-total of 338 solo piano works: 60 piano for 4 hands, 30 for 2 pianos, has 4 and eight hand

Piano Works in the 1820s

-general piano compositions in the 20s: numerous variations, and etudes, a march, and a fantasie
-some interesting dedications: Sebastian Erard,
- (all solo piano works except for Don Sanche):

Grove Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians
“The Early Works,” Michael Saffle, The Liszt Companion, ed. Ben Arnold
Franz Liszt: The Virtuoso Years 1822 – 1847, Alan Walker

1822 - Variation über einen Walzer von Diabelli
1822 - Walzer
1823 - A, ‘aus dem Ballet: Die Amazonen’
1824 - Huit Variations
1824 - Don Sanche, ou Le château d'amour
1824 - Sept variations brillantes sur un thème de Rossini
1824 - Impromptu brillant sur des thèmes de Rossini et Spontini
1825 - Allegro di bravura
1825 - Rondo di bravura 1825
1826 - Etude[s] pour le piano-forte en quarante-huit exercices dans tous les tons majeurs et mineurs
1827 - Scherzo (Allegro molto quasi presto)
1827 - Marche funèbre
1828 - "Zum Andenken: Zwei ungarische Werbungstänze von László Fáy und János"
1829 - Grande fantaisie sur la tyrolienne de l’opéra la fiancée de Auber

In 1822, Diabelli, a music publisher, sent copies of his waltz to 51 composers, including Czerny, Schubert, Beethoven and Liszt asking for their variations on it to be included in a compilation. Liszt’s variation is fairly simple, and showcases his virtuostic abilities, which is a trademark of his piano composition style. It’s arpeggiated style is highly influenced by his piano teacher Carl Czerny, who, at the time, had forced Liszt to replace his normal repertoire for his Czerny’s own etude’s and excercises. (Walker)

Liszt also did a good deal of his composition in the form on in concert improvisation. He would often ask people in the audience to call out a popular theme from an opera, and improvise on the spot. According to Walker, these on the spot improvisations were mostly on Operas by Rossini and Mozart. He asked for a theme from Beethoven, but never got it. (Walker)

In 1824, Liszt did several improvisations on Rossini’s theme “Ah! Come nascondere …” from Ermione, as well as themes from Rossini’s La Donna Del Lago. These typically showcase his virtuostic abilities (a trademark), but also his new, 7 octave Erard piano, which featured “repetition action.” Much of passage-work, which he was known to excel in composing, is only possible to play on a repetition action piano. (Walker)

Though the piano version of the overture to this opera was written before Liszt began his lessons with Paer, Walker writes that the Opera is very much in his style since Paer would have helped Liszt orchestrate the piece. Critics at the time who could not believe someone so young had written the opera believed that it was actually written by Paer. In one act, the story is based on a medieval story by an 18th century poet, Claris de Florian. It is about a knight who seeks entrance to a castle of love, but must win the heart of a princess before he can enter. It received 4 performances in Paris in 1824. (Walker)

His 1826 collection of 12 etudes was remarkably advanced for someone so young. They span 6 octaves, and are written in a descending 5th order which includes minor and major keys, C major, a minor, F major, d minor etc. These works become the basis of later pieces: Les Grandes Etudes in 1808, and Transcendental Studies, 1851. The piece in Ab, the Ricordanze becomes the most famous, and is considered to be influenced by Chopin. (Walker)

This complicated piece is on the level of minor masters of his time. It is showy, with enthusiastic passagework, and many diminished 7th chords. It contains interesting and deceptive modulations such as F# major to A major to Bb major that show Reicha’s radical theory influence. (Michael Saffle). This piece was written in only a few hours, and was not published during his lifetime (Walker).

The extreme virtuosity exhibited in this composition is again, a marked characteristic of his music. It speaks to his development as a pianist. I may or may not have been the first work written in 2 years after his father’s death, but I have found conflicting information on that. (Walker)

Sept Variations Brilliantes sur un Theme de Rossini, 1824

The theme he uses is from Rossini’s opera Ermione, 1819. The theme accompanies the words “ah! Come nascondere la fiamma vorace. ” (Cambridge Companion to Liszt by Kenneth Hamilton (Kudos to Christian for his internet savvy!))

-the libretto was by Andrea Leone Tottola after Jean Racine’s Andromaque

main characters: Pirro, Ermione, Andromaca and Orsete
(very) General summary of opera and characters (info from Oxford Music Online):
-Pirro, son of Achilles and King of Epirus and his city are at war with Troy
-King Pirro has fallen in love with Andromaca, a Trojan prisoner and widow
-Ermione is Pirro’s fianceé, and is incredibly jealous
-Oreste, a greek soldier, is in love with Ermione
-Pirro tries to force Andromaca by threatening to give her son to the Greeks – they would kill him
-she promises to marry him, but is still loyal to her husband, and plans to commit suicide after the wedding
-Ermione, jealous, asks Oreste to kill the king for her
-he does so, and she changes her mind when its too late, and rejects him, calling on the furies to destroy him, but Oreste’s followers’ carry him safely to his ship

