Teresa Carreño, la gran pianista venezolana por Clara Rodriguez

Este año Clara Rodríguez tocará varios conciertos dedicados a la memoria de la pianista venezolana Teresa Carreño (Caracas, 22 de diciembre de 1853 – Nueva York, 12 de junio de 1917), quien también fue cantante y compositora y  quien fuera descrita a lo largo de su vida como “Liszt en faldas”, “La emperatriz del piano”, “La valquiria del piano”

Teresa Carreño fue una de las más exitosas y admiradas pianistas de los siglos XIX y principios del XX, tocando conciertos alrededor del mundo y componiendo desde los 6 años de edad un total de 70 obras para piano; Muchas de ellas se publicaron en Europa y en los Estados Unidos.

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Teresa Carreño representó a la tercera generación de niños prodigios que habían ejercido la posición de “músicos meritorios”, carreras comenzadas desde por lo menos los 6 años de edad en la Catedral de Caracas como cantantes solistas, organistas y ejecutantes de instrumentos de cuerda y fue la primer músico de su familia en ganar reconocimiento fuera de Venezuela gracias a su primera presentación pública a los 8 años de edad, en el “Irving Hall” de Nueva York, el 25 de noviembre de 1862.

Era la tercera de los cinco hijos de Manuel Antonio Carreño (nacido el 17 de junio de 1813 ), conocido principalmente como abogado y ministro de finanzas y quien escribió el famoso Manual de urbanidad y buenos modales en 1853. Manuel Antonio era también músico y escribió unos 500 ejercicios para su hija los cuales ella tocaba regularmente en todas las tonalidades, logrando grandes beneficios y facilidad técnica desde temprana edad . También le enseñó armonía y composición.
La madre de Teresa Carreño, nacida de dos familias revolucionarias de Venezuela, era Clorinda García de Sena y Toro, pariente de la esposa de Simón Bolívar y del Marqués del Toro. El tío-abuelo de Teresa Carreño fue Simón Rodríguez, el maestro de Simón Bolívar y quien ejerciera gran influencia sobre El Libertador.

6.Teresa Carreño-niña. Boston 1863Teresa Carreño. Boston. USA. 1863

Al ver las habilidades musicales de Teresa Carreño y de tener la sensación de que su futuro debía trascender círculos más grandes, Gertrudis, su emprendedora abuela , vendió sus propiedades en Venezuela y en 1862 la familia se trasladó a Nueva York.
En ese entonces, Teresa Carreño fue escuchada por Louis Moreau Gottschalk, quien quedó muy impresionado por su estilo y se ofreció a darle lecciones, Teresita mostró a lo largo de su vida un gran respeto, cariño y admiración por el pianista.

5.Teresa Carreño. La Habana 1864Teresa Carreño. La Habana 1864

Al año siguiente, en 1863, en el mes de enero, se presentó en Boston y luego viajó a Cuba con su familia. Más tarde en el mismo año recibió una invitación de la Casa Blanca para tocar para el presidente Abraham Lincoln y su familia – ella encontró que el piano estaba “muy desafinado” pero que había sido una tarde “divertida”. También se sintió realmente orgullosa de ver su primera composición titulada “Gottschalk Waltz”, publicada. Dicha publicación se agotó tres veces en un año.

Teresita

Teresa Carreño y su familia se marcharon a Europa en marzo de 1866, el viaje fue una verdadera odisea, terriblemente difícil por mares muy agitados, en un barco defectuoso y en una ocasión tuvieron que inclusive cambiar de buque. Cuando finalmente llegaron a Inglaterra, permanecieron allí por un breve tiempo para luego seguir a París, en donde se instalaron. En la capital francesa fue muy bien acogida por los artistas más famosos, por la aristocracia de todos los salones y por las salas de conciertos más prestigiosas. Madame Erard y Rossini se aseguraron de que tuviera las mejores oportunidades para conocer a los músicos más admirados de la época, como Franz Liszt, quien llegó al salón de Madame Erard acompañado por el joven Camille Saint-Saëns y después de oír a la niña y poner sus manos sobre su cabeza le dijo: “Tienes un regalo enviado por Dios: Genio. Trabaja duro, desarrolla tu talento, sé fiel a ti misma y con el tiempo serás uno de nosotros.” Ofreció darle clases en Roma, pero su padre no pudo organizar ese viaje. Durante su tiempo en París, también tocó para Berlioz, ganó la admiración de Gounod y tuvo una amistad duradera con Blandine Ollivier, una de las hijas de Liszt.
En 1866, Teresa Carreño perdió a su madre quien murió víctima del cólera. En ese momento escribió seis elegías y tocó conciertos vestida de negro. Los críticos dijeron que cada nota que tocaba era como una lágrima de tristeza por su pérdida. Luego viajó a España con su padre y tocó conciertos en Madrid y Zaragoza. Toda España fue a escucharla excepto la familia Toro que consideraba que su madre, Clorinda, se había casado con un hombre de inferior rango social.

