Franz Liszt came of age with the flowering of the Romantic movement in literature and the arts, and the Romantic spirit had a profound impact on his development as both a man and an artist. Indeed, Liszt, like Berlioz, Wagner, and Chopin, gave expression to that spirit in both his life and his music. Liszt cut a larger-than-life figure, and everything he did tended towards extravagance. As a performer he was one of the first great superstars, dazzling his audiences as much with his flamboyant dress and gestures as with his unprecedented virtuosity. Liszt's approach to music placed him in the vanguard of Romantic innovation. He greatly expanded the range of sonorities available from the piano, inventing both delicate figuration and thundering effects. By addressing dramatic and poetic themes in his compositions, he helped create instead a music that expressed those sublime, ecstatic, harrowing, and heroic feelings that the Romantics held to be the essence of life.
The Musically Speaking Conductor's Guides are your link to an appreciation of the greatest classical music ever performed. Let Maestro Gerard Schwarz enrich your classical music listening enjoyment by illuminating the great works of the Masters with revealing commentary and educational insight.
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