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  • Author or Editor: William Wright x
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The life and works of Mozart are central to a due understanding of Liszt’s development as pianist, composer, and conductor. Yet, this fact receives inadequate attention in scholarly studies. Liszt readily acknowledged that he ‘owed the greater part of what he was as a musician to Mozart’ and found identity and goal as he sought, as pianist and composer, to emulate the endeavors of the Viennese master. Like Mozart, he was a ‘pioneer of progress’ who refused ‘to be bound by accepted modes of expression.’ Like Mozart, ‘he pushed virtuosity to utmost limits.’ Like Mozart, he was seen by many as an iconic figure of German nationalism. In later life, Liszt took comfort from the fact that Mozart, his illustrious role-model, was not spared bitter experiences. ‘As with every great genius,’ both endured ‘pain and suffering’ in order to accomplish their task. In so many areas of musical activity and experience, Liszt mirrored his great Viennese master. Throughout Liszt’s life, he remained devoted to the scrupulous study and execution of Mozart’s music and played an important part in promoting a better understanding of both man and music via podium and press before, during, and after the Mozart Centenary Celebrations in Vienna in January 1856.

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