Transcendental Étude No. 12 (Liszt)

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The first bar of the Transcendental Étude No. 12

Transcendental Étude No. 12 in B flat minor is an étude for piano written by composer Franz Liszt. It has the programmatic title "Chasse-neige", (impetuous wind which raises whirls of snow) and is the 12th and last of the Transcendental Études. The étude is a study in tremolos but contains many other difficulties like wide jumps and fast chromatic scales, and it requires a very gentle and soft touch in the beginning. The piece gradually builds up to a powerful climax. It is one of the most difficult Transcendental Études, being ranked 9 out of 9 by publisher G. Henle Verlag—one of the five in the series to receive the highest possible difficulty ranking.[1]

Ferruccio Busoni stated that this is the greatest, most accurate example of program music, or 'poetised music.'[citation needed] He described the work as "a sublime and steady fall of snow which gradually buries landscape and people".[2]


  1. ^ Liszt: Transcendental Studies, Urtext Edition
  2. ^ Ferruccio Busoni: The Essence of Music, p.162; in Jim Samson, Virtuosity and the Musical Work, Cambridge University Press, 2003 (p.185).

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