Paul Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time.
Franz Liszt composed his Tasso, Lamento e trionfo (Tasso, Lament and Triumph) in 1849, revising it in 1850-51 and again in 1854. It is numbered No. 2 in his cycle of 13 symphonic poems written during his Weimar period.
Liszt’s first sketch for this work is dated August 1, 1849. He had heard the principal theme for Tasso in Venice, Italy several years earlier, however, using it in the 1840 version of his piano piece “Chant do Goldolier” in Venezia e Napoli. Liszt completed the 1849 verion of Tasso as an overture in two sections, giving it to August Conradi to orchestrate. This version was performed in Weimar, Germany on the centennial of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s birth as an overture to his drama Torquato Tasso. Liszt later corrected Conradi’s score and had Joachim Raff produce a new score in 1850–51. Liszt then revised this score extensively, adding a central section. This version was performed on April 19, 1854 in Weimar, conducted by Liszt.
Conductor: Michel Plasson
Orchestra: Dresdner Philharmonie
Egmont, Op. 84, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It consists of an overture followed by a sequence of nine additional pieces for soprano, male narrator and full symphony orchestra. (The male narrator is optional; he is not used in the play, and he does not appear in all recordings of the complete incidental music.) Beethoven wrote it between October 1809 and June 1810, and it was premiered on 15 June 1810. Continue reading
Excerpts: “Egmont, Op. 84, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It consists of an overture followed by a sequence of nine additional pieces for soprano, male narrator and full symphony orchestra. (The male narrator is optional; he is not used in the play, and he does not appear in all recordings of the complete incidental music.) Beethoven wrote it between October 1809 and June 1810, and it was premiered on 15 June 1810.
The subject of the music and dramatic narrative is the life and heroism of a 16th-century Flemish nobleman, the Count of Egmont. It was composed during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, at a time when the French Empire had extended its domination over most of Europe. Beethoven had famously expressed his great outrage over Napoleon Bonaparte’s decision to crown himself Emperor in 1804, furiously scratching out his name in the dedication of the Eroica Symphony. In the music for Egmont, Beethoven expressed his own political concerns through the exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a valiant stand against oppression. The Overture later became an unofficial anthem of the1956 Hungarian revolution.
The music was greeted with eulogistic praise, in particular by E.T.A. Hoffmann for its poetry, and Goethe himself declared that Beethoven had expressed his intentions with “a remarkable genius”.
The overture, powerful and expressive, is one of the last works of his middle period; it has become as famous a composition as the Coriolan Overture, and is in a similar style to the Fifth Symphony, which he had completed two years earlier.”
April 4, 2011
A German writer, von Arnim also spent time as a composer, singer, visual artist, patron of young talent, and social activist. However, she is perhaps best known for the company she kept. She formed friendships with Goethe and Beethoven, among other artists of the day, and tried to foster an artistic union between them. Many leading composers of the time, such as Franz Liszt, admired her for her spirit and her talents. On what currency was von Arnim’s likeness once featured? More… Discuss
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s Faust is a tragic play in two parts: Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil (translated as: Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy) and Faust. Der Tragödie zweiter Teil (Faust: The Second Part of the Tragedy). Although written as a closet drama, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is Goethe’s most famous work and considered by many to be one of the greatest works of German literature. Read More here: