Thursday, November 19, 2015

Liszt's "Un Sospiro"

Last time we looked at Franz Liszt as a virtuosic pianist. Did you know he was equally gifted as a composer? Known for his innovations in form and harmony, Liszt wrote a variety of works and even invented the symphonic poem! For today’s purposes, let’s take a look at one of his virtuosic piano works: Un Sospiro “A Sigh.”

Un Sospiro was composed in 1848 as part of “Trois etudes de concert.” Being a virtuoso himself, it makes sense that Liszt would incorporate challenging techniques in order for the pianist to essentially show off for his/her audience. Below you can watch a video clip of Lang Lang performing this work. Notice how the piece calls for hand crossing in such a way that the audience would never know just to listen. He also writes the melody surrounded by arpeggios in a way where nearly no two successive notes are played by the same hand!

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