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Una gran parte de su obra fue publicada en París durante las décadas de 1860 y 1870 por Heugel.

Al mismo tiempo, en la ciudad Luz, el gran maestro Georges Mathias, discípulo de Chopin, se ofreció para enseñarle a la adolescente los secretos del arte de tocar el piano.

Teresa Carreño viajó a Inglaterra donde Charles Hallé la presentó a la Princesa de Gales y tocó también en las salas de conciertos Queen Rooms de Hanover Square, donde Anton Rubinstein fue a escucharla; Desde entonces se convirtió en su maestro. Él la llamaba “Mi Sol” y “Bebé”.

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En Londres así mismo tocó largas temporadas en el Covent Garden Theatre dirigido por Arthur Sullivan.
A la edad de veinte años Teresa Carreño se casó con el violinista francés Émile Sauret (1852 -1920). En 1874 tuvieron una hija, Emilita, que con mucha tristeza y pesar fue dada en adopción en Inglaterra; Su esposo la había abandonado y no podía ofrecer seguridad ni sustento al bebé. Su padre, Manuel Antonio, murió en París en agosto del mismo año; el periódico Le Ménestrel publicó una nota en donde decía que había sido uno de los maestros de piano más solicitados de Francia.

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Ella se trasladó a los Estados Unidos y continuó viajando y tocando incansablemente durante los años 70 y 80, pero deseaba un cambio en su vida artística y comenzó una carrera como cantante de ópera, debutando en Nueva York, en 1876, en el papel de Zerlina del Don Giovanni de Mozart. Ya en París el mismo Rossini había presentido que el talento de  Teresa Carreño para el belcanto sería algún día desarrollado. Su cambio hacia la ópera fue breve, intenso y muy exitoso.

Durante este tiempo se casó con su segundo marido, Giovanni Tagliapietra, un barítono nacido en Italia que bebía demasiado, sentía envidia del talento de su esposa haciéndo de la vida conyugal un tormento para Teresa. Tuvieron dos hijos: Teresita y Giovanni. En su edad adulta, Teresita se convirtió en una famosa pianista y Giovanni en cantante. Durante estos años, Teresa Carreño entabló amistad con Edward MacDowell, y promovió su música en los EE.UU. y en Europa y siempre contó con la amistad de la madre del compositor. Edward MacDowell le dedicó su segundo concierto para piano el cual ella insistía en tocar aún y cuando no fuera el favorito de los directores de orquesta.
En 1885, Teresa Carreño regresó por primera vez a su lugar de nacimiento, Venezuela. Allí actuó en conciertos y también compuso un himno en homenaje a Simón Bolívar. Al año siguiente, en su segundo viaje a Caracas, llevó una compañía de ópera, dirigió la orquesta y en ocasiones cantó también. Les Huguenots, Rigoletto, Norma y Carmen eran parte del afiche de la temporada la cual llegó a un final no muy feliz ya que la oposición de aquel momento tomó como blanco para hacer sus protestas el teatro en donde se efectúaba dicha temporada de ópera, ésto unido al rechazo de la alta sociedad caraqueña hacia ella porque decían que era pariente de Antonio Guzmán Blanco, político caído en desgracia en ese entonces le debe haber causado gran tristeza. Teresa Carreño nunca más se refirió al ese infortunado capítulo.

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Teresa Carreño regresó a Europa y empezó a tocar el piano otra vez en 1889, dando un nuevo impulso a su carrera musical. Pasó un verano en París y luego se mudó a Berlín donde se instaló. Hizo su primera actuación con la Filarmónica de Berlín, interpretando el Concierto para piano de Grieg recibiendo muchos elogios del propio compositor. En otra ocasión, en Varsovia, fue el mismo Edward Grieg quien la dirigió, él sentía profunda admiración por la pianista venezolana.
Entre 1892 y 1895 se casó con el pianista Eugen d’Albert, y juntos tuvieron dos hijas, Eugenia y Hertha. Teresa Carreño le dió gran apoyo a su marido, tocando sus composiciones y acompañádolo a sus conciertos; ella no recibió de él ese respaldo moral.

Eran dos grandes pianistas y compositores viviendo intensamente sus vidas y carreras artísticas bajo un mismo techo. El temperamento explosivo de ella no caló con el cinismo y -creo que hay que decirlo- machismo del pianista alemán.

Con un poco de humor la prensa reseñó en un momento:

“Ayer Frau Carreño dió la primera audición del segundo concierto de su tercer marido en el cuarto concierto de la Filarmónica.”

Después de un divorcio acrimonioso durante el cual el pianista quiso inclusive internarla en un manicomio con tal de no pagar la educación de sus hijas,  Teresa Carreño se dedicó a la composición escribiendo un cuarteto de cuerdas y una serenata.

“Uno nunca puede casarse demasiado tarde ni divorciarse demasiado pronto” se le oyó decir en un momento de amargura.
Comenzó a enseñar el piano y fue muy querida por sus estudiantes de Berlín, escribiendo un libro sobre la técnica de pedal.

