Musical Works Of Franz Liszt
Although Franz 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 "S/G" numbers (Searle/Grove), derived from the catalogue compiled by Humphrey Searle for Grove Dictionary in the 1960s.
- Less commonly used is the "R" number, which derives from Peter Raabe's 1931 catalogue Franz Liszt: Leben und Schaffen.
Liszt was a prolific composer. Most of his music is for the piano and much of it requires formidable technique. His thoroughly revised masterwork, Années de pèlerinage ("Years of Pilgrimage") includes arguably his most provocative and stirring pieces. This set of three suites ranges from the pure virtuosity of the Suisse Orage (Storm) to the subtle and imaginative visualizations of artworks by Michelangelo and Raphael in the second set. Années contains some pieces which are loose transcriptions of Liszt's own earlier compositions; the first "year" recreates his early pieces of Album d'un voyageur, while the second book includes a resetting of his own song transcriptions once separately published as Tre sonetti di Petrarca ("Three sonnets of Petrarch"). The relative obscurity of the vast majority of his works may be explained by the immense number of pieces he composed. In his most famous and virtuosic works, he is the archetypal Romantic composer. Liszt pioneered the technique of thematic transformation, a method of development which was related to both the existing variation technique and to the new use of the Leitmotif by Richard Wagner.
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