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

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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