Franz Liszt "was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, and organist of the Romantic era. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time. He was also a writer, philanthropist, Hungarian nationalist, and Franciscan tertiary."
"Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his prodigious virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was a friend, musical promoter and benefactor to many composers of his time, including Frédéric Chopin, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull, Joachim Raff, Mikhail Glinka, and Alexander Borodin."
"A prolific composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (German: Neudeutsche Schule). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work which influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated 20th-century ideas and trends. Among Liszt's musical contributions were the symphonic poem, developing thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and radical innovations in harmony."
He was born 22 October 1811 in the village of Doborjan in Sopron County, in the Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire, the son of Adam List and Maria Anna Lager. His father, Adam, was an accomplished musician, and Liszt became his father's pupil. Later, he received additional training in Vienna.
Listz never married. He began a romantic relationship with the Countess Marie d'Agoult in 1833. They were the parents of three children: Biandine (1835-1862); Cosima (1837-1930, who later married the composer Richard Wagner); and Daniel (1839-1859). Listz's relationship with the Countess only lasted a few years.
Listz died 31 July 1886 at Bayreuth, Germany at the age of 74. His remains were buried at Alter Friedhof in Bayreuth, Germany.
Death of Abbe Liszt, the greatest of pianists, died Saturday in the little Bavarian town of Baireuth, where he has been the principal guest and lion during the Wagner festival now in progress there.
Franz Liszt would have been 75 years old had he lived until October 11. He was born in Raiding, Hungary, and manifested an aptitude for music when he was six years old, so that his father, a musician of some note, began instructing him on the piano. He was so brilliant a performer in his ninth year that several Hungarian noblemen took in charge his education, and he was taught at Vienna by Czerny and Salieri. His education proceeded at Paris, and when he was 13 years old his great career as a pianist was fairly opened by tours in France, Germany and England.
The death of his father in 1827 threw the young Liszt into a state of profound mental depression, and this, combined with a precocious love affair, determined him to religion and for some years his art was forgotten. But making acquaintance with the most interesting society of Paris, he was drawn from his seclusion by the dazzling career of Paganini, resumed his practice on the piano-forte, and when Thalberg appeared in 1835 he sprang forth as his rival, and both the Thalberg-Liszt fever possessed Paris, both arousing high enthusiasm, but Liszt at last eclipsing Thalberg.
Thenceforth his life was one unbroken course of triumph, without a competitor, all other pianists frankly confessing their inability to approach the versatility and excellence of his performance, for all music, whether of Beethoven, Chopin, Lehmann or his own brilliant compositions, was interpreted with equal skill of technique and beauty of power of expression. He was a favorite of courts, nobles and people, and wealth flowed in upon him, with which he was always generous. He often gave concerts for public objects and the Beethoven monument at Bonn was his gift.
In 1848 the duke of Weimar made his director of music at the court and opera, and that city became a musical center, and Liszt the patron and teacher of many musicians, including Wagner, Rubinstein, Von Bulow, and the American Wm. Mason. Here he wrote his "Faust" symphony, with choruses; his oratories, "Saint Elizabeth" and "Christus." his "Tasso," and other of the "symphonic poems," which was his special gift to musical forms, and is often cited as the exemplar of "program music."
Liszt, when a young man entered into intimate relations with the celebrated "Daniel Stern" (the Countess d'Agoult), and they had two daughters, one of whom became wife of Emile Oilivier, the other the wife of Von Bulow, whom she afterward left for Wagner. Long after, the escape from an infatuated woman, he went to Rome, and was made an abbe by Pope Pius IX, whose friendship for him was warm and lasting.
He was written a life of Chopin, a rhapsodic production of no value; a work on "Gypsies and their Music," a text book on "The Theory and Practice of Music," in three volumes, and other works; besides being the composer of several hundred pieces, including masses, oratorios, symphonic poems, fantasies, "Hungarian rhapsodies," arrangements of songs and compositions of other musicians. He was had a life of the most unbroken popularity and success, worshiped particularly by women, and during his recent visit to London he reproduced, with even greater intensity, the sensation he produced in his prime.
Bayreuth, Aug. 1--The remains of Abbe Liszt, at his own desire, will be buried in the cemetery here. The funeral will take place on Tuesday.
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