In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Habsburg Monarchy was a political entity giving home to great numbers of people of different nationalities and ethnicities. However, the dominant power in the structure of this multi-ethnic state was reserved for the Germans. Yet, the ever more emphatic demands of ethnic groups of other origins for more autonomy had a serious impact on the political and cultural supremacy of the Germans. Based on this recorded background, I will examine in the context of my paper to what extent Viennese music criticism of Franz Liszt’s symphonic programme music proves to be influenced by the reception of his national facets of identity. To do justice to this concern, the first step is to gain an overview of what statements were made during the journalistic discourse on Liszt’s symphonic programme music regarding its nationality. Building on this, it will be determined what function these statements had in the argumentative mediation of the aesthetic judgement on Liszt’s programmatic compositions. Against the political background outlined above, the question arises as to whether the Hungarian-national facet of Liszt’s identity in particular was instrumentalized by Viennese critics in order to strengthen negative judgments about his œuvre by means of a politically motivated German-nationalist narrative.