March 5th: Fun with Franz - Lyrical Lisztening

Franz Liszt was a rockstar - a showman and a virtuoso.  He revolutionized piano performance and is the reason we perform from memory today.  Reaching levels of fame comparable to modern day rockstars, he was often depicted in concert with swooning fans and snapping strings.  

This week's listening features 2 pieces from the composer.

1) F. Liszt - Liebestraum no. 3

The title translates into "Love Dream".  This is the 3rd and most famous piece of a set of 3, based off a set of poems.  The term for music which is based off a specific image, object or person, etc. is "program music".



  • The main theme returns differently several times, from the opening statement, transforming into the luscious and grand climax.  Which version of the theme was your favourite and why?


2) F. Liszt - Un Sospiro from Trois études de concert

Liszt's composition often showcases the virtuosity of performer - thundering forte, flashy hand crossing, and flourishing runs, just to name a few.  If you didn't notice the runs in the previous piece, you certainly will in Un Sospiro.  In addition, the opening is written to have hands crossing on each melody note (on 3 staves).

This world class pianist is actually from Calgary!


  • The 2 pianists take on quite different tempos.  Which performance do you prefer and why?