October 22 is the birthday of Ferencz Liszt - the major composer of the 19th century, pianist and conductor
Ferencz Liszt is the major composer of the 19th century, a brilliant pianist innovator and conductor, the outstanding musical and public figure.
Liszt’s life was not easy - he left his homeland early, spent many years in France and Germany, coming to Hungary only on short visits, and only by the end of his life Liszt lived in Hungary. Both the history of the musical life of Paris of the 30s, and the history of German music of the mid-19th century are not complete without Liszt name. Nevertheless, he is largely belongs to Hungarian culture, and his contribution to the history of his native country is enormous.
Liszt was proud of his fellow countrymen and his homeland; he constantly emphasized that he was Hungarian: “May I be allowed to admit that, despite my regrettable ignorance of the Hungarian language, I remain Magyar from cradle to grave, body and soul, and in accordance with this in the most serious way I strive to maintain and develop the Hungarian musical culture”.
Throughout his career, Liszt constantly turned to Hungarian themes. In 1840 he wrote “The Heroic March in the Hungarian Style”, then the cantata “Hungary”, the famous “Funeral Procession” (in honor of the fallen heroes) and, finally, several notebooks of “Hungarian National Melodies and Rhapsodies” (twenty-one pieces in total) . Hungarian themes were echoed in the Liszt’s spiritual works written specifically for Hungary - The Gran Mass (Missa solennis zur Einweihung der Basilika in Gran), The Legend of St. Elizabeth, and The Hungarian Coronation Mass. In the 1850s, three symphonic poems were created, associated with the images of the motherland (“Crying about the Heroes”, “Hungary” and “The Battle of the Huns”) and fifteen Hungarian rhapsodies, which were free adaptation of folk tunes.
Liszt had been refining the Hungarian Rhapsodies for several decades. The instrumental rhapsody genre itself was Liszt's invention. “I drew wealth there - Liszt wrote about these topics, where I found: first in my own childhood memories that go back to Bihari and other gypsy celebrities, and then in the depth of gypsy orchestras of Edenburg, Pressburg and Pest, and finally, I remembered and in my own way reproduced many motives and characteristic features that I was presented with rare generosity either on the piano or recorded ... "
In our music compilation for F. Liszt birthday, recorded from the media that are stored in the museum Collection musical library, you can hear some of the Hungarian rhapsodies by Liszt addressing the theme of the composer's homeland.
Composer’s biography is in the section Authors.
Based on: M. Druskin (Belcanto.ru)