"The Mephisto Waltz"
Composed By: Franz Liszt
Reviewed By: John Teabout Jr.
January 18, 2006
Franz Liszt was born on October 22, 1811 in Raiding, Hungary. His father Adam Liszt, a cello player, taught him to play the piano. As a young boy he moved to Vienna to study piano under Carl Czerny and composition under Antonio Salieri. Two years following him and his family moved to Paris, France where he toured broadly as a pianist.
Liszt's father Adam died in 1826, leaving the 15 year old boy to care for his mother. Being depressed and dishearten took a toll on him as he earned a living by teaching piano lessons in Paris. Liszt interest in music began to fade away and he questioned his profession as a pianist. Eventually, becoming a passionate reader Liszt absorbed himself in literature and religion, which turned his life around and had a insightful influence on his life and work. With the Revolution of 1830, as if awakened by cannon fire, Liszt was inspired to engage in his art and life once again.
Being inspired by the violinist, Paganini and his technique, Liszt focused on developing a similar technique as a pianist. In 1835 he left Paris with his mistress, the Comtesse d'Agoult, with whom he traveled extensively during the following years, as his reputation as a pianist of astonishing powers grew. Subsequent to having three children he separated from his mistress in 1844. In 1848, Liszt settled in Weimar in the Altenberg as Court Kapellmeister, being accompanied by Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein and retires from concert stage. At this time he turned his attention now to composition and in particular to the conception of a new form, the symphonic poem. In 1858 he resigns as Kapellmeister resulting from attacks from conservatives against his and his pupil's works. By 1860, Joachim and Brahms publish their proposal against Liszt and the modern composers in an unsuccessful effort to prevent new progress and reforms. Eventually the...
Bibliography: DiSilvio, Richard, "Franz Liszt", The Franz Liszt Site, http://www.d-vista.com/OTHER/franzliszt2.html, DIGITAL VISTA
"Franz Liszt", Classical Net, http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/liszt/html, 1995-2006 Calssical Net
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