Three Concert Études (Trois études de concert), S.144, are a set of three piano études by Franz Liszt, composed between 1845–49 and published in Paris as Trois caprices poétiques with the three individual titles as they are known today.
As the title indicates, they are intended not only for the acquisition of a better technique, but also for concert performance. Liszt was himself a virtuoso pianist and was able to easily play many complex patterns generally considered difficult. The Italian subtitles now associated with the études—Il lamento ("The Lament"), La leggierezza ("Lightness"), and Un sospiro ("A sigh")—were not in early editions.
Il lamento is the first of the études. Written in A-flat major, it is among Liszt's longest pieces in the genre. It starts with a four-note lyrical melody which folds itself through the work, followed by a Chopin-like chromatic pattern which reappears again in the coda. Although the piece opens and ends in A-flat major, it shifts throughout its three parts to many other keys, A, G, D-sharp, F-sharp and B among them.
La leggierezza (meaning "lightness") is the second étude. It is a monothematic piece in F minor with a very simple melodic line for each hand under an unusual Quasi allegretto tempo marking, usually ignored in favour of something slightly more frenetic.It starts with a fast but delicate sixteen chromatic-note arpeggio divided in thirds and sixths under an irregular rhythmic subdivision and cadenza so as to underline the atmosphere implied in its title. The technical difficulties involved in playing the piece include rapid leggiero chromatic runs, often with irregular rhythmic groupings, and passages in sixths and thirds. An ossia for the right hand involving brilliant runs in minor thirds is almost universally preferred by performers.
La leggierezza often included an alternate ending written by Polish teacher Theodor Leschetizky.Two of his students, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Benno Moiseiwitsch, performed and recorded this variation. The Paderewski recording includes the full "Leschetizky ending," while the recording by Moiseiwitsch includes his own abbreviated version of the Leschetizky ending. Simon Barere recorded the piece with an abbreviated version of the Leschetizky coda with critical results in the press.
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The third of the Three Concert Études is in D-flat major, and is usually known as Un sospiro (Italian for "A sigh"). However, it is likely that the title did not originate with Liszt. Although there is no evidence that he actively attempted to remove the subtitle, none of the editions or subsequent printings of the Three Concert Études published by Kistner during Liszt's lifetime used them; he simply ignored such subtitles in later years, always referring to the piece by key.
The étude is a study in crossing hands, playing a simple melody with alternating hands, and arpeggios. It is also a study in the way hands should affect the melody with its many accentuations, or phrasing with alternating hands. The melody is quite dramatic, almost Impressionistic, radically changing in dynamics at times, and has inspired many listeners. The étude has been considered by many pianists as one of the most beautiful piano pieces ever composed. [ failed verification ] Liszt kept the étude in his repertoire until his final years.
Un sospiro consists of a flowing background superimposed by a simple melody written in the third staff. This third staff—an additional treble staff—is written with the direction to the performer that notes with the stem up are for the right hand and notes with the stem down are for the left hand. The background alternates between the left and right hands in such a way that for most of the piece, while the left hand is playing the harmony, the right hand is playing the melody, and vice versa, with the left hand crossing over the right as it continues the melody for a short while before regressing again. There are also small cadenza sections requiring delicate fingerwork throughout the middle section of the piece.
Towards the end, after the main climax of the piece, both hands are needed to cross in an even more complex pattern. Since there are so many notes to be played rapidly and they are too far away from other clusters of notes that must be played as well, the hands are required to cross multiple times to reach dramatic notes near the end of the piece on the last page.
This étude, along with the other Three concert études, was written in dedication to Liszt's uncle, Eduard Liszt (1817–1879), the youngest son of Liszt's grandfather and the stepbrother of his own father. Eduard handled Liszt's business affairs for more than thirty years until his death in 1879.
Un Sospiro has been recorded by many well-known pianists including Van Cliburn, Jorge Bolet, Claudio Arrau, Marc-André Hamelin, Daniil Trifonov and Jan Lisiecki.
The piece has appeared in a number of films and television series, including:
Artur Schnabel was an Austrian-American classical pianist, composer and pedagogue. Schnabel was known for his intellectual seriousness as a musician, avoiding pure technical bravura. Among the 20th century's most respected and important pianists, his playing displayed marked vitality, profundity and spirituality in the Austro-German classics, particularly the works of Beethoven and Schubert.
Benno Moiseiwitsch CBE was a Russian/Ukrainian born British pianist.
Jorge Bolet was a Cuban-born American virtuoso pianist and teacher. Among his teachers were Leopold Godowsky, and Moriz Rosenthal – the latter an outstanding pupil of Franz Liszt.
"La campanella" is the nickname given to the third of Franz Liszt's six Grandes études de Paganini, S. 141 (1851). It is in the key of G-sharp minor. This piece is a revision of an earlier version from 1838, the Études d'exécution transcendente d'après Paganini, S. 140. Its melody comes from the final movement of Niccolò Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, where the tune was reinforced metaphorically by a 'little handbell'. This is illustrated by the large intervals of sixteenth notes in the right hand.
Simon Barere was a Russian pianist. His surname Барер is transliterated Barer, but as an adult he adopted the spelling Barere in order to reduce the frequency of mispronunciation.
Theodor Leschetizky was a Polish pianist, professor and composer born in Łańcut, then Landshut in the kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, also known as Austrian Poland, a crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy.
Six moments musicaux, Op. 16, is a set of solo piano pieces composed by the Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff between October and December 1896. Each Moment musical reproduces a musical form characteristic of a previous musical era. The forms that appear in Rachmaninoff's incarnation are the nocturne, song without words, barcarolle, virtuoso étude, and theme and variations.
The Mephisto Waltzes are four waltzes composed by Franz Liszt from 1859 to 1862, from 1880 to 1881, and in 1883 and 1885. Nos. 1 and 2 were composed for orchestra, and later arranged for piano, piano duet and two pianos, whereas nos. 3 and 4 were written for piano only. Of the four, the first is the most popular and has been frequently performed in concert and recorded.
Réminiscences de Don Juan is an opera fantasy for piano by Franz Liszt on themes from Mozart's Don Giovanni.
Emil Georg Conrad von Sauer was a German composer, pianist, score editor, and music (piano) teacher. He was a pupil of Franz Liszt and one of the most distinguished pianists of his generation. Josef Hofmann called von Sauer "a truly great virtuoso." Martin Krause, another Liszt pupil, called von Sauer "the legitimate heir of Liszt; he has more of his charm and geniality than any other Liszt pupil."
Grigory Romanovich Ginzburg was a Jewish-born, Russian pianist.
Étude Op. 10, No. 3, in E major, is a study for solo piano composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1832. It was first published in 1833 in France, Germany, and England as the third piece of his Études Op. 10. This is a slow cantabile study for polyphonic and legato playing. Chopin himself believed the melody to be his most beautiful one. It became famous through numerous popular arrangements. Although this étude is sometimes identified by the names "Tristesse" (Sadness) or "Farewell (L'Adieu)", neither is a name given by Chopin, but rather his critics.
Étude Op. 25, No. 11 in A minor, often referred to as the Winter Wind in English, is a solo piano technical study composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1836. It was first published together with all études of Opus 25 in 1837, in France, Germany, and England. The first French edition indicates a common time time signature, but the manuscript and the first German edition both feature cut time. The first four bars that characterize the melody were added just before publication at the advice of Charles A. Hoffmann, a friend. Winter Wind is considered one of the most difficult of Chopin's 24 études.
Transcendental Étude No. 10 in F minor, "Appassionata", is the tenth Transcendental Étude of a set of twelve by Franz Liszt. It is possibly the most played of the études and has a prominent melody.
Great Pianists of the 20th Century was a 200-CD box set released by Philips Records in 1999 and sponsored by Steinway & Sons.
Trois morceaux dans le genre pathétique Op. 15 is a three-movement suite for piano composed by the French composer, Charles-Valentin Alkan, published in 1837. The suite also bears the title Souvenirs (Memories). The 3 movements are Aime-moi, Le vent, and Morte.
The Klavierübung, by the Italian pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni, is a compilation of piano exercises and practice pieces, comprising transcriptions of works by other composers and original compositions of his own.
Au bord d'une source is a virtuoso piano showpiece by Franz Liszt; it is the 4th piece of the first suite of Années de Pèlerinage.
The Hungarian composer György Ligeti composed a cycle of 18 études for solo piano between 1985 and 2001. They are considered one of the major creative achievements of his last decades, and one of the most significant sets of piano studies of the 20th century, combining virtuoso technical problems with expressive content, following in the line of the études of Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy, and Alexander Scriabin but addressing new technical ideas as a compendium of the concepts Ligeti had worked out in his other works since the 1950s. Pianist Jeremy Denk wrote that they "are a crowning achievement of his career and of the piano literature; though still new, they are already classics."
The three-hand effect is a means of playing on the piano with only two hands, but producing the impression that one is using three hands. Typically this effect is produced by keeping the melody in the middle register, with accompanying arpeggios in the treble and bass registers.
For the soundtrack, renowned concert pianist Ania Dorfman[sic] recorded the classical pieces that Stanwyck's character 'played' in the film, and also coached Stanwyck so she could match her actions to Dorfman's playing on the soundtrack. [Andre] De Toth, whose office was across from Stanwyck's bungalow on the lot, recalled that Stanwyck practiced the piano three hours a day for a month to get it right. When he finally could no longer bear the noise, he gave her a silent keyboard to use. 'