User:K. Lastochka/Sandbox

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Liszt list--dumped here for lack of better place to put it[edit]

Although Liszt provided opus numbers for some of his earlier works, they are rarely used today. Instead, his works are usually identified using one of two different cataloging schemes:

  • More commonly used in English speaking countries are the "S" or "G" numbers, derived from the catalogue compiled by Humphrey Searle during the 1960s.[1]
  • Less commonly used is the "R" number, which derives from Peter Raabe's 1931 catalogue Franz Liszt: Leben und Schaffen.

Works with Opus numbers[edit]

Works from his childhood[edit]

  • Huit Variations op.1
  • Seven Variations on a melody by Rossini op.2
  • Impromptu Brillant sur des Thèmes de Rossini et Spontini op.3
  • Deux Allegri di Bravura op.4

These above works were published 1825, Opus number 5 was left unused.

  • Etude in Twelve Exercises op.6, first published 1826. Later edition published by Hofmeister, Leipzig, as op.1 in March 1839.

Works from his youth[edit]

  • Grande fantaisie sur une Tyrolienne de l'Opéra La Fiancée de Auber op.1. 1st version 1829, first performance by Liszt on April 7, 1829, Paris; 2nd version 1835, first performance by Liszt on October 1, 1835, Geneva.
  • (1832-34) Grande Fantasie de Bravoure sur La Clochettede Paganini op.2, first performance by Liszt November 5, 1834, it was a complete fiasco for Liszt.[citation needed]
  • Opus numbers 3 and 4 were left unused.
  • (1835) Trois morceaux de salon op.5, revised 1838.
    • Fantaisie romantique sur deux airs suisses.
    • Rondeau fantastique sur le thème "Il contrabandista" de Manuel Garcia, first performance by Liszt on January 28, 1837, Paris.
    • Divertissement on the Cavatina "I tuoi frequenti palpiti" from Pacini's La Niobe, first performance by Liszt on April 1, 1836, Geneva.
  • (1835) Valse di bravura op.6, first performance by Liszt on May 28, 1836, Paris.
  • (1835-36) Réminscences des Puritains op.7. Revised English edition 1840 (?), first performance by Liszt on May 5, 1836, Lyon.
  • (1835-36) Deux fantaisies sur les motifs des Soirées musicales de Rossini op.8, revised 1840.
    • La Serenata e l'Orgia op.8 no. 1, first performance by Liszt on May 18, 1836, Paris.
    • La Pastorella dell’Alpi e li Marinari op.8 no.2
  • (1835) Réminiscences de la Juive de Halévy op.9, first performance by Liszt on May 18, 1836, Paris.
  • (1835-36) Trois airs suisses op.10
  • (1836) Réminiscences des Huguenots op.11, revised 1842, first performance by Liszt on April 9 1837, Paris.
  • (1837) Grand galop chromatique op.12 was Liszt's most popular concert piece during the time of his tours. Liszt played it at a private soirée given on April 6, 1838 by the Baroness Wetzlar, Thalberg's mother, in Venice, on April 19 1838; together with Clara Wieck in a four handed version at a soirée given by Haslinger in Vienna, and for the first time in a regular concert on May 2 1838, in Vienna.
  • (1839) Réminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor 13, 1st part ("Andante finale") published in the beginning of 1840, first performance by Liszt on November 5 1839. Triest, the 2nd part, published as "Marsch und Cavatine" in 1841 (without Opus number), first performance by Liszt on December 2 1839, Vienna.

