Franz Liszt, Vol. 1: The Virtuoso Years, 1811-1847 by Alan Walker

By Alan Walker

The first quantity in Alan Walker's magisterial biography of Franz Liszt.

"You can not help yet continue turning the pages, considering the way it will all end up: and Walker's collected readings of Liszt's track need to be taken heavily indeed."―D. Kern Holoman, New York evaluation of Books

"A conscientious student captivated with his topic. Mr. Walker makes the fellow and his age come to lifestyles. those 3 volumes often is the definitive paintings to which all next Liszt biographies will aspire."―Harold C. Schonberg, Wall highway Journal

"What distinguishes Walker from Liszt's dozens of previous biographers is that he's both robust at the track and the existence. a powerful musicologist with a full of life polemical kind, he discusses the composer's works with higher figuring out and readability than any past biographer. And while many have recycled a similar faulty, frequently destructive details, Walker has trusted his personal prodigious, globe-trotting learn, a undertaking spanning twenty-five years. the result's a textured portrait of Liszt and his instances with out rival."―Elliot Ravetz, Time

"The prose is so vigorous that the reader is frequently swept alongside by way of the narrative. . . . This three-part paintings . . . is now the definitive paintings on Liszt in English and belongs in all track collections."―Library Journal

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Additional resources for Franz Liszt, Vol. 1: The Virtuoso Years, 1811-1847

Sample text

These are the staggering figures given in Charles Suttoni’s authoritative bibliography23 (1979) of Liszt’s published correspondence. 24 Another basic source for the modern biographer is Liszt’s Gesammelte Schriften. These six volumes of “collected writings”—books, essays, pamphlets—were gathered together and published during the period 1880–83, that is, within Liszt’s lifetime at the instigation of Princess Carolyne. The earliest essay to appear over Liszt’s signature, “On Future Church Music,” dated from 1834; the latest, “John Field and His Nocturnes,” from 1859.

Neither F. J. Fétis, in his Liszt entry in the Biographie universelle des musiciens (1844, 2d ed. 1875), nor Ludwig Nohl, in his Franz Liszt (1882), shows much advance on d’Ortigue’s pioneering effort—not, at any rate, as far as the early part of Liszt’s career is concerned. By 1850, in fact, the hard information about his childhood and early youth had become stubbornly fixed in the literature, and even though much of it is palpably false (for instance, the supposed public embrace by Beethoven during the boy’s 1823 “farewell” recital in Vienna), it is dutifully repeated to this day.

My sojourns were further enlivened by Dr. Horst Förster, who arranged forays into Eisenach, Jena, and other nearby towns in the old kingdom of Thuringia which still echo with Liszt’s presence, and to him too I owe thanks. Vienna, Eisenstadt, Unterfrauenhaid, and Raiding all contain documents which must be consulted before the biographer of Liszt can claim that his work is complete; dispersed throughout the tiny villages of the Burgenland and western Hungary are the parish registers which record the movement of the Liszt family from one community to another throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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