Continuó actuando como solista con muchas de las principales orquestas europeas así como en recitales; su repertorio era muy impresionante e incluyía las Sonatas y conciertos de Beethoven, obras de Schumann como la Fantasía y los Etudes Symphoniques, las Baladas y Scherzi de Chopin, los grandes conciertos románticos; también sus propias transcripciones de ópera y sus valses.

En 1902, tomó la decisión de casarse con Arturo Tagliapietra, hermano de su segundo marido; Durante este período viajó a Sudáfrica, Australia y Nueva Zelanda.
Una vida llena de arduo trabajo y grandes emociones la agotaron físicamente.  En un viaje a Cuba comenzó a sufrir de diplopía, aún así ella tocó un concierto con sus ojos cerrados pero debió regresar a su casa de Nueva York en donde murió el 12 de junio de 1917. Gracias a grandes esfuerzos de su discípula y biógrafa Marta Milinowsky, sus cenizas fueron luego repatriadas a Venezuela y guardadas en el Panteón Nacional de Caracas.

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Teresa Carreño realizó varias presentaciones en los conciertos de Promenade de Henry Wood (Proms). Este escribió  en sus memorias: “Es difícil expresar adecuadamente lo que todos los músicos sentían por esta gran mujer que parecía una reina entre los pianistas y tocaba como una diosa. En el instante en que caminaba sobre el escenario, su firme dignidad mantenía a su audiencia en vilo que la observaba con gran atención mientras ella arreglaba la larga cola de los elegantes vestidos que usaba habitualmente. Su vigor masculino en el sonido, su touché y su maravillosa precisión al ejecutar pasajes de octavas dejaban a todos pasmados”.

El pianista Claudio Arrau recordó con alegría que él la había escuchado muchísimas veces en conciertos en Europa exclamando: “¡Oh! ¡Era una diosa!

Clara Rodríguez ha grabado un CD que contiene quince de las obras de Teresa Carreño para Nimbus Records (NI 6103) que ha sido internacionalmente elogiado por los críticos y el cual es a menudo reproducido en la radios incluyendo las estaciones de la BBC. El crítico Jeremy Nicholas de Gramophone Magazine escribió:

“Esta música necesita un espíritu de lleno de empatía para mostrarlo a su mejor luz y Clara Rodríguez ofrece interpretaciones de fascinante vivacidad aliadas al requisito más esencial de CHARM”.
Altamente recomendable”

https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/clara-rodriguez-plays-teresa-carre%C3%B1o

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Clara Rodriguez, concert pianist and educator

“The Venezuelan virtuoso pianist Clara Rodriguez”
The Daily Telegraph
Education and Concert career

Clara Rodriguez has built up an enviable international reputation
for her innovative programme planning, juxtaposing standard
repertoire and works by South American composers.
Her playing has been described as being highly expressive,
sensitive with considerable digital clarity and stylistic acumen.
At sixteen she was in her eighth year at the Conservatorio Juan
José Landaeta of Caracas when she took part in a national
competition judged by Michael Gough Matthews and
Barbara Boissard, the then directors of The Royal College of
Music’s Senior and Junior Departments. She was awarded
the Teresa Carreño Scholarship that enabled her to come to
London to study at the Royal College of Music with Phyllis Sellick.
There she studied for a year at the JD and at Senior College
graduated from the Performers’ Course and a two year Post-
Graduate. She was the recipient of many prizes and awards such
as the Scarlatti Prize, the Mozart Prize and the Percy Buck Award,
as finalist in the Chappell Prize; with the RCM orchestras she
performed concertos by Mozart, De Falla, Ravel and Gershwin.
Clara Rodriguez has also studied with Guiomar Narváez
(Venezuela), Regina Smendzianka (Poland), Niel Immelman
(U.K.) Paul Badura-Skoda (Austria) and Irina Zaritskaya (Russia).
In Caracas, aged sixteen she made her debut playing Mozart
Piano Concerto K595 with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra under the
baton of José Antonio Abreu; from then on Clara Rodriguez’s
career as a solo pianist has taken her to Belgium, Denmark, Egypt,
Finland, France, India, Italy, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, The USA and
Venezuela.
In London she is a hugely popular performer who plays to great
acclaim at the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre,
Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, Leighton House, Bolívar Hall, St.
James’s Piccadilly and St John’s Smith Square.
Recently she has been invited to play a series of celebratory
concertos with the Simón Bolívar Orchestra as well as with other
El Sistema Orchestras for their 40th Anniversary. Clara Rodríguez
also played in the celebrations of the 35th Orquesta Municipal de
Caracas Anniversary Concert Series and the Fitzrovia Festival
(Fitzfest) alongside clarinettist Michael Collins.
Recordings

