A prolific composer and virtuoso pianist, Franz Liszt (1811–1886) was the most lionized musical personality of his time. His compositions for solo piano continue to be loved and admired by pianists and their audiences for their lush Romanticism and technical fireworks. They remain among the most frequently performed works in the repertoire. This choice selection of Liszt piano works reveals the powers at this extraordinary composer's command: Mephisto Waltz No.1; Nuages Gris; Liebesträume Nos. 1, 2 & 3; Grand Galop Chromatique; Polonaises Nos. 1 & 2; Valse-Impromptu in A-flat Major; Fantasia and Fugue on the Theme BACH; La Lugubre Gondola I & II; Valse Oubliée No. 1; Czárdás Macabre; Gretchen (from A Faust Symphony); Unstern: Sinsitre, Disastro; and Rhapsodie Espagnole.
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About the Author
Composer, conductor, and teacher Franz Liszt (181186) was renowned throughout Europe for his skills as a concert pianist. The quintessential romantic, he created an extensive and diverse oeuvre that ranges from influential experiments in musical form to more conventional pieces as well as transcriptions of works by other composers.
Read an Excerpt
Mephisto Waltz and Other Works for Solo Piano
By Franz Liszt
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 1994 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
LIEBESTRÄUME, 3 NOTTURNOS
(Dreams of Love, 3 Nocturnes)
Piano transcriptions of three Liszt songs on the following texts
English translations by Stanley Appelbaum
[LIEBESTRAUM No. 1]
Poem by Ludwig Uhland
In Liebesarmen ruht ihr trunken,
Des Lebens Früchte winken euch;
Ein Blick nur ist auf mich gesunken,
Doch bin ich vor euch allen reich.
Das Glück der Erde miss ich gerne
Und blick, ein Märtyrer, hinan,
Denn über mir in goldner Ferne
Hat sich der Himmel aufgetan.
You repose intoxicated in the arms of love,
The fruits of life beckon to you;
Only one glance has fallen on me,
But I am richer than all of you.
I gladly forgo earthly happiness
And, as a martyr, I look upward,
For above me in the golden distance
Heaven has opened.
[LIEBESTRAUM NO. 2]
Poem by Ludwig Uhland
Gestorben war ich
Begraben lag ich
In ihren Armen;
Erwecket ward ich
Von ihren Küssen,
Den Himmel sah ich
In ihren Augen.
I had died
Of love's rapture,
I lay buried
In her arms;
I was awakened
By her kisses,
I saw Heaven
In her eyes.
[LIEBESTRAUM No. 3]
Poem by Ferdinand Freiligrath
O lieb, o lieb so lang du lieben kannst, so
lang du lieben magst.
Die Stunde kommt, wo du an Gräbern
stehst und klagst.
Und sorge dass dein Herze glüht, und Liebe
hegt und Liebe trägt,
So lang ihm noch ein ander Herz in Liebe
Und wer dir seine Brust erschliesst, o tu ihm
was du kannst zu lieb
Und mach ihm jede Stunde froh, und
mach ihm keine Stunde trüb!
Und hüte deine Zunge wohl: bald ist ein
hartes Wort entflohn.
O Gott—es war nicht bös gemeint—
Der andre aber geht und weint.
Oh, love, oh love as long as you can love, as
long as you wish to love.
The hour will come when you stand by
graves and lament.
And take care that your heart glows, and
harbors love and bears love,
As long as another heart still beats in
return, warm with love.
And whoever uncovers your heart, oh, do all
the lovable things for him you can,
And make every hour happy for him, and
make no hour dreary for him!
And watch your tongue carefully: a harsh
word escapes all too quickly.
Oh, God—it wasn't meant to be cruel—
But the other walks away and weeps.
Excerpted from Mephisto Waltz and Other Works for Solo Piano by Franz Liszt. Copyright © 1994 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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Table of Contents
Mephisto Waltz No. 1
"[Composed for orchestra as "The Dance in the Village Inn" ("Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke"), the second of Two Episodes from Lenau's "Faust"; Dedicated to Carl Tausig, the most famous of the first generation of Liszt pupils.]"
"Liebesträume, 3 Notturnos (Dreams of Love, 3 Nocturnes)"
No. 1 in A-flat Major
No. 2 in E Major
No. 3 in A-flat Major
[Piano transcriptions o three Liszt songs, published as a set: No. 1 Hohe Liebe (Lofty Love); No. 2 Seliger Tod (Blissful Death), also known by its first line of text: "Gestorben war ich" ("I had died"); No. 3 O Lieb (O, Love). Full texts with English translations]
No. 1 in C Minor
No. 2 in E Major
Fantasia and Fugue on the Theme BACH
"[Originally written for organ as Prelude and Fugue on the name BACH. Revised, ca. 1870, and transcribed for piano under the alternate title Fantasia and Fugue on the Theme BACH.]"
Valse Oubliée No. 1 (Forgotten Waltz No. 1)
[The first of Trois Valses Oubliées. A fourth waltz was discovered in the United States and published there.]
"Unstern: Sinistre, Disastro (Unlucky Star: Disaster)"
"[Exclamations of adversity of disaster, repeated in the title in German, French and Italian. Also published as Unstern!.]"
Nuages Gris (Somber Clouds)
Grand Galop Chromatique (Grand Chromatic Galop)
Valse-Impromptu in A-flat major (Waltz-Impromptu)
La Lugubre Gondola I & II (The Mournful Gondola I & II)
"[Impressions of funeral processions by gondola, Venice.]"
[a longer version was published in 1954]
Gretchen (from A Faust Symphony)
[The second of "Three Character Pictures after Goethe" that make up Liszt's A Faust Symphony. (The first is "Faust;" the thrid, "Mephistopheles.") Orchestral score, dedicated to Hector Berlioz, composed in 1854; expanded, 1857. Piano transcription of "Gretchen,".]
Rhapsodie Espagnole (Spanish Rhapsody)
"[Subtitle: "Folies d'Espagne et Jota Aragonesa." Opening based on "La Folia," a traditional 17th-century air used for continuous variation. The jota is a rapid, triple-time folk dance of northern Spain.]"