The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Here is more about Franz Liszt and his 200th birthday from NPR, pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Stephen Hough, radio hosts Bill McGlaughlin and Miles Hoffman, and others.

October 29, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

Can you ever hear too much Liszt?

Or too much about Liszt (below)?

I don’t think Liszt would say so. After all, in both his personal and professional he was a bit given to extravagance as well as generosity.

Besides, why not have more Liszt, since last Saturday was – as this blog noted with special posts – his 200th birthday.

And why not more, especially when disagreements are involved?

Maybe that in itself says something about Liszt: To remain controversial after two centuries is no small feat.

Was Liszt a rock star of his day?

A prophet of modernism?

A great pianist who championed other great composers but was himself a second-rate, or at least not first-rank, composer?

How about all of it? Check out some of these sources, including NPR and pianists Leif Ove Andsnes  and Stephen Hough (below bottom):

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2011/10/21/141562068/franz-liszt-at-200-an-important-but-not-great-composer

http://www.npr.org/2011/10/22/141617637/how-franz-liszt-became-the-worlds-first-rock-star

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2011/10/20/141523287/guest-dj-leif-ove-andsnes-liszt-list

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/stephenhough/100056018/liszt-erotic-lyricism-and-transcending-a-reputation/

Plus, Bill McGlaughlin’s radio show “Exploring Music” – which features great performances as well as insightful commentary — has explored Franz Liszt this past week. (It airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio, WERN 88.7 FM in the Madison area.)

Here is a play list to his shows:

http://blogs.wfmt.com/exploringmusic/category/exploring-music-playlists/

Let me also remind you that McGlaughlin (below) will be the guest speaker for the next Pro Arte Quartet centennial concert on Saturday, Nov. 19, when he will give a free lecture about “The Artist as Distant Early Warning System” at 3 p.m. in Grainger Hall of the UW Business School. A cocktail reception and dinner follow with the Pro Arte give a free concert of Beethoven (Op. 131) as well as the world premiere of American composer Paul Schoenfield’s “Three Rhapsodies” at 8 p.m. in Mills Hall. Save the date!!

But back to Liszt.

Did you celebrate his birthday? How?

I heard of one smart piano teacher who had his young students gather together for a pizza party. I like that kind of celebration.

What Liszt piece would you play or listen to to celebrate his 200th birthday?

The Ear wants to hear.

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Posted in Classical music

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