Her commercial recordings on labels such as ASV, Meridian and
Universal have received outstanding critical acclaim. At present
she has five albums on Nimbus Records of the piano music by:
Teresa Carreño, Ernesto Lecuona, Moises Moleiro and Federico
Ruiz.
Her latest CD, “Venezuela”, contains a collection of dances by 18
different composers and “Americas” her newly recorded album will
be released in the autumn of 2016; it will present a mixture of
music from countries such as Haiti, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, The
USA, Argentina and Venezuela.
Other titles on her discography are:
Chopin Late Works – Classical Recording Company
El Cuarteto & Clara Rodríguez – Live in Concert in Caracas.
These CDs are broadcast by networks worldwide.
New works

Clara Rodriguez has commissioned and premièred many works
including Federico Ruiz’s Second Piano Concerto which she
recorded with the Orquesta Municipal de Caracas.
Federico Ruiz has also written for her:
• Zumba que zumba
• Tropical Triptych – Sonata in three movements
• Nocturno
• Merengue
• Carnaval
Clara Rodriguez is the dedicatee of a number of other piano
pieces:
• Creciente Waltz by Miguel Astor
• Vista Clara by Lawrence Casserley (piano and ring modulator)
• Three Preludes by Mirtru Escalona Mijares
• Anthology of Venezuelan Waltzes for piano and string orchestra
by Juan Carlos Núñez
• Sin manija by Michael Rosas-Cobian (piano and electronic
sounds on tape)
• Clarissima visione by Diego Silva (for piano and orchestra) and
Africa Mia (for two percussionists and piano)
• Cuaderno de piezas by Adrián Suárez (for piano and indigenous
instruments).
Words and music

Clara Rodriguez has successfully devised, produced and
performed programmes that combine words, visual effects and
piano music:
• Gypsy Ballade – homage to Federico Garcia Lorca
• Liszt in petticoats – dedicated to Teresa Carreño
• Franz Liszt – his poets and demons

Festivals
Clara Rodriguez has founded and directed three music festivals:
• San Martin Theatre of Caracas Festival (1993-1998) for which
she obtained support from the Venezuelan Arts Council and in
1998 from the British Council to present performances by
clarinettist Ian Stuart who played recitals of music by British
composers and Luciano Berio and pianist Niel Immelmann who
gave a recital, masterclasses for the local students and played
Grieg Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica Venezuela.
• A Legendary Piano Festival of Caracas (2013) was an event
created by Clara Rodriguez to celebrate the purchase of the
Steinway Concert Grand model D bought to the Southbank
Centre by Venezuela. She invited 16 local pianists to participate
and interviewed each of them in public before each concert; she
gave two dozen interviews herself to the radio, TV and the
national press. Norman Lebrecht published a chronicle of the
procedure undertaken by Clara Rodriguez to successfully
achieve this enterprise, “Brendel’s piano in Caracas”.
• Clara Rodriguez Bolívar Hall Concert Series (2013) Clara
Rodríguez invited musicians from The USA, Spain, Germany and
France to perform in London.
Pedagogy

With an experience of over 25 years, Clara Rodriguez has been an
active, sought after private teacher of students that travel from as
far afield as India, France, different corners of the UK and
Venezuela to receive tuition from her.
Her knowledge of Latin American repertoire has caught the interest
of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music that has
included in its syllabus works suggested by her of composers such
as Federico Ruiz, Antonio Estévez and Miguel Astor.
Her edition of “Pieces for children under 100 years of age” by Ruiz
was launched by Spartan Press Publishers in 2012 and is being
enjoyed by students all over the world.

Her students have won many competitions and scholarships to
different schools in their countries. Some have entered the main
music colleges of the UK such as the Royal Welsh, the Guildhall, The Royal
College of Music and Trinity College as well as Oxford and Cambridge universities and are now pursuing successful performing careers.
As a member of the of the RCM Junior staff since 2006 her
students have played at the Wigmore Hall, the Albert Hall (Elgar
Room) and have been successful in the Royal Philharmonic
Society Duet Competition as well as international competitions.
She is in demand as an adjudicator in several countries and has
given masterclasses in Switzerland, the U.K. and Venezuela.
Articles by Clara Rodriguez have been published on International
Piano Magazine and on Pianist Magazine.
Awards and media
Clara Rodriguez was awarded the 2015 LUKAS prize as Classical
Music Personality of the Year. The Latin-UK Awards (LUKAS) is
the only award to recognize the contribution of Britain’s one million
Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese residents. It is the most
media covered Latin event in the UK’s history, reaching an
estimated 20 million people in the UK, North and South America.
She has also been named Woman of the Year a number of times
by Venezuelan newspapers such as El Nacional, El Universal and
Panorama.
BBC Radio and TV Networks
Clara Rodriguez appears once a year on the BBC Radio 3
programme “In Tune” since its beginnings in 1998. She has also
been invited several times to talk about women composers and to
play their pieces on “Woman’s Hour”. In April this year she was a
guest on the “Music Matters” programme dedicated to the
celebration of Alberto Ginastera’s centenary where she talked to
Tom Service and played two pieces by the Argentinean composer.
Her CDs have featured on “CD Review” and on the “Breakfast
Show”.
She has had interviews on many of the BBC World Service and
France Internationale programmes.
Since her childhood, Clara Rodriguez has appeared playing live on
TV channels in different countries including on Sky television and
France 3.
Further information
For more detailed information about Clara Rodriguez you can visit:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pianoclararodriguez/
Blog: http://pianoclararodriguez.blogspot.co.uk/
Wordpress: https://pianistclararodriguez.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VENPIANISTA
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Venpianista
Web: http://www.clararodriguez.com http://www.wordpress.uk.com/
Contact details:
Clara Rodriguez
Clara-0407847263843
clara.rodriguez@rcm.ac.uk

