) interpreter of him. He seemed to have a special affinity for Chopin and so that's why I joked that he might be a little "biased" towards him and away from Liszt. Also Liszt's music was out of favor in the earlier part of the 20th century and the Common Wisdom of the time was to dismiss him as a showboat, in the manner that Rubinstein did. Later Liszt scholarship and greater exposure to the range of his works has changed that.

Bassio, actually Liszt had a great influence on other composers, Wagner in particular. He began to use innovative harmonics in his music and these paved the way for more modern music-- Bartok credited him with being the "true father of modern music". So he IMHO likely had more lasting impact in terms of how music developed than possibly Chopin. Of course, if Chopin had lived, who knows what amazing directions he might have gone in? unfortunately , we'll never know.

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430647
06/09/07 06:21 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Oh, dearest Sophia: did you just arrive in a spaceship from the Andromeda galaxy, 2.5 million light years away? Whatever, this has been discussed so frequently in the Milky Way galaxy (welcome, by the way!), and I have it on good authority that in a certain planetary system, which has a planet called "Earth", there have been about a billion books written on that subject.
Dearest Sophia, what I believe our dearest Jason is trying to say is that Chopin is from Venus, Liszt is from Mars.

:p

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430648
06/09/07 09:03 PM
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laugh laugh


Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430649
06/10/07 10:58 AM
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O.K. whippen boy...explain yourself with that comment. :rolleyes:

I must warn you that I'm getting my boxing gloves on. eek

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430650
06/10/07 11:18 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Bassio:
4) Chopin had some influence on Liszt. The reverse is not true or at least not that apparent (the Etudes maybe?)....
Bassio, you make some nice points smile

IMO Liszt did not influence Chopin one iota, and certainly did not influence the Etudes which were written before Liszt had written anything of note whatsoever.

Chopin published his first set of Etudes at age 22, his second at age 27 and three more at age 30, in 1840. Of course he would have written some of them at an earlier age than when they were first published (making them all the more amazing).

Liszt was a slow starter. I feel that Chopin opened a door and Liszt went through it.

OK, sophial, I know you didn't want this to be about Chopin and Liszt's influence on each other but I just wanted to make that point laugh

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430651
06/10/07 11:50 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by whippen boy:
Dearest Sophia, what I believe our dearest Jason is trying to say is that Chopin is from Venus, Liszt is from Mars. :p
But shouldn't that be the other way around? Liszt was the notorious womanizer, after all. laugh

I'm wondering what our dearest whippen boy is trying to say! shocked

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430652
06/10/07 11:52 AM
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Well, thanks for a veeery interesting topic! Undoubtedly these two composers are geniuses but as far as influencing the generations that came after them, I'd call it a tie as well...

See, I've always thought of Liszt as the Paganini of the piano. Don't get me wrong, I love their works, though I'm afraid I don't know Liszt nearly as much as I know Beethoven or Mozart. As has been said already Liszt's music is hard to like, that is it takes time to digest the piece somewhat. Like Paganini who revolutionized violin playing, Liszt threw the piano technique some centuries into the future. But when I listen to his works or when I make my friends listen to his music, the first thing that is noticed is the technical difficulties in the work, exceptions apply of course. So, when I think of Liszt, I generally think that his greatest contribution to the music has been from a technical point. He had numerous students as well, so that's his legacy. Also, he introduced different harmonical structures. I think we can think of him as the guy who planted the seeds and later those seeds grew into great trees.

As to Chopin, his music is easier on ears, perhaps just as hard on the interpreter. But his legacy is purely musical. He possessed great technique but he was primarily a composer and arguably the most romantic of all. Turning back to the seed analogy, he didn't plant any seeds, he produced the trees right out of nowhere. Yes, his works are really breath-taking, very romantic and emotional etc. but that's as far as he goes. He's more in league with Beethoven and Mozart. Their legacies are primarily music.

