4.22.14 | Liszt

by Raymond

Liszt is known as one of the greatest piano composers of the Romantic era, but personally, I find that his music does nothing for me. He never fails to write virtuosic music, music riddled with wild cadenzas and innumerable technical devices (which make for amazing textual effect, one of the upsides of his writing), but I believe that the flashiness sometimes aims to compensate for sparse melodic material, or a lack of thematic development (motivic development, on the other hand..). Liszt was obviously a strong influence on the late Romantics, but behind all the double notes, octaves, glissandi, sprawling scales and arpeggios, I can’t stay interested by the material. Maybe someday, the power of acquired taste will kick in, and I will realize how foolish I am now.

However, learning his music is a unique experience, despite any regret I have for doing so now.. The physical aesthetic of playing his music is sometimes, dare I say, fun. (WHAT???)

The Liebestraume No. 3, played (sort of) by yours truly. Please excuse this rather unpolished performance (oh, the erratic tempi and random flubs!); it was a work in progress before my patience wore thin. Perhaps I’ll finish it another day.