Una noche con Clara Rodríguez y Chopin en Kew

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La pianista venezolana residenciada en Londres tocó el Sábado 7 de Febrero en el distrito de Richmond llamado Kew, lugar mundialmente conocido gracias a el parque botánico Kew Gardens.
El concierto, a sala llena, se llevó a cabo en la hermosísima iglesia construida en 1714 de Santa Ana bajo los auspicios e invitación de la Sinfonia de Kew dirigida por el maestro inglés Marc Dooley.
Clara Rodríguez fue la solista en el famoso Concierto No 1 de Federico Chopin. El público demostró su reconocimiento a la artista ofreciendole una larga ovación y enviándole mensajes de felicitaciones.
En oportunidades anteriores Marc Dooley y Clara Rodríguez han compartido el escenario en la interpretación del Concierto de Schumann en La menor y en el Tercer Concierto de Sergei Rachmaninoff en la sala St. John’s Smith Square.

Clara Rodríguez se presenta regularmente en Europa y en Venezuela. En el 2014 tocó dos conciertos celebratorios del 39 aniversario de la fundación del Sistema de Orquestas de Venezuela y con la Orquesta Municipal de Caracas.
Próximas presentaciones incluyen conciertos en St. Martin in-the-Fields (14 de Abril), Purcell Room del Southbank Centre (7 de Junio) y con la Orquesta Típica Nacional en la Sala José Fálix Ribas (25 de Julio).

El catálogo de CDs grabados por Clara Rodríguez para el prestigioso sello Nimbus Records contiene álbumes de la música para piano de Teresa Carreño, Moisés Moleiro, Federico Ruiz, “VENEZUELA” y de Ernesto Lecuona. Independientemente ha producido discos de música de Federico Chopin y con El Cuarteto en vivo.

Clara Rodríguez es profesora de piano en el Royal College of Music de Londres.

“Sólo hay una palabra para la actuación de anoche donde Clara Rodríguez tocó el Concierto No 1 de Federico Chopin : magnífico ! Qué inspirador fue escuchar esa música maravillosa en una interpretación impecable, con tanta sensibilidad. Yo estaba realmente conmovido, hasta las lágrimas, y le doy las gracias . La Sinfonia de Kew en general muy competente pero al tocar con Clara se elevó a un nivel superior , acompañándola con gran sincronización y musicalidad . El director, Marc Dooley estuvo excelente, también. Una noche inolvidable”  William Roberts

Pasamos ayer una maravillosa velada musical con la sinfonía de Kew y sobre todo con la magnífica interpretación de Chopin por Clara Rodríguez. Qué gran talento de pianista, su brillantez y su sonrisa. Ciertamente no es sólo la técnica y el árduo trabajo , sino también la vitalidad y una gran jovialidad . ¡Qué alegría para nosotros los espectadores
pasar este momento excepcional!”

Fue fabuloso! Realmente genial – Me había olvidado de lo difícil, largo y bello que es ese concierto.
No puedo creer que te lo hayas aprendido en tan pocos meses. Realmente es un gran trabajo y
has dado en el clavo! Realmente hermoso .Fue una gran noche – debes
tocar ese concierto de nuevo – es tan bonito.

Muchas gracias Clara, ¡fue realmente sublime!

FELICITACIONES…TU TE TRANSPORTAS ANTE EL PIANO HACIENDOLO PARTE DE TI1514398_10152595952630474_647112411918863701_nFotografía por Gabriella Bello10701_10152595958530474_4442149006726930819_n

“No mortal can compare to Liszt” by Clara Rodriguez

14082503Written and compiled by Clara Rodriguez
Staged in Caracas in July 2011

Characters:

· Pianist: Clara Rodriguez

· Actress: Caridad Canelón

· Narrator: Miguel Delgado-Estévez

Clara enters in  darkness and sits at the piano, a dim light becomes stronger gradually and she starts to play the Concert Study No. 3 “Un sospiro” by Franz Liszt

ACTRESS: Franz Liszt, was a Hungarian composer and pianist who has been described as the first rockstar. His extraordinary success led to terms like Lisztomania and Liszt Fever due to the hysteria produced by his public appearances.

NARRATOR: At the time of his birth, in Vienesse cafés, Beethoven talked to his friends of Bolívar’s triumphs in Latin America, it was the year of the signing of the first Constitution of the Republic of Venezuela, it was the year of  The Great Comet of 1811 times of change and wars in Europe, although his birthplace, Raiding, had barely become Hungary, it had been beforeTurkish territory. It was still a feudal country where the Lords lived in luxury.