Works without Opus numbers (selection)[edit]

  • (1822) Variation on a Theme by Diabelli (S/G147, R26)
  • (1833-34) Piano arrangement of the Sinfonie fantastique by Berlioz (Rèveries - Passions, Un Bal, Scène aux Champs, Marche du Supplice, Songe d'une nuit de Sabbat), first performance of the movements Un bal and Marchen du supplice ("March to the Scaffold") by Liszt on December 28, 1834, Paris.
  • (1837) Hexameron, Variations de bravoure sur une marche de Bellini, Introduction by Liszt, 1st variation by Thalberg, 2nd variation by Liszt, 3rd variation by Herz, 4th variation by Pixis, 5th variation by Czerny, 6th variation by Chopin, finale by Liszt. First performance by Liszt on December 10, 1837, Milan. The Hexameron was from 1837 to 1847 one of Liszt's most frequently played concert pieces. There are versions for four hand piano and for piano and orchestra by Liszt as well.
  • (1840) Réminiscences de Robert le diable, first performance by Liszt on November 6, Hamburg.[citation needed]
  • (1840-41) Réminiscences de Don Juan, first performance by Liszt on September 25, in Frankfurt, Liszt played from the manuscript score.
  • (1841-43) Réminscences de la Norma.
  • (1841) Feuilles d'album ('Album Leaves').
  • (1842) Fantasy on melodies from Don Juan and Figaro; left unpublished by Liszt; was published 1911 by Busoni; it was not "completed" by Busoni but shortened by about a half.
  • Consolations; 1st version was composed late 1843/early 1844 and left unpublished by Liszt; 2nd version composed 1849.
  • (1848) Ballade No. 1 in D flat major (In original German:Ballade No. 1 in Des-dur), some materials were taken from an album leaf Dernière illusion, ecrit pour Marie ("Last illusion, written for Mary") from the end of 1845; in the French edition it has the title Le croiser ("The crusader").
  • (1853) ''Ballade'' No. 2 in B minor (German: Ballade Nr. 2 in h-Moll).
  • (1848) Three Concert Etudes (French: Trois Études de Concert); No. 3, Un Sospiro ("A sigh"), (S/G144, R5).
  • (1835-82) Années de Pèlerinage: Première AnnéeSuisse; Deuxième AnnéeItalie - Venezia e Napoli; Troisième Année; an early version of the first part had been published as Années de Pèlerinage, 1re année in June 1841 in Paris; in 1841 a second part "Italy" and a third part "Germany", were planned by Liszt. An early version of Venezia e Napoli containing altogether four pieces was engraved by Haslinger in the beginning of 1840 but left unpublished by Liszt. From the first piece of these, he later took materials for his Symphonic Poem Tasso.
  • (1833-51 (?)) Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, (S/G173) a collection of solo piano pieces, including the well known No. 7, Funérailles.
  • (1843-50) Liebesträume No. 3 ("Dreams of Love") in A-flat Major (piano solo) (S/G541, R211).
  • (1850) Mazurka brillante.
  • (1852) Transcendental Etudes (Prelude, Molto Vivace, Paysage, Mazeppa, Feux Follets, Vision, Eroica, Wilde Jagd, Ricordanza, Allegro Agitato Molto, Harmonies du soir, and Chasse neige. Known well for being technically difficult, notedly Mazeppa and Feux Follets) (S/G139, R2B), Composed 1837 (in most parts based on the 1826 studies), revised 1852)
  • (1851) Grandes Etudes de Paganini, including No. 3, "La Campanella"; and No. 5, "La Chasse" (Composed 1838-39, revised 1851). The first version was published in February 1841 without dedication by Schonenbeger, Paris, and in autumn 1841 with dedication to Clara Schumann by Haslinger, Vienna.
  • (1851-53) Piano Sonata in B minor (S/G178, R21).
  • (1843-52) Valse-Impromptu, (S/G213).
  • (1850) Polonaise No. 1 in C minor.
  • (1851) Polonaise No. 2 in E Major; it was exceptionally popular in Liszt's times.[citation needed]
  • (1851) Scherzo and March.
  • (1852) Three Valses Caprice.
    • Valse de bravoure, revised version of the Valse di bravura op.6.
    • Valse mélancolique, revised version of a prior version from 1840.
    • Valse de concert sur deux motifs de Lucia et Parisina de Gaetano Donizetti, revised version of the "Valse a capriccio sur deux motifs de Lucia et Parisina de Gaetano Donizetti" from 1841. First performance of the older version by Liszt on October 11, 1841, Liège (Lüttich), Liszt played from the manuscript score.
  • (1853) Soirées de Vienne, nine Valses-Caprices d'après Fr. Schubert
  • (1839-85) Nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies (S/G244, R106) - among them the most famous Rhapsody No. 2; Rhapsody No. 6 (1854) is well known for its finale with octaves; the Rhapsodies No. 16 - No. 19 are seldom played but also of note.
  • (1860) Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (piano solo) (S/G514, R181).
  • (1863) Two Concert-Studies
    • 1. Waldesrauschen
    • 2. Gnomenreigen
  • (1863) Slavimo Slavno Slaveni! for organ (S503, R196).
  • (1863) Légende No. 2: St François de Paule.
  • (1877) Dem Andenken Petőfis.
  • (1881) Nuages Gris ('Grey clouds') (S/G199, R78).
  • (1880-81) 2nd Mephisto Waltz.
  • Mephisto Waltzes No. 2 - 4, No. 2 (1880-81), No. 3 (1883), No.4 (1885).
  • Four Valses oubliées, No. 1 (1881), No. 2 (1883), No. 3 (1883), No. 4 (1883 (?)).
  • (1885) Bagatelle sans tonalité (S216a).
  • (1855) Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H for organ, rev. 1870.
  • (1832-35) Malédiction.
  • (1834) Symphonic Lélio Fantasy.
  • (1830-1849) Piano Concerto no. 1 in E-flat Major (S/G124).
  • (1839-1861) Piano Concerto no. 2 in A Major (S/G125) (revised 1861).
  • (1849) Totentanz ('Dance of death') (S/G126ii), for piano and orchestra. (revised 1853-1859).
  • (1854) Faust Symphony
  • (1857) Dante Symphony
  • (1848-82) Symphonic Poems
    • Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne (also known as Berg-Symphonie), (1848-9) (after Victor Hugo)
    • Tasso: lamento e trionfo, (1849) (after Byron)
    • Les Préludes, after Lamartine (1848, rev. before 1854)
    • Orpheus, (1853-4)
    • Prometheus, (1850)
    • Mazeppa, (1851), after Hugo.
    • Festklänge, (1853)
    • Héroïde funèbre, (1849-50, revised in 1854); an elaborated version of the first movement of a planned Revolutionary Symphony from 1830.[2]
    • Hungaria, (1854)
    • Hamlet, (1858), after Shakespeare.
    • Hunnenschlacht, (1857), after a painting by Kaulbach.
    • Die Ideale (1857), after Schiller
    • Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (1881-2), after a painting by Zichy.
  • (1866) Christus (S/G3)

