The 19th Century Virtuoso

Topics: Virtuoso, Guitar, Piano Pages: 3 (910 words) Published: April 15, 2013
A virtuoso is a musician who is technically skilled on an instrument. Virtuosic musicians are known to be specialized in their instrument, perform in front of large audiences, and show off to their audiences. They typically travel far and wide with the intent of dazzling audiences all over the world with their extended techniques on an instrument. Fast notes and special effects can be heard in virtuosic music. The goal of all virtuosos is to achieve fame and fortune. Performing in front of upper-class audiences and the fact that virtuosic performers composed their own music typically helped them achieve this goal. Fans of virtuosic musicians valued the excitement in watching their spectacular performances, whereas those who were not fans had negative connotations of these kinds of musicians and believed that their music sounded empty. The height of the virtuoso began in the nineteenth-century with musicians such as Niccolò Paganini and Franz Liszt.

Franz Liszt perfected the idea of the ideal nineteenth-century virtuoso performer. As a virtuosic pianist, he used his learned technicality and grandiose way of performing to amaze audiences with his professionalism on the piano. His exciting performances started a grand uproar that lead to the rise of an intense fan frenzy known as Lisztomania during the mid-nineteenth-century. One of Liszt’s most famous pieces, La campanella, gained an abundant amount of attention by his crazed fans. His collaboration of fast notes and specialized dynamics makes up the foundation of the virtuosity within this piece. The piece is quite long and Liszt’s performance of the piece is not easy to imitate, making it very unique and extraordinary. He also incorporates his incomparable expertise into the virtuosic piece by showing off his ability to sustain playing lengthy techniques and special effects on the piano. Liszt is known to be very expressive and lively when he plays the piano.

Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen is the only...
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