ACTRESS: His father, Adam, worked for the Esterhazy royal family where concerts were the main activity . Haydn took care of the programming for 30 years

NARRATOR: Liszt heard in his childhood lots of classical music and used to also love listening to the music Gypsies played near his home.

ACTRESS: At the at age of  9, he played his first concert despite having malarial fever. The listeners were impressed. A subsequent concert secured him a scholarship that enabled him to travel to Vienna. There, he studied with Salieri and Czerny.

NARRATOR: Czerny with his disciplined method decided to teach him for free.

ACTRESS: They say, that in admiration, Beethoven kissed the hands of the young Liszt, although his detractors critized this saying that it was just part of thehype” done for the young virtuoso.

NARRATOR: At 13 he sets his home with his ​​parents in Paris, the most artistic capital of the time.

ACTRESS: Cherubini, then director of the conservatory, would not accept him as a student despite having prayed, cried and even submitted letters of recommendation from the Hungarian nobles and aristocrats. A sense of terrible failure invaded Franz and his father.

NARRATOR: Franz could anyway display his talent by playing many concerts thanks to these letters.In a few months he was considered the 9th. Wonder of the World!

ACTRESS: Cherubini !!!

NARRATOR: At the age of 20 Liszt met three people who had a powerful influence on him: Paganini, Chopin and Berlioz.

ACTRESS: Paganini had invented a mysterious form of virtuosity. His compositions imitated the sound of thunder, the humming of the wind, laughter. His figure was amazing because it was just skin and bones, just his fingers looked very strong

NARRATOR: One of the great ambitions of Liszt was to transcribe Paganini’s Capriccios for the piano.
ACTRESS: Liszt also reduced Beethoven nine symphonies for the piano thus helping later generations to know them.

NARRATOR: Liszt  deeply appreciated the creative, almost violent, genius of Berlioz .. It took him a little time to adjust to it but he studied the composition and orchestration techniques transcribing works such as the Symphonie Fantastique.
ACTRESS: Chopin spirit and musical poetry impressed Liszt, it was fascinating to see how he was only interested in the piano as a means of expression. The mutual admiration felt is reflected in the biography that Liszt wrote of the great Polish where there’s an  acount of the day Chopin appeared in one of the salons of Paris wearing a blond wig imitating his fellow pianist.
CLARA PLAYS  CHOPIN STUDY No. 1 Op. 25
ACTRESS: Liszt was an intellectual, at age 22 he wrote to his friend Pierre Wolf:
NARRATOR: “for the last fifteen days my spirit and my fingers work like hell: Homer, Lord Byron, Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo, Beethoven, Plato, Mozart, Bach and the Bible are around me I study, meditate, devour with rage; practice between 4 to 5 hours daily exercise, thirds, sixths, octaves, tremolos, repeated notes, cadences, etc .:either I go crazy or I’ll become an artist !!! At this time he was broken-hearted as his ​​student Caroline de Saint Cricq could not love him…
ACTRESS: (dramatizing) My father has forbidden me to see Franz, I’ve heard that he has fallen into a depression for several months that has led to stop appearing in public, it was even published that he had died
NARRATOR: and the myth continued to grow.
In his deathbed Adam Liszt had warned his son: “Beware Franz, because from what I see, women will be your downfall.”

ACTRESS: Then came the secret romance with the Countess Adele Laprumarede, something a little less passionate but successful.

CLARA PLAYS ADRIANA WALTZ by MIGUEL ASTOR

ACTRESS: Franz had amalgamated in his playing, classic old school with his new methods and virtuosic inventions. His attack and brilliance, speed and beauty of sound coupled with his intelligence and physical attributes had great effect on the Parisian salons, especially on the female audience.

NARRATOR: One of these ladies -friends with Berlioz- fell in love with the young Franz, Countess d’Agoult, who was married with three children. Liszt was 22, she was 28, blonde and goodlooking but with no sense of humor. Although she disliked music, her passion for Liszt blinded her, she would not take any consideration of the social consequences this relationship that lasted 10 years, would bring her. Some called them immoral, but for Liszt, it brought the necessary calm to begin developing his work as a composer.

ACTRESS: They were settlled in Geneva where Blondine was born. Franz taught at the conservatory. His appearance was still that of a teenager; his long hair was always a topic of conversation among his acquaintances, and in his index finger he wore a gold ring with a silver skull.

NARRATOR: A Punk teacher !!!

ACTRESS: Then they moved to Italy near Lake Como where Cosima was born in 1837.

NARRATOR: she was to marry Richard Wagner, in her adulthood, .

CLARA PLAYS “AU BORD D’UNE SOURCE” BY LISZT

ACTRESS: They then decided to move to Italy to read Dante and the Classics. The success achieved in this country, particularly in Milan, was brought down because of a series of articles Liszt wrote in the Paris Musical Gazette attacking what he saw as bad taste in the Italian musical world, for which he was declared persona non grata.

