Franz Liszt, Volume 1: The Virtuoso Years, 1811-1847

Overview

The first volume in Alan Walker's magisterial biography of Franz Liszt.

"You can't help but keep turning the pages, wondering how it will all turn out: and Walker's accumulated readings of Liszt's music have to be taken seriously indeed."—D. Kern Holoman, New York Review of Books

"A conscientious scholar passionate about his subject. Mr. Walker makes the man and his age come to life. These three volumes will be the definitive work to which all ...

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Franz Liszt, Volume 1: The Virtuoso Years, 1811-1847

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Overview

The first volume in Alan Walker's magisterial biography of Franz Liszt.

"You can't help but keep turning the pages, wondering how it will all turn out: and Walker's accumulated readings of Liszt's music have to be taken seriously indeed."—D. Kern Holoman, New York Review of Books

"A conscientious scholar passionate about his subject. Mr. Walker makes the man and his age come to life. These three volumes will be the definitive work to which all subsequent Liszt biographies will aspire."—Harold C. Schonberg, Wall Street Journal

"What distinguishes Walker from Liszt's dozens of earlier biographers is that he is equally strong on the music and the life. A formidable musicologist with a lively polemical style, he discusses the composer's works with greater understanding and clarity than any previous biographer. And whereas many have recycled the same erroneous, often damaging information, Walker has relied on his own prodigious, globe-trotting research, a project spanning twenty-five years. The result is a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival."—Elliot Ravetz, Time

"The prose is so lively that the reader is often swept along by the narrative. . . . This three-part work . . . is now the definitive work on Liszt in English and belongs in all music collections."—Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Alan Walker's biography of Liszt . . . has been widely hailed as a groundbreaking work of scholarship. . . . Not only did his dogged research correct numerous, mostly damaging preconceptions about Liszt, but his cogent musical analyses made the case for the importance of the music. . . . Love him or hate him as a saint or a sinner, Liszt still has the capacity to stir great passions . . . and Mr. Walker has done a great service in correcting many misconceptions and thus raising the question about the true character of Liszt."—Johanna Keller, The New York Times. January 14, 2001

"You can't help but keep turning the pages, wondering how it will all turn out: and Walker's accumulated readings of Liszt's music have to be taken seriously indeed."—D. Kern Holoman, New York Review of Books

"A conscientious scholar passionate about his subject. Mr. Walker makes the man and his age come to life. These three volumes will be the definitive work to which all subsequent Liszt biographies will aspire."—Harold C. Schonberg, Wall Street Journal

"What distinguishes Walker from Liszt's dozens of earlier biographers is that he is equally strong on the music and the life. A formidable musicologist with a lively polemical style, he discusses the composer's works with greater understanding and clarity than any previous biographer. And whereas many have recycled the same erroneous, often damaging information, Walker has relied on his own prodigious, globe-trotting research, a project spanning twenty-five years. The result is a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival."—Elliot Ravetz, Time Magazine

"The prose is so lively that the reader is often swept along by the narrative. . . . This three-part work . . . is now the definitive work on Liszt in English and belongs in all music collections."—Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This second volume of Walker's monumental, extremely enjoyable study examines the 12 years during which the remarkable piano virtuoso, a Roman Catholic, settled in Weimar, a Protestant city, with the even-more-devout but married Princess Carolyne. During this difficult period Liszt conducted the court orchestra in many world premieres but concentrated mostly on composing the major works on which his fame is based. Walker's range and knowledge are astonishing. Chapters full of details not hitherto published are given over to Liszt as conductor, writer and teacher, his relations with his children, the ducal court and other composers and performers, the house he shared with Carolyne, the links between the marriage of her daughter Marie and her attempts to annul her own marriage so that she could wed Liszt. One of the most interesting sections, ``Liebestraum,'' discusses Liszt's emotional attachment to his piano pupil Agnes Street-Klindworth, a political agent who bore a child by Ferdinand Lassalle, revolutionary and friend of Karl Marx. Walker confirms that, for Liszt, the artist was ``a sacred vessel through which the Beautiful passed,'' and that his chief concern was that artists should be helped, ``not for their own sake but for the sake of Art.'' Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801494215
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1988
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 394,761
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Walker is Professor of Music at McMaster University. He was awarded the Commemorative Plaque of the Budapest Liszt Society for his contributions to Liszt scholarship.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2000

    This book transports you to the be with Liszt- the first great rock star before there was rock.

    Alan Walker's great research transports you to the time of Liszt and lets you understand why this pianist was so popular. This is an in depth analysis of the man. If you care about the history of music at all, you will not be able to put it down. If you enjoy true love stories with tragedies to boot, Liszt's life was an incredible journey. This is not light reading, you want to read the footnotes as well as the text. The first chapter is exceedingly boring but things get more interesting after the author dismisses most of Liszt's previous biograhpers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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