Franz Liszt (1811-1886) once said, “My sole ambition as a composer is to hurl my javelin into the infinite space of the future.”
As always, I am enjoying working on the powerful work, Liszt B minor Sonata, a challenge!:
“Not only are its four movements rolled into one, but they are themselves composed against a background of a full-scale sonata scheme—exposition, development, and recapitulation. That is, Liszt has composed a sonata across a sonata…. the material is constantly making contributions to two sonata forms simultaneously.” This immense experiment in form was unprecedented. Liszt had achieved his goal of living in the rarefied zone of Beethoven himself.
He completed the sonata on Feb. 2, 1853, the year Teresa Carreño was born, I am starting the programme with Mi Teresita Waltz followed by El diablo suelto by Heraclio Fernández who died the same year as Liszt! Fun!
In 1855 Liszt’s pupil Karl Klindworth gave Richard Wagner a private recital in London. The next day, Wagner wrote to the composer, “Dearest Franz, You were with me, the sonata is beautiful beyond compare; great, sweet, deep and noble, sublime as you are yourself.”I prefer not to include here Clara Schumann’s comment on the work…
The English critic Cecil Gray wrote, “The essence of his art, consists in a sadness, a melancholy, a disillusion, a despair, of a depth and intensity unequaled, perhaps, in all music”
I would add elegance, defiance, triumphalism.