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Happy 200th Birthday to Franz Liszt

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  • Happy 200th Birthday to Franz Liszt

    The original rock star!
    The classical pianist, who turns 200 today, changed the art of performance forever with his over-the-top concerts, creating a craze that historians have dubbed "Lisztomania."
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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  • #2
    One of the interesting things about Liszt and his playing style also had to do with the development of piano technology, as the piano went from a delicate, small instrument (fortepiano) to a larger more powerful one. One "key" development was the double escapement action, which was necessary to play repetitive notes quickly and allow for larger, heavier hammers. Liszt took advantage of this, and I suppose the technological development aided, if it didn't influence, his playing style.


    • #3
      Is it true that he had freaky hand span? Legend has it, an octave and a half. I always wondered if this was true.


      • #4
        [QUOTE=JackD201;n31178]Is it true that he had freaky hand span? Legend has it, an octave and a half. I always wondered if this was true. [/QUOTE

        I do know an interesting related story that tells the answer.

        When I was writing my Decca book for Winston Ma - FIM, one of the recording engineers I interviewed told me this story. He was recording the diminutive Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha and she mentioned that she had quite small hands for a pianist, able to reach an octave, but not much more. She said that her friend Jorge Bolet, who was also a Decca artist had much bigger hands (IIRC - a 10th or 11th). Sometime later the engineer was recording Bolet and told him what de Larrocha had said. Bolet said, "Big hands?" "You should have seen Rachmaninoff's hands.

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        • #5
          there must be also a disadvantage to big hands (harder to stroke individual keys?) or the standard keyboard would be smaller (scaled down a bit).
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          • #6
            They're having a sale of 5 Liszt albums in DSD over at NativeDSD through the end of the month.
            Use offer code LISZT to save 10% off each one.

            Click image for larger version

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