NARRATOR: The relationship with the Countess had begun to deteriorate, too much responsibility was now imposed by having a household with five children, he saw all this as an impediment in fullfilling his career and travels!. Reasons or excuses were repeatedly discussed :

ACTRESS: “Franz, last night after your concert, on the way home,  you directed not one word to me,  why are you so cold?” Why do you have to play all these benefit concerts that keep you away from us ?”

NARRATOR: In a letter Liszt writes:
Marie! Marie! Let me repeat that name a hundred times, a thousand times. For three days it has lived inside me, oppressing and burning me Heaven, hell, everything, everything in you and you … again, we live with all our experience, love, and all our woe!
The day you can tell me with all your soul, with all your heart, all your mind,let us erase, forget forever, everything that is incomplete, painful, and distressing from the past; let us be everything to each other, because now I understand and forgive as much as I love you “that day, and it may be soon, we will fly away from the world, we will live, we will love and die only for each other

ACTRESS: Those words belonged to a dying love.

NARRATOR: These two lives were like two out -of- tune pianos !!!

ACTRESS: She returned to Paris with the children and he went on his globetrotting life to almost every corner of Europe.

CLARA PLAYS PETRARCH SONNET 104 by LISZT

ACTRESS: Medals,  sabers and gold swords were offered, Liszt was acclaimed and beloved as much as the little Mozart was in his time.

NARRATOR: In a letter he says “Prague is the city that has the best taste in music. At this time the aristocracy is delighted with me; women are at my disposal, men give in to this situation with some humor “. Liszt made ​​several tours in Russia with great success. At first, the audience saw him as an eccentric, there no one would have thought of appearing on stage flaunting such a mane, much less adorn the lapels with as many commendations, but all these speculations were forgotten when Liszt started playing, simply, they maddened under its spell .

ACTRESS: With his concerts he made ​​much money and came to build a carriage that must have been almost a caravan where he had a room and a study that contained a piano.

NARRATOR: At this time his number of ties amounted to three hundred and sixty-five. A different one for each day of the year.

NARRATOR: Liszt avoided returning to Paris for a while not to meet Madame d’Agoult instead he was traveling the Mediterranean area, accompanied by his lover of the moment, Lola Montes.

ACTRESS: That wandering life and the indiscriminate popularity began to tire him My life seems to be an endless search.

NARRATOR: “I feel I‘m marked by a heavy futility. Am I doomed to do this type of minstrel’s work for life?

CLARA PLAYS VALS DESTILADO BY RICARDO TERUEL

NARRATOR: The Grand Duke Carl August of Vienna offered him the position of musical director of Weimar

ACTRESS: Before taking his post he would end one of his tours in Russia. In his last concert in Kiev he found a warm letter in his dressing room alongside 100 rubles.

ACTRESS: The next day in a thank you gesture to the sender … his life and destiny were sealed … once again.

NARRATOR: Her name: Princess Caroline Wittgenstein, eight years his junior, married but separated from a Russian billionaire Prince attached to the Tsar.

ACTRESS: A very serious person, avid reader and as religious as Liszt himself. She invited him to stay at her mansion where they were together for several weeks.

NARRATOR: Her plan was to sell the properties and divorce, but the government did not grant her permission to leave Russia, she managed to ran away to meet Liszt in the city where they would live for the next twelve years.

ACTRESS: Liszt was devoted to the composition and premiered as many operas as he could. He admired and supported Wagner of whom he said was composing the music of the future.

NARRATOR: Liszt also became a conductor and created the modern orchestra as we know it today. These were the years of the invention of the symphonic poems and works such as the magnificent Sonata in B minor.

Let’s listen to an excerpt of it

CLARA PLAYS approximately 10 ‘of the first part of the SONATA in B minor by LISZT

ACTRESS: After twelve years he was disappointed by how narrow minded Weimar was .

NARRATOR: If I had only dedicated myself to please the taste of the big wigs the newspapers would not have insulted me as they have.”

ACTRESS: He found comfort in the love of the princess, music and religion; they had hoped to marry and so they made a trip to the Vatican. The wedding would be held on the 50th birthday of Franz’s, at St. Charles the Corsican. On the eve of the marriage an envoy of the Pope told them that she was still technically married in Russia and that her husband was opposed to the wedding.

NARRATOR: What a horrible disappointment suffered this pair of beings! They decided to live separately, but always maintained a close relationship to the end of their lives.

CLARA PLAYS CARMEN ROSA BY FEDERICO RUIZ

NARRATOR: Liszt, by the circumstances of his life, was often thrown into situations that had similarities with Faust, he also was Mephistopheles! He seemed to negotiate with false gods not always getting the desired results.

ACTRESS: In the last stage of his life he had the appearance of a magician apart, wearing clerical clothing. He went on to receive the Provincial Franciscan Order at the Vatican and produced a great amount of religious works.

NARRATOR: After living in an apartment in this exclusive “hotel” he was invited to the Villa d’Este where he spent time each year for twenty years. What he really would have liked was to be named musical director of the Vatican but his past-and present-shocked society in Rome.

