November 11th-November 17th: Wild Hunt

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

You may remember him from previous listening activities: La Campanella and Lyrical Lisztening


F. Liszt, Transcendental Etude no. 8, “Wilde Jagd”

Earlier this year, we listened to an etude by Chopin. This week, we will listen to an etude by Franz Liszt.

“Wilde Jagd” is the 8th out of 12 “Transcendental Etudes”. The title of this piece translates into “Wild Hunt”. This piece features many dramatically contrasting sections with different moods and personalities, each with unique challenges of their own.

I’ve included a live performance, as well as a recording including the score for those of you who want to try and follow along or perhaps, try to play some of the piece - good luck!


  1. What musical elements evoke the theme of a hunt? Think about rhythm, dynamics, range, etc.

  2. You will notice there are a few different sections/themes with contrasting moods repeating throughout the piece. How many different sections can you hear?

  3. Describe each section and name at least one challenge for each section. If you’re stuck, think of what you might work on while practicing your own pieces. (“Fast” is not an acceptable answer)

Bonus Questions

  1. Identify the scale on the score at the 35 second mark. Can you play this scale?

  2. Identify the chord in the second bar of the music.

  3. Identify the scale in the first bar of the music


As you may recall from the Astounding Sounding Arpeggios listening activity…

An etude (pronouced “ey-tood”) is the French word for "study". Studies/etudes are written to focus on specific technical challenges at the piano.  They began as only exercises; however, as the piano developed in the Romantic Era, composers such as Chopin and Liszt elevated the etude from a practice room exercise to dazzling masterpieces fit for the concert stage!