October’s composer of the month is Franz Liszt (frahnts list).
Born: October 22, 1811
Died: July 31, 1886
• Liszt's piano works are regarded by many as some of the most difficult and virtuosic music ever written.
• After moving to Paris with his parents at age 12, Liszt developed a friendship with Frédéric Chopin (though they later became rivals). Liszt was also friends with composer Hector Berlioz, and he attended the Paris premiere of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
• Liszt invented the concept of the 'piano recital'. At a time when composers generally played only their own works, Liszt frequently programmed the music of other composers in his concerts.
• Because of Liszt's unworldly virtuosity and undeniable stage charisma, there were rumors that he must have made a deal with the Devil. "Lisztomania" was a term — coined by Heinrich Heine — that referred to the intense hysteria demonstrated by the pianist's fans during his performances.
• Liszt's daughter, Cosima, went on to become the second wife of Richard Wagner in 1870.
Three important works:
• Piano Sonata in B minor (1853)
• Les Préludes (1854)
• Totentatz (1862)
Audio Backpack playlist: Franz Liszt