(further sections for Joseph Szigeti)

Family life[edit]

In 1918, while teaching in Geneva, Szigeti met and fell in love with Wanda Ostrowska, a young woman of Russian parentage who had been stranded by the Russian Revolution of 1917 with her sister at a finishing school in Geneva. In 1919 Szigeti and Ostrowska decided to get married, but on account of the turbulent political situation in Europe, many unexpected bureaucratic obstacles were thrown up in their path. The first problem was the impossibility of contacting Ostrowska's family, and the couple were forced to go ahead without parental consent, with the permission only of Ostrowska's sister and the headmistress of the finishing school at which she had been left. [3] Further bureaucratic entanglements threatened to destroy the young couple's hopes of marriage entirely, but eventually the officials responsible for granting the marriage dispensation relented and agreed to ignore the problematic regulations. Szigeti recalls in his memoirs the words of Consul General Baron de Montlong at the critical moment:

"Let us not, if we can avoid it, fall victim to the dead letter of the law. I don't want to postpone the happiness of these two youngsters if we can help it. All laws have been twisted and tortured out of semblance of law, what with war and revolutions. For once let's twist and turn one for a good cause, yes?"[4]

That incident was only the first time external political events would affect the couple's life together. Just before the birth of their only child, daughter Irene, Szigeti found himself stuck in Berlin during the Kapp Putsch of 1920, unable to return to Geneva. The entire city had been paralyzed by a general strike, and the trains were not running. His scheduled concert could not go on as planned, but he was nevertheless forced to stay in Berlin for "interminable days" while the Putsch ran its course. Worst of all, as Szigeti writes: "...the impossibility of communicating by phone or wire with my wife--whose condition I pictured with the somewhat lurid pessimism usual to young prospective fathers--was certainly a greater torment to me than all the other discomforts put together." [5]

