Liszt – Pathfinder in the post-Romantic era


Michael Stegemann: Franz Liszt – Genie im Abseits. ISBN 978-3-492-05429-4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What a man! What a book! This biography presents the life and works of the composer Franz Liszt in many fascinating details and highlights the avantgardistic ideas he had about music. The number of enemies he made and the (flimsy) aesthetic arguments his enemies put forward to discredit Liszt’s music is a solid testimony of the composer’s forsight about the post-Romantic development of music. Arguments one hears again a century and a half later about the Neue Musik, classical compositions of the 20th and 21st century. Most interesting is also the description of Liszt’s ambivalent relationship to his son-in-law, Richard Wagner, and the fact that he supported many young composers and pianists with sound advice, with money and with opportunities to perform and thus forge a reputation of their own. Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in music history!

A symphonic poem written by Franz Liszt that I truly love despite the ambivalent feelings it triggers is Les Préludes:

How  a Romantic composer got hijacked by the Nazis