-the ACT 1 SCENE 3 CAVATINA “Ah! Come nascondere la fiamma vorace” which (very roughly) translates to “Ah! To hide the voracious flame,” is sung by the character Oreste, describing his tortured feelings for Ermione.
Ermione naxos link: http://fsu.naxosmusiclibrary.com/catalogue/item.asp?cid=ORC42
-aria begins at 3:13
Liszt’s variations: http://fsu.naxosmusiclibrary.com/catalogue/item.asp?cid=8.570984

-I will try and scan the scores of the two pieces onto the website later. Maybe tomorrow, because I’ll have to make another pilgrimage to Strozier

Piano Works in the 1830s

-many compositions based on themes by contemporaneous composer
- religious based works in 33 and 34
-multiple transcriptions of Berlioz works
-many Beethoven symphony transcriptions
-impressionistic works
-waltzes (valse)

Works based on/openly influenced by: Bellini (A13) , Meyerbeer, Pagannini(a15), Beethoven, Schubert (a17), Berlioz (a16), Schumann, Rossini, Donizetti (a22, a23), pacini (a24), Thalberg(a41) , Herz (a41), Czerny (a41), Chopin(a41)

Apparitions - 1834

-A19, harmonies poetiques et religieuses, 1833
Ded. Lamartine: monk/religious leader who was out of favor with the church
-A24, grande fantaisie sur des motifs de niobe
-ded. Mme. La Comtesse Miramont
-A30, overture from King Lear – Berlioz
-A31, ouverture des francs – juges – Berlioz
-A34 – reminiscences des Puritains de Bellini 1836,
-ded. Princess Cristina Belgiojoso
-A39, vingt-quatres grandes etudes pour le piano, 1837
-ded. C. Czerny, childhood piano teacher
A40, Album d'un voyageur, 1837
-impressions of landscapes in Switzerland
-went there for several years with D’agoult
-there are 12 pieces in this collection
-no. 11 is a pastoral noctourne
-ded. F De Lamennais and others
-A41, Hexameron
-6 variations by thalberg, pizis, herz, Czerny, chopin.
-ded. Princess C Belgiojoso, friend, introduced Liszt to important people, hosted a Salon (got that from wherever Catherine got that)
-A42, lieder von Schubert
-A52, Etudes d’exècution transcendante d’après Paganini
-based on Paganini’s 24 caprices
-ded. Clara Schumann
-A55, Annees de pelerinage deuxieme anee, italie, 1838
-inspired by Raphael’s paintings, and Michelangelo’s sculptures in Milan and Florence respectively
-A60, Magyar dallok, 1839
-based on Hungarian nationalist folk melodies
-I think this was from when he was in hungary playing flood benefit concerts, but if you’re reading this, you should probably double check me
-A61 harmonies poetiques et religieuses
-12 pieces
-titles sound really hardcore religiously manic

Piano Works in the 1840s

-this is when he was touring as a rock star
-tons of etudes
-some lieders
-tons of “reminiscences” on favorite pieces by favorite composers
-several elegies
-more waltzes (valses)
-concert paraphrases

Influences: Mendelssohn, Donizetti, Beethoven, weber, bellini, Mozart, Meyerbeer, Schubert, auber, dessauer, schumann, verdim, wagner, Mendelssohn, hummel, Robert franz

-A68, freischutz Fantasie, 1840
-based on Weber piece. First one from weber I’ve seen
-A71, reminiscences de lucrezia Borgia, 1840
-based on a popular opera by Donizetti, main character is female, maybe important
-A72, Lieder
-based on Mendelssohn composition
-ded. Frau Ceile Mendelssohn
A80, Reminiscences de Don Juan, 1841
-based on opera by Mozart
-A124 Capriccio alla turca sur des motifs de Beethoven, 1846
-A132, Hungarian rhapsody, 1846-53
-A137 grand paraphrase de la marche de Donizetti compose pour sa majeste le sultan abdul medjid-khan, 1847
-A138, concert paraphrase on an operatic theme, 1847
-theme by Verdi
-A143, Glanes de Woronice, 1847
-ded. Princess marie sayn-wittgenstein
-no. 1 based on polish melody
-no. 2 based on Chopin’s madchen’s wunsch, and no. 3 on ukranian folksong
-A161, Beethovens Lieder von Goethe, 1849
- 1840/1842/1855 - Années de Pèlerinage

Piano Works in the 1850s

-waaay less piano works than previous decades
-more etudes
-beethoven fantasies
-sonata in b (big deal, I think)
-berecuse (character piece)
-transcriptions of faust
Influences: Beethoven, Verdi, wagner, berlioz, meyerbeer, schumann, mozart

On Sonata in b minor (from Liszt by Sitwell)
-when written, Liszt felt he was breaking away from sonata form and developing a new form
-almost all critics hated it

Piano Works in the 1860s

-even fewer piano pieces than 50s
-many lieders
-several faust-based pieces
-many religiously titled pieces

Influences: verdi, wagner, berlioz, meyerbeer, mozart

-A219, deux legends, 1966, Budapest
-seems to be pieces based on saints
-A226, Vexilla regis prodeunt, 1864
-transcription of a humn with text

Piano Works in the 1870s


-A250, praludium und fuge uber das motiv B.A.C.H., 1855/1870???
-A264, lieder von Robert und clara schumann, 1874

And in the 80s

Valses oubliées