By 1940, the outbreak of World War II forced the Szigetis to leave Europe for the United States. (Irene remained in Switzerland, having married pianist Nikita Magaloff earlier that year.) They settled in California, where Wanda, always fond of nature, was delighted to be able to raise her own garden. In a letter to a friend, Szigeti describes her situation:

Wanda is happy, doing wonders with her gardening, chicken and rabbit raising, preserve and pâté de foie making. She doesn't budge from our place, doesn't want to come back to New York even for a visit, which I, for one, can well understand! Two dogs, an aviary full of exotic birds, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, asparagus, artichokes, lovely flowers (camellias too!), right in our own little world."[6]

Despite the attractions of California life, in 1960 the couple returned to Europe. They settled on Lake Geneva in Switzerland, near the home of their daughter and son-in-law, and remained there for the rest of their lives. Wanda died in 1971, predeceasing her husband by one year.


Writing in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Boris Schwarz commented:

"Szigeti's performing technique was not always flawless and his tone lacked sensuous beauty, although it acquired a spiritual quality in moments of inspiration....Szigeti held the bow in an old-fashioned way, with the elbow close to the body, and produced much emphatic power, but not without extraneous sounds. Minor reservations, however, were swept aside by the force of his musical personality." [7]

This comment illustrates well the general nature of Szigeti's reception by both critics and fellow musicians: while his musical insights, intellect, and depth of interpretation were almost universally lauded, the purely technical aspect of his playing was awarded a more mixed reaction. His tone in particular seems to have been occasionally uneven from performance to performance. A 1926 recital review in the New York Times, for example, laments that "...his performance was stiff and dry in its observance of letter and its absence of spirit...Mr. Szigeti was not only inclined to dryness of tone and angularity of phrase, but there were also passages of poor intonation." [8] In contrast, a review from the previous year in the same journal remarked after a performance of the Beethoven concerto that "Mr. Szigeti has a rather small but beautiful tone, elegance, finish. He played with a quiet sincerity which grew upon the audience, though not with the virility and sweep that other violinists is clear that Mr. Szigeti is a player to command esteem and respect for his musicianship, for the genuineness of his interpretations, and his artistic style." [9]

Violinist Nathan Milstein wrote that

"Szigeti, whom I knew well, was an incredibly cultured musician. Actually his talent grew out of his culture. ...I always admired him, and he was respected by his late years, he finally got the appreciation he deserved from the general public as well."[10]

In his memoirs, published in 2004, cellist Janos Starker asserts that

"Szigeti was one of the giants among the violinists I had heard from childhood on, and my admiration for him is undiminished up to this day."[11]

Starker then describes a recital he attended late in Szigeti's career, illustrating both the extent to which Szigeti was by then suffering from arthritis and his ability to still communicate his musical ideas effectively:

"He invited me to his recital in Town Hall...the first few minutes were excruciating: as I saw later, his fingers had deteriorated to the point that he had almost no flesh on them. But once he loosened up a bit he produced heart-rending beauty." [12]

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin comments at length about Szigeti in his own memoirs, Unfinished Journey, remarking as many others did on Szigeti's intellectual approach to music, but in a somewhat more critical fashion:

Apart from Enesco, he was the most cultivated violinist I have ever known but while Enesco was a force of nature, Szigeti, slender, small, anxious, was a beautifully fashioned piece of porcelain, a priceless Sevres vase. Curiously for a Hungarian, from whom one expects wild, energetic, spontaneous qualities, Szigeti travelled even farther up a one-way road of deliberate intellectualism. A young accompanist who worked with Szigeti told me that two hours concentration wouldn't get them beyond the first three bars of a sonata--so much analysis and ratiocination went into his practice. ...A similar persnicketiness marked his adjudication. Shortly before he died in 1973, he was a member of our jury at the City of London Carl Flesch Concours...I was struck not only by the sharpness of his intellect but also by what seemed to me the perversity of his opinions. Some particular aspect of a competitor's playing would hold his attention, and he would take violent issue with it, to the exclusion of everything else. For him a violinist was made or broken, a prize awarded or withheld, on details that to me scarcely mattered.[13]

