Friday, December 16, 2011

Travel impressions and the Heart

It was a German thing to travel to Italy. The artist Albrecht Dürer was the first during the renaissance and the changes in his art and the stories he told when he returned made an Italian Pilgramage a part of any serious artist's young life. Goethe did it as well as Richard Strauss centuries later.

While Franz Liszt wasn't German, he was a great reader and eager to see the sights experienced by Goethe and Chateaubriand, so Italy was on his "to do list". While Liszt was a relatively young man he was growing up fast and by the end of his time in Italy several things became apparent. One, his life with Marie D'Agoult would have to change, her aristocratic arrogance and lack of understanding of his artistic temperament was pushing Liszt away from her. And in 1837 the composer found a new love, one that appreciated him and one he could actually help. It was his homeland Hungary and when disaster struck, Liszt left his family with friends and dashed off to Vienna to raise money for the flood victims and tour the country he left behind but had not forgotten.

On the Piano this Sunday the Années de pelerinage books II and III. A musical document that not only entertains, but shows the listener an artist in transition from the young lover full of optimism to an older man wise with experience and his bitterness of heart.

Hear the last program of my "Liszt jahr" this Sunday at 5 on KPAC & KTXI.

host, Randy Anderson

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