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Literature, Literary Criticism, and Poetry. New York State. Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Political Science. Urban Studies. Labor Studies. Middle East Studies. It is a project, rather than a mere biography, for Alan Walker's three volume narrative, analysis and assessment of Liszt surely illustrates the maxim that "It takes a life to study a life".
It ranks among the most thorough, authoritative and informative musical biographies of any composer — in scope, in comprehensiveness, in readability, in detail; above all in providing insights into why and how in addition, of course, to where and when Liszt was the extraordinary phenomenon that he was. Originally published over the dozen plus years from , the first volume in Walker's three part biography alone took over ten years to write.follow
Franz Liszt (Book, ) [licneichriscopmte.gq]
Walker was also working for the Music Division of the BBC, contributing other articles including that on Liszt in Grove , even writing other books — and teaching at various times as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at City University in London between and ; he was also Professor of Music at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, chairing the Music Department, for example, between and during the completion of this massive work.
Born in , Walker had the advantage as biographer of also being a performing musician, having studied privately with Hans Keller and with Alfred Nieman at the Guildhall School of Music, where too he subsequently taught. The three volumes consist of over nearly 1, pages of substantive text and took a total of a quarter of a century to write. The phases of Liszt's life into which Walker chose to divide it are from birth to , when Liszt the performing prodigy took Europe by storm.
From to , when he lived in Weimar and had such a profound influence on the cultural life of Germany from there, and an even longer-lasting one on the development of music — particularly with the composition of a dozen tone poems. Walker's apparent motive for tackling such a huge and consuming undertaking was the absence of any creditable study of Liszt. Indeed a plethora of myth and misinformation about the composer dating, really, from his own lifetime existed, which Walker felt sure detracted from his appreciation.
He had no illusions about the need to confront that with indisputable facts at every turning.
Nor that — given Liszt's peregrinations — such documentary sources would require special and more painstaking work than usual to find, collate, assess and analyze. As the books were published, they received accolades, won awards and became accepted as the single leading authority on Liszt. Walker was eventually awarded the Commemorative Plaque from the Budapest Liszt Society for his contributions to Liszt scholarship and the medal of the Hungarian Minister of Culture in What, then, makes this study so exceptional?
Franz Liszt: Final Years, 1861-1886
Firstly, the fact that Walker is a musician in his own right, and a teacher. He has described teaching of which this kind of highly informative writing must be considered a part as his "first love". Back cover copy Important developments have taken place in the world of Liszt scholarship since this volume first went to press, in This book contains many of the basic documents Ramann used to construct her 'official' three-volume biography of Liszt, which appeared during the fourteen-year period It had always been known that Liszt granted Ramann some personal interviews, but their extent had never before been properly chronicled.
Review quote "A conscientious scholar passionate about his subject. Not only did his dogged research correct numerous, mostly damaging preconceptions about Liszt, but his cogent musical analyses made the case for the importance of the music Love him or hate him as a saint or a sinner, Liszt still has the capacity to stir great passions Walker has done a great service in correcting many misconceptions and thus raising the question about the true character of Liszt.
January 14, "The prose is so lively that the reader is often swept along by the narrative Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.
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