Nevertheless, Menuhin too referred to Szigeti as "a violinist whom I much admired and a man of whom I was very fond."[14]


Szigeti the writer[edit]

During his time in America, Szigeti took to writing: his memoirs, With Strings Attached: Reminiscences and Reflections were published in 1947. The New York Times reviewed it favorably: although in their description the book was "constructed along utterly anarchistic lines, with each episode and anecdote left pretty much on its own",[15] they asserted that "It also has the flavor of life in it, and it is marked by an exhilarating revolt against the custom of arranging catastrophes and triumphs under neat chapter headings."[16]

In 1969, he published his treatise on violin playing, Szigeti on the Violin. The book is in two parts: Part One primarily consists of Szigeti’s opinions about the then-current state of violin playing and the various challenges and issues facing musicians in the modern world, Part Two is a detailed examination of violin technique as Szigeti saw it; that is, as something to be carefully considered so as to be always employed in the service of musical expression and not as virtuosity for its own sake.

A recurring theme in Part One is the changing nature of violinist’s lives during Szigeti’s later years. In his youth, concert artists relied primarily on recitals to establish themselves and attract critical attention and acclaim; by the time of Szigeti’s writings, the recital had been eclipsed in importance by the competition. Szigeti was somewhat dismayed by this trend, especially since he considered the fast-paced and intense preparation necessary for high-level competitions to be “…incompatible with the slow maturing either of the performing artist or of the repertoire.” [17] Szigeti believed that such accelerated development of a musician led to performances that “lack(ed) the stamp of authenticity, the mark of a personal view evolved through trial and error.” [18] In a similar vein, he was skeptical of the effects produced by the recording industry on the culture of music-making. In Szigeti’s opinion, the allure of the recording contract and the instant “success” that it implied led many young artists to record works before they were musically ready, and thus contributed to the problem of artificially fast development and resulting musical immaturity. [19]

In Part Two, Szigeti offers a lengthy and detailed explanation of his approach to violin technique. He believed that a violinist should be concerned first and foremost with musical goals, rather than simply choosing the easiest way to play a certain passage or the most impressively virtuosic. He was particularly concerned with tone color: he advised that “The player should cultivate a seismograph-like sensitivity to brusque changes of tone colour caused by fingerings based on expediency and comfort rather than the composer’s manifest or probable intentions.” [20] Another issue that interested Szigeti was the position of the violinist’s left hand: he objected to the notion that the fingers “naturally” span the interval of a fourth and considered that philosophy limiting; he preferred an “open” hand position in which the fingers could move more freely and independently than was previously common. [21] He was also an early proponent of the system of what he called "crab-fingering"; that is, a method of left-hand technique in which the fingers, by making use of various extensions and contractions outside of the standard finger placement patterns, will "crawl" up and down the fingerboard and thus facilitate the playing of virtuosic passagework without moving the entire hand from once fixed position to the next. Other topics prominently discussed in Part Two include the violin works of Béla Bartók, a cautionary list of widely-accepted misprints and editorial inaccuracies in the standard repertoire, and most notably, the vital importance of J.S. Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas for any violinist's technical and artistic development.

Szigeti and new music[edit]

Szigeti was an avid champion of new music, and frequently planned his recitals to include new or little-known works alongside the classics.[22] Many composers wrote new works for him, notably Béla Bartók, Ernest Bloch, and Eugène Ysaÿe, along with lesser-known composers such as David Diamond and Hamilton Harty.

The reason for Szigeti's appeal to composers was articulated by Bloch upon completion of his Violin Concerto: the concerto's premiere would have to be delayed a full year in order for Szigeti to be the soloist, and Bloch agreed, saying that "modern composers realize that when Szigeti plays their music, their inmost fancy, their slightest intentions become fully realized, and their music is not exploited for the glorification of the artist and his technique, but that artist and technique become the humble servant of the music."[23].

