franz liszt : the man who really knew how to write a finale

   Why did every woman in Europe want to sleep with Liszt? Why was he the first "rock star" in the classical world (and of any music world, quite frankly)? There are many reasons for this but what I'd like to touch on in this post is that the man really knew how to cater to his audience. These are the last "movements" of both of his piano concertos (note: he did write a third piano concerto, but it was only rediscovered in 1989 so I am excluding it from this since its not very well known) and you can tell he knew how to give them the finale they wanted. He took all that concertizing experience and appeal to the audience and wrote some incredible finales that were sure to "bring the house down."

   I'd have posted an audio file of the first concerto finale, but part of understanding why Liszt was such a "rockstar" in his time has to deal with seeing his pieces performed and this video focuses on the piano the entire time so you get a FANTASTIC view of his hands as he plays. Check these out and try to imagine why women all over Europe wanted him.

   note: it is worth pointing out that performing these concertos were not in any way responsible for "Lisztomania". While both piano concertos were fully sketched before he left to tour Europe in 1839, neither were performed until long after this this. After completing his tour, he made big revisions to both works before the First Piano Concerto's premiere in 1855...almost 13 years after he became a sensation.

Liszt : Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major : complete (finale begins at 14:17)

pianist, Yundi Li

Liszt : Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major : VI : Allegro Animato

Josef Bulva (piano), Daniel Nazareth and Radio Symphony Orchestra Luxembourg

Get the recordings mentioned in this post: