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Berlioz on MusicSelected Criticism 1824-1837$
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Katherine Kolb

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391950.001.0001

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(p.231) 38 Liszt
Berlioz on Music

Katherine Kolb

Oxford University Press

Berlioz welcomes Liszt back from his long sojourn abroad with Marie d’Agoult, finding him transformed, improved, and matured both as pianist and as budding composer. His pianism is even greater than that of his brilliant rival, Thalberg, as evident in his rendering of Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier”Sonata. Where once he imposed his own personality on the works of others, he now plays Beethoven without altering a single note. The master has learned to master himself. Berlioz hails the new, mature Liszt in classical images: as Aeolus, god of winds, able to curb at will his tempestuous spirit; as Oedipus, able to decipher Beethoven’s great sonata, that pianistic riddle of the Sphinx. The article ends by delineating a hierarchy of artistic types in which Liszt stands at the summit.

Keywords:   Liszt, Thalberg, Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata, pianism, performance, artistic maturity, artistic types

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