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?
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:
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.