CLARA PLAYS WALTZ No 1 BY JUAN CARLOS NUÑEZ

ACTRESS: The Duke of Weimar rehired him while the Hungarians invited him to create the Academy of Music in Budapest two invitations that he gladly received after his retirements in Rome he was feeling revitalized and free a new princess awaited him though, widowed with children and very passionate. The Baroness Olga  Meyendorff. But that was not the only Olga that would occupy part of his spirit, there was also Olga The Cossack.

NARRATOR: This young lady was not afraid of nature, hunted lions,tamed tigers, crossed the steppe on the back of her Arabian horses, was an anarchist, atheist, made animal dissections and ​​without possessing the necessary talent also wanted to be a pianist total failure !!!

ACTRESS: In her first meeting with Liszt she took a puff of a cigar and noting the figures of a Christ and a Virgin asked the teacher if “they” would not mind the smoke, Liszt replied:

NARRATOR: “My child, for them it is just another type of incense

ACTRESS: Liszt wanted to end the relationship but…

NARRATOR: She appeared in his apartment in Budapest with a gun, wanted to kill him and kill herself. Liszt  said that next to this girl George Sand was a shy schoolgirl.

CLARA PLAYS DANCE of the Gaucho Matrero BY ALBERTO GINASTERA

NARRATOR: a young North American piano student, AMY FAY, travels through Germany  with the idea of ​​studying with Liszt

ACTRESS: Tonight I went to the theatre and I’ve seen him! Liszt is the most handsome and interesting man imaginable. Tall and slight, with deep-set eyes, bushy eyebrows and gray hair, long, which he wears with a parting in the middle. His mouth turns up at the corners, giving him an intelligent Mephistophelian expression when he smiles, his whole appearence and manner have an almost Jesuit elegance. His hands are very narrow, with long fingers that seem to have more joints than other other people’s. They are so flexible and supple that  just looking at them makes me nervous.

I have never seen such refined manners as his. When he stood to leave his box, for example, after his “adieux” to the ladies, he laid his hand on his heart and made his final bow, without exaggeration, just with a quite courtliness, which makes you think there is no other way to say goodbye to a lady!

THE ACTRESS WALKS ON STAGE , THINKING, THEN TO THE PUBLIC:

He is all spirit, but half the time it is, a mocking spirit! For the first lesson, I almost died when he called, “The American, to the ringI played like I was possessed. He said “Bravo! You played with courage

NARRATOR: He gives no paid lessons whatever, as he is much too grand for those little things! On the other hand, he can do some cruel things, for instance, he will rarely mortify anyone by an open snub, but he manages to let the rest of the class know what he is thinking while the poor victim remains quite in darkness about it!

NARRATOR: I remember him saying once “When I play, I always do it for the people in the gallery -he meant the cock-loft, where the rabble sit- so those persons who pay next to nothing also hear something”  In his demonstration the sound didn’t seem to be loud, it was penetrating, far reaching.

ACTRESS: He never talks about technique in classes, only interpretation, but I remember the day he told me “Miss, please do not move your hands as if you were beating eggs to make an omelet,”

NARRATOR: One day, Princess Caterina was playing and he thought it was so abominable that he snatched the score and knocked it down. The princess, elegantly, did not alter but looked firmly at him and said:

ACTRESS: Now who‘s going to pick it up ?

NARRATOR: Well, Liszt had to stoop and pick it up, as a punishment he imposed himself to give the princess not one but two lessons!

ACTRESS: His nature is compassion, he is exquisite, GLORIOUS! no mortal can compare to LISZT.

CLARA PLAYS VALS POETICO BY ERNESTO LECUONA

NARRATOR: Liszt had other great and stormy love affairs and one day told his grandson: The great success of my life was never having married.”

ACTRESS: Liszt was in Parisalmost 60 years of age and everyone knew he hated the notion of child prodigies

NARRATOR: I have no time for those artists to be”these creatures never come to anything. “

ACTRESS: when he was introduced to a 12 year old girl from Caracas: Teresa Carreño who had been described by a critic as “Liszt in petticoats”. Against his will he heard the child and putting his hands on her head he said:

NARRATOR: God has given you the greatest gift, he has given to you genius. Work hard and in time you will become one of us. “

ACTRESS: Teresa Carreño said she never forgot the weight of the hands of the great master over her head.

CLARA PLAYS MI TERESITA WALTZ  BY TERESA CARREÑO

NARRATOR: Always one single thought in my heart: To Die, always constant, that image is in my soul, to die. As my past, and future, my hope is to die,

ACTRESS: For him, death is a curtain that goes up and lets light in. It is a haunting image, it is the true joy or sorrow present in his music.

NARRATOR: Liszt died in 1886 in Beyreuth pleased to have witnessed a successful production of Tristan.

CLARA PLAYS MEPHISTO WALTZ BY LISZT

ROOM IN TOTAL DARKNESS  WITH  THE FINAL CHORD

Photography by Antolín Sánchez