Please don't get me wrong, I've already called it a tie. These two composers have walked two very different paths.

Kathleen, I don't think there's any need for the boxing gloves, of all the planets none would suit Chopin better than Venus...

Well, here goes my two cents for what it's worth.

Can

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430653
06/10/07 11:56 AM
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HI Maryrose,

Thanks. THere's no question that composers find influences in the music that preceded them and surrounds them. Beethoven was influenced by Mozart and Haydn. Chopin was likely influenced by Field. Liszt loved the music of Chopin and it no doubt influenced him but let me quote from Alan Walker, the Liszt biographer:
"The question of Chopin's influence on Liszt has long been debated. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the general style of both composers knows that they lie far apart and are connected through externals only". He notes some works of Chopin that likely influenced Liszt but also makes an interesting point. Liszt's F minor Transcendental Etude was thought to be similar to Chopin's Op 10 F minor but here's the kicker:
" It is on precisely such occasions that we must exercise the most caution if we wish to avoid becoming ensnared in a historical trap." He goes on to note that the F Minor TE of Liszt comes out of the version Liszt composed when he was 15, long before he ever heard a note of Chopin's. He concludes: "This topic of influence may be a paradise for historians, but it is full of pitfalls for those who do not know their Liszt in toto."

While Liszt was not exactly a "slow starter" -- he started in his teens and was composing some of his important piano works in his early twenties-- but you're right that he developed and came into his own as a composer in the years after Chopin's death, and went into areas Chopin never touched (symphonic poems for example) and moved into harmonic territory that was quite different and new. His later works are quite radical and in some cases very spare and almost atonal. Whatever door Chopin opened, Liszt went far beyond (in terms of style and types of music, not necessarily greatness) and probably around it too. wink

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430654
06/10/07 12:41 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
Liszt's F minor Transcendental Etude was thought to be similar to Chopin's Op 10 F minor but here's the kicker:
" It is on precisely such occasions that we must exercise the most caution if we wish to avoid becoming ensnared in a historical trap." He goes on to note that the F Minor TE of Liszt comes out of the version Liszt composed when he was 15, long before he ever heard a note of Chopin's. He concludes: "This topic of influence may be a paradise for historians, but it is full of pitfalls for those who do not know their Liszt in toto."
Interesting, Which etude numbers are these? (of Liszt and Chopin)

Quote

Liszt was a slow starter. I feel that Chopin opened a door and Liszt went through it.
Sorry maryrose but I don't think Liszt was a slow starter. At the age of 13, he composed a set of etudes ( I assume even before Chopin's composing his).

These etudes today are one of the most played etudes in the repertoire (although Chopin's etudes are the most played, hands down wink ), these are called the Transcendental etudes.

Not only that, but also do not forget that 'poor' Liszt noticed that no one plays his ultra-difficult etudes .. so he simplified them later on to the version poor 'mortals' like us today play.

So I won't call him a slow starter. wink

On the other hand, one has to remember also that (warning: [Linked Image]) Chopin's first compositions were somewhat under par. Let us not forget Sonata No.1, Fugue[1], some variations etc .. which are never played or recorded today. wink

Enough of this post. smokin

-----------
[1] BTW I *somehow* like the fugue, but I confess that it is somewhat under the level of Chopin's genius.

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430655
06/10/07 12:44 PM
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About Liszt advancing music .. Bagatelle sans tonalite

What do you think? Any info about this piece?

If this was 'sans tonalite', I wished that pieces of today that are 'sans tonalite' are like this one.

What would Liszt think of Schoenberg and his friends? I don't know.

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430656
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We as musicians and pianists are the result of their legacies. Chopin really brought forward the opera buffo singing lyrically over a steady bass.

Liszt, and the other later generations and contemporaries, took this even more and brought with it the virtuostic playing that was coming about at the time. Liszt was at the pinnacle of the virtuosos and outshined Gottschalk, Heinrich Herz and many others in the day. Liszt went as far as to play the music from memory which was unheard of in that time.

