Wikipedia:Today's featured article/July 12, 2011

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Walter Bache

Walter Bache (1842–88) was an English pianist and conductor noted for championing the music of Franz Liszt and other composers of the New German School. He studied privately with Liszt in Italy from 1863 to 1865, and continued to attend Liszt's master classes in Weimar, Germany, regularly until 1885. This led to a particularly close bond between the two men. Bache's major accomplishment was the establishment of Liszt's music in England at the height of the War of the Romantics, when conservative and liberal musical factions openly argued about the future of classical music and the merits of the compositions written in their respective schools. Bache programmed several of Liszt's orchestral and choral works through an annual series of concerts, which he single-handedly funded, organized and promoted. He performed two-piano arrangements of Liszt's orchestral works before the debuts of the original versions, and programmed some of his symphonic poems shortly after they had been premiered at the Crystal Palace. The English musical press, while generally hostile to the music he presented, noted and appreciated Bache's efforts. Liszt remained grateful; without Bache, he acknowledged, his music might not have gained the foothold it did. (more...)

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