Szigeti was also the dedicatee of the first (and perhaps most difficult) of Eugène Ysaÿe's six Sonatas for Solo Violin; in fact, Ysaÿe's inspiration to compose the sonatas (which are intended as a modern counterpart to J.S. Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas) came from hearing Szigeti’s performances of Bach's solo sonatas. [24]

Perhaps Szigeti's most fruitful musical partnership was with his friend Béla Bartók. The first piece Bartók dedicated to him was the First Rhapsody for violin and orchestra (or piano) of 1928; the rhapsody, based on both Romanian and Hungarian folk tunes, was one of a pair of violin rhapsodies written in 1928 (the other being dedicated to Zoltán Székely.) In 1938, Szigeti and clarinetist Benny Goodman teamed up to commission a trio from Bartók: originally intended to be a short work just long enough to fill both sides of a 78 rpm record, the piece soon expanded beyond its modest intent and became the three-movement Contrasts for Piano, Violin and Clarinet. In 1944, by which time Szigeti and Bartók had both fled to the United States to escape the war in Europe, Bartók's health was failing and he had sunk into depression. He was in dire need of money, but felt no inspiration to compose and was convinced that his works would never sell to an American audience. Szigeti came to his friend's aid by securing donations from the American Society of Composers and Publishers to pay for Bartók's medical treatment, and then, together with conductor and compatriot Fritz Reiner, persuaded Serge Koussevitzky to commission from Bartók what eventually became his much-beloved Concerto for Orchestra. The work's success brought Bartók some measure of financial security and provided him with a much-needed emotional boost.

As well as performing new works dedicated to him, Szigeti also championed the music of other contemporary composers, notably Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky. He was among the first violinists to make Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto a standart part of his repertoire, and frequently performed and recorded works of Stravinsky (including the Duo Concertante, recorded with the composer at the piano in 1945.)

  1. ^ Searle, Humphrey: The Music of Liszt, pp. 155-156, Dover Publications, 1967. See also [1].
  2. ^ Liszt, Franz (1994). Les Préludes and Other Symphonic Poems in Full Score. New York: Dover Publications. pp. 182–184. ISBN 0486283224. 
  3. ^ Szigeti "With Strings Attached", pg. 172-173
  4. ^ Szigeti, "With Strings Attached", page 173
  5. ^ Szigeti "With Strings Attached", page 203
  6. ^ quoted in Hughes, Spike, introduction to "Szigeti on the Violin," page xiii
  7. ^ Schwarz, Boris: 'Joseph Szigeti', The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell (London: Macmillan, 2001), page 886.
  8. ^ Downes, Olin, "Music", New York Times, March 25, 1926.
  9. ^ Downes, Olin, "Music," New York Times, December 16, 1925.
  10. ^ Milstein, Nathan (with Volkov, Solomon): "From Russia To The West," Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1990, pg. 93
  11. ^ Starker, Janos: "The World Of Music According To Starker," Indiana University Press, 2004, page 114.
  12. ^ Starker, pg. 114
  13. ^ Menuhin, Yehudi: "Unfinished Journey: 20 Years Later," Sync Music Company, 1996, pp. 356-357
  14. ^ Menuhin, pg. 356
  15. ^ Schubart, Mark: "Szigeti Writes His Biography", New York Times, March 9, 1947.
  16. ^ Schubart, Mark: "Szigeti Writes His Biography", New York Times, March 9, 1947.
  17. ^ Szigeti on the Violin, pg. 14
  18. ^ Szigeti on the Violin, pg. 18
  19. ^ see Szigeti on the Violin, chapter 5.
  20. ^ Szigeti on the Violin, pg. 52
  21. ^ see Chapter 15 in Szigeti on the Violin
  22. ^ Schwarz, Boris: "Joseph Szigeti", New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition. Macmillan Publishers, 2001.
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  24. ^ Schwarz, Boris: "Joseph Szigeti", New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition. Macmillan Publishers, 2001.