Franz Liszt: The Final Years, 1861-1886 (Anglais) Broché – 25 novembre 1997
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This is a magnificent biography. I have read all three volumes and recommend them to every music lover. Liszt was significant in so many ways, as a nurturer of other composers, as a voice of his native land, and of course as a friend and victim of Wagner (but who was NOT a victim of that anti-musical megalomaniac?)
This biography covers other complex musical relationships existing between Liszt and the most famous composers of that time, including Brahms and both Schumanns. Then too there are stories of difficulties in the musical world beyond the personal, such as with the dedication of a memorial to Beethoven at his birthplace.
Without a doubt, a wonderful history of that thrilling era in European music when sonority and actual human passion meant something to the creators.
Walker's ambition has been to weed in the marshland of legends and errors and inaccuracies in the prevalent image of Liszt's life, spread since the composer's own lifetime. It is the scholarly result of his incredible efforts to get a clearer picture of his life. This is a truer picture of a mysteriously legendary composer than we have had earlier - though it is a very kind and maybe a bit uncritical portrait we get of this charismatic super-genius.
Liszt's position in European music and culture in all during his active life was incomprehensibly great, maybe greater and more influential than any composer ever had. It is a tremendous adventure to read about all his glorious triumphs as a virtuoso pianist and as a composer, a conductor, a teacher and a musical promotor, a writer, a freedom symbol and patriot, a friend of Chopin's and Wagner's and many other activities and characteristics. I have been rapturously plunged into these three volumes for a very long time, and I wish every music lover to enjoy them as much as I have. All three of them!
Anyone truly interested in reading the definitive biography on Liszt cannot consider anything else but these three volumes by Mr. Walker. I came upon them by chance, and now do I consider myself very lucky. He has since the publication of the third volume released some complimentary books, with more specific topics and correspondence of the time. Alan Walker is indeed The Liszt erudite. Period!
The info in those books is astounding. Walker presents a true picture of Liszt's amazing life. I would highly recommend all of the volumes. Because of Walker, Liszt's music is getting better known though much prejudice still exists from Liszt's time to this very day against his music esp. here in the USA.