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Franz Liszt was born in in Hungary, into an already well-established musical family. This meant he was in direct contact with prolific composers such as Haydn, Beethoven and Hummel. Liszt was an incredibly innovative, well-respected and frankly a legend in his lifetime. The set was published in and are a key example of programme music due to their reference to various poems about love and death.
Number 3 is based on a poem written by German writer, Ferdinand Freliligrath. I have provided the poem and translations below:. The expressive nature of this movement is reminiscent of the opening refrain which returns throughout the poem.
The promise of love is hopeful at the start, however, it soon dissipates after the death of a loved one. The work begins in Ab major, with large arpeggiated phrases in the right hand, and through this large movement it represents the poets anguish. The refrain from the poem is repeated twice in the first 12 bars, with its simple melody and arpeggiated accompaniment.
The harmonic progressions within this section show the movement within the poem. Each section of this piece is split up by a cadenza section. The cadenzas are there to represent the Liebestraum. The first highlights the dream-like state that the poet is in, where he can be reunited with his love once more. This cadenza is in B major, which shows a tonal shift. B major does not function with Ab major, which represents the battling feelings between love and death. The first theme comes back, but this time in C major, which shortly resorts back to Ab major.
The constant turbulent tonal shifts suggest the emotional rollercoaster that the poet is finding himself in. This section really highlights the emotional and mental turmoil that is happening inside the mind of the poet.
The cadenzas are very interesting as Liszt uses the full range of the piano to express feelings of hope. The back and forth motion of this cadenza is very effective as it emphasises the change between dream and reality, as well as want and have.
After this cadenza, the poet realises he can only be truly in love in his dreams. The idea is that the poet warns you that love is fragile but worth taking the risk for.
Through dynamic changes you can feel the sense that the poet is feeling sorrowful and is faced with the reality of death. The piece ends very quietly, with this back story in mind it brings the piece into a whole new dimension. It is a story of love and loss portrayed through music.
An absolutely stunning piece which is both heart-wrenching and troubled. With his use of complex harmonic structures, simple melodies and a range of dynamics, Liszt was able to build a work that still nourishes the minds of musicians and classical music fans today. Image Source. Your email address will not be published. His work in the James Bond franchise was legendary, and his huge output of film music speaks Read more….
Final Thoughts It is a story of love and loss portrayed through music. Happy Reading! Categories: Blogs Solo. Tags: classicalmusic liebestraum liszt piano. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. What's on your mind? Related Posts.
Franz Liszt ‘Liebestraum No.3’: The Purest Kind of Love
In , two versions appeared simultaneously as a set of songs for high voice and piano, and as transcriptions for piano two-hands. The two poems by Uhland and the one by Freiligrath depict three different forms of love. Uhland's " Hohe Liebe " exalted love is saintly or religious love: the "martyr" renounces worldly love and "heaven has opened its gates". The second song " Seliger Tod " blessed death is often known by its first line " Gestorben war ich ", "I had died" , and evokes erotic love; "I was dead from love's bliss; I lay buried in her arms; I was wakened by her kisses; I saw heaven in her eyes". Freiligrath's poem for the famous third Notturno is about unconditional mature love "Love as long as you can!
Liebesträume, S.541 (Liszt, Franz)