Liszt, Ferencz
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Born: 22 October 1811, Raiding, Hungary
Died: 31 July 1886, Bayreuth, Germany

Franz Liszt (1856) Oil portrait by Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Liszt Ferencz Memorial Museum, Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, BudapestLiszt, Ferencz

Among the great piano virtuosos, and one of the most evidently Romantic composers. As early as the age of 11, his mature playing won Beethoven's admiration, and later on he continued performing and accumulating both money and almost hysterical fans everywhere he performed (a film called "Lisztomania" with Roger Daltry as Liszt presented this amazing adoration).

Franz Liszt by Henri Lehmann, Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum, BudapestAs a child, he moved to Vienna, where he studied piano from Czerny and composition from Salieri. After 2 years, he moved with his family to Paris, where he became friends with Berlioz and Chopin, and became a fascinating, innovative composer'Bagatelle Without Tonality' - Liszt. His importance as a composer is enormous, for he developed the symphonic poem, one of the important forms Romanticism contributed to the history of music. The essence of symphonic poem is a musical piece presented as a single unit rather than separate symphony movements. In addition, a symphonic poem tells a story or an extra-musical experience such as an image, a song or even a patriotic idea (Smetana's "My Fatherland", for instance). The introduction of extra-musical elements into musical compositionLiebestraume No.3 - Liszt is understood in Liszt's work: he was interested in prose, poetry and painting, and influenced by all those arts. He was also affected by Paganini's virtuosity on the violin, writing music in a similar style for piano'Gondoliera' from 'Venezia e Napoli' - Liszt and arranged some of his works for the piano. "Waltz Mephisto" is an example of his writing, but also the Piano Concerti no. 1 and 2 and "Faust" Symphony.

The old Liszt, unlike the young star, was possessed by Hungarian patriotism (the "Hungarian Rhapsodies" he wrote throughout the years will bear witness to this), religious faith (retiring to Rome, he turned again to religion and became a priest), and he helped young musicians a great deal, among them Wagner, who even married his daughter Kozima. Like Wagner, he made extensive use of the "leitmotif" technique (a guiding motif appearing over and over within a piece).

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