Franz Liszt, a Hungarian composer who lived from 1811 to 1886
was the equivalent of a rock star in his day. His piano
compositions were extremely popular and he often gave concerts to
his multitude of fans. Liszt was also the pioneer of many musical
techniques, including the symphonic poem and the technique of
Liszt was born in Doborjan, Hungary in 1811. From an early age, Franz exhibited a remarkable affinity for music and especially piano. When Franz was 6 years old, Adam Liszt (Franz's father) noticed his interest and proficiency in music. A year later, in 1818, Adam Liszt began giving his son piano lessons. Only one year later, Franz Liszt displayed a remarkable ability to play difficult music and even improvise!
Soon, Franz Liszt moved to Vienna and was taught by Czerny from 1822 to 1823. At the tender age of 12, Liszt gave his first concert and started earning a name as a remarkable pianist. For the rest of his life, Liszt lived a relatively stable life in Paris, giving frequent concerts and writing frequent compositions.
During this long period of creation, Liszt was able to formulate a wide variety of musical techniques that would be used by many composers after his death. Liszt's general style of composition was in using chromaticism to create unique and varied harmonies. One of Liszt's most prominent musical developments is that of the symphonic poem. A symphonic poem is simply a one movement symphony that usually describes a literary or artistic work. In addition, symphonic poems usually do not obey the rules established by previous composers to Liszt. For example, prior to Liszt, symphonies had always been written in multiple movements.
Another crucial musical development by Franz Liszt was that of
transformation of themes. This means that Liszt took a simple theme
that he wrote and transformed it in various throughout his piece.
This technique was later used by Richard
Wagner, who called it a "leitmotif". Arnold Schoenberg also used this technique
and called it the Twelve-tone
His Famous Compositions
Liszt was primarily a pianist and thus most of his works were written for the piano. Among Liszt's most famous compositions is his famous Concerto in Eb. This concerto is quickly recognizable for its famous themes. In addition, its massive length and requirement to play all four movements one after another is a famous challenge of this piece.
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