Liszt's students, like Chopin's students became the disciples that continued their teacher's ideas so we are the result of their studies. My piano teacher for example, studied with students of Liszt, and other golden era pianists.

We owe a lot to these guys because without them we would not only have many of the developments in the piano technology we see today, but also many of the modern playing techniques that we employ in our performances.

John


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430657
06/10/07 12:53 PM
06/10/07 12:53 PM
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sophial Offline OP
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sophial  Offline OP
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Bassio-
Chopin Opus 10 no 9 in F minor
Liszt Transcendental Etude no 10 in F minor.

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430658
06/10/07 06:59 PM
06/10/07 06:59 PM
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Essex, England
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Mary-Rose Offline
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Essex, England
Bassio -
"At the age of 13, he composed a set of etudes.... "

Not true!

"Chopin's first compositions were somewhat under par. Let us not forget Sonata No.1, Fugue[1]"

Get your facts right, Bassio. Yes, Chopin wrote a fugue as an unpublished personal exercise just to see what it was like (in view of his admiration of Bach's "48") but that wasn't an early work - it was written just 8 years before he died.

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430659
06/10/07 09:00 PM
06/10/07 09:00 PM
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sophial Offline OP
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sophial  Offline OP
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Hi Maryrose,
Bassio is right about the composition of his first set of etudes at 13.

Here's from Alan Walker: p.118 v.1
" A major artistic event for Liszt at this time ( in 1826-Liszt was 15) was the publication of a set of twelve studies, the so-called Etude en douze exercices. These pieces are historically important, for they were later transformed into the Grandes Etudes of 1838 and later still into the Transcendental Studies of 1851. Liszt had begun work on these difficult pieces when he was only 13 years old. They were published simultanousely by Boisselot of Marseille and Dufant and Dubois of Paris".

p. 119 "Many of the most striking effects of the later studies started life here (in these early etudes).. The Study in A-flat major (later known as the Ricordanza) reveals tht the nocturne-like melody , which so many commentators familiar with the 1851 version assume to have been inspired by Chopin, was in fact the creation of the thirteen-year old Liszt."

It doesn't diminish Chopin's incredible accomplishments at all to also acknowledge Liszt's. Both were geniuses.

Sophia

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430660
06/10/07 11:19 PM
06/10/07 11:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,373
Pacific Northwest, US.
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argerichfan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I must warn you that I'm getting my boxing gloves on. eek
I was not aware that boxing gloves came in petite sizes.

Just kidding, just kidding! Phew, if I'm not in trouble now...

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh


Jason
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430661
06/11/07 03:27 AM
06/11/07 03:27 AM
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Posts: 1,428
Essex, England
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Mary-Rose Offline
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Essex, England
Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
Hi Maryrose,
Bassio is right about the composition of his first set of etudes at 13.

sophial - I do think that Liszt was a very great man. I love him. OK, Liszt *began* the composition of the first form of his etudes when he was 13 - I thought Bassio was giving the impression he had actually composed the set by then, which he had not. Thanks for clarifying laugh

Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430662
06/11/07 07:10 AM
06/11/07 07:10 AM
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-Frycek Offline
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-Frycek  Offline
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SC Mountains
Quote
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I must warn you that I'm getting my boxing gloves on. eek
I was not aware that boxing gloves came in petite sizes.

Just kidding, just kidding! Phew, if I'm not in trouble now...

laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh
Watch out for those "petite" paws. They're big enough for Chopin.


Slow down and do it right.
[Linked Image]
Re: Legacies of Chopin and Liszt #430663
06/11/07 08:43 AM
06/11/07 08:43 AM
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Posts: 2,480
Alexandria, Egypt
Bassio Offline
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Bassio  Offline
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Alexandria, Egypt
Thanks for the corrections maryrose and sophial.

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