Liszt wrote Hexameron with five other keyboard lions of the s for a performance that never took place. It was the brainchild of the "Revolutionary" Princess Cristina Belgiojoso, who kept the embalmed cadaver of a lover in a wardrobe. She ingeniously described Liszt's rival, Sigismond Thalberg, as the "first pianist" in the world, and Liszt himself as the "only pianist", after their famous piano duel in her salon. As the basis of Hexameron, the Princess chose the March from Bellini's I Puritan, which Liszt arranged, as well as supplying an introduction and a variation, interludes and a finale, all by way of uniting and nearly upstaging the contributions to Hexameron from Thalberg, Pixis, Herz, Czerny and Chopin. What Princess Belgiojoso failed to bring about, Dr Richard Schneider succeeded in doing as his farewell as director of the Goethe-Institut in Manchester on Friday evening. Six young German and British pianists played Hexameron as the conclusion to a week-long festival at the Royal Northern College of Music, in which they each gave a solo recital and, on Friday, also played a single work before the Variations.
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Franz Liszt. Orchestration: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion bass drum, cymbals, snare drum, triangle , strings, and six solo pianos.
The complicated story of this composite composition involves an Italian princess, the luxurious world of Parisian salons, and a rivalry for distinction in the keyboard firmament that might make a present-day competition administrator envious. The year was Liszt was just 26 , and Liszt's principal challenger was Sigismond Thalberg himself just 25 that year. The plan was to raise money for the poor with an all-star summit of composing and performing talent. Unfortunately, several of the composers were tardy in submitting their variations, and the charity performance never took place.
This whole is literally more than the sum of its parts. Liszt composed an original introduction quoting Bellini's march and extensive transitional material to link the six variations. Although there are only fragmentary indications of Liszt's intended orchestration, the late Robert Linn made a noble attempt to fulfill Liszt's plan by preparing a reconstruction for a USC benefit concert in Liszt's music - in a solo piano version - did survive and has been performed with some frequency, but Linn's version allows us to revisit an event which never actually occurred.
Category:Franz Liszt - Hexameron
Hexaméron, S.392 (Liszt, Franz)