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Devotees and detractors

Liszt is unique among the great composers of the past for his continuing power to polarise audiences, more than 130 year after his death. While it is true that Liszt’s son-in-law Wagner is also a controversial figure, this has more to do with the ideology promoted by his music dramas and the way his legacy was co-opted by National Socialism. Few music-lovers today would seriously question the quality of Wagner’s music, even if they don’t like it. But in the case of Liszt, the jury is still out.

I should confess at this point that I have often found myself among the ranks of the naysayers when it comes to Liszt’s music. While I can appreciate its extraordinary power, revolutionary harmonic innovations and mindboggling virtuosity, I rarely find myself moved when I listen to Liszt.

Producing this edition of International Piano has therefore been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Liszt as a man and thinker, and to understand better how these factors find expression in his music. As a result, I have gained a new respect for his works and found myself becoming more deeply immersed when I hear them. The following pages reveal how Liszt’s output for the piano channelled a wide variety of intellectual, literary and philosophical influences. Perhaps this explains why he demands a lot from the listener. Unlike Chopin’s music, which readily engages most people, Liszt’s works require greater familiarity as well as some knowledge of their context.

pianist Leslie Howard (who has recorded Liszt’s complete piano works for Hyperion on a staggering 99 CDs) nothing could be further from the truth. Howard writes: ‘Even apparent confections like the Grand galop chromatique reveal a darker purpose sooner or later.’

Liszt was truly the ultimate virtuoso, without whom

International Piano might not even exist. For was only because of Liszt that the piano was elevated to became the instrument of the Romantic era. I hope he would appreciate this act of homage. Owen Mortimer, Editor

In gu de te Ce and with in artists the gam resourc piano te Our goal is the piano su knowledge a

International Piano o�ers a rich mix of inspiration and guidance to pianists and piano fans around the world, from dedicated amateurs and students to professional pianists, teachers and a�cionados. Celebrating the piano in all its forms, including the fortepiano and digital keyboards, each edition of our magazine is packed with interviews, features, news and reviews showcasing the top artists of today and yesteryear. Practical advice for players runs the gamut from articles on technique and repertoire to learning resources and study courses, plus the latest developments in piano technology. Our goal is to draw together the fascinating strands that make the piano such a popular instrument, enhancing every reader’s knowledge and supporting those who strive to master its challenges.



Paradoxically, however, Liszt’s early virtuosic works seem to wear all their expression on their sleeve. This has led him to be criticised for empty and insincere display, but for British

EDITORIAL Phone +44 (0)20 7333 1702 Editor-in-Chief Owen Mortimer Editorial Director Ashutosh Khandekar Consultant Editor Keith Clarke Design Louise Wood Music Typesetting Beautiful Setting

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International Piano, ISSN 2042-0773, (USPS 7295) is published monthly by MA Music, Leisure & Travel Ltd, St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Road, London SE24 0PB, United Kingdom. The US annual subscription price is $98. Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named WN Shipping USA, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA. Periodicals postage paid at Jamaica NY 11431. US Postmaster: Send address changes to International Piano, WN Shipping USA, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11434, USA Subscription records are maintained at MA Music, Leisure & Travel Ltd, Unit A, Buildings 1-5 Dinton Business Park, Catherine Ford Road, Dinton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5HZ. Air Business Ltd is acting as our mailing agent.

© MA Music, Leisure and Travel Ltd, 2022. All rights reserved. No part of International Piano may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor. The presence of advertisements in International Piano implies no endorsement of the products or services o�ered. Every e�ort has been made to ensure the accuracy of statements in this magazine but we cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for matters arising from clerical or printers’ errors, or an advertiser not completing their contract. We have made every e�ort to secure permission to use copyright material. Where material has been used inadvertently or we have been unable to trace the copyright owner, acknowledgement will be made in a future issue. Please read our privacy policy by visiting This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. Printed in the UK by Pensord, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YA Newstrade distribution by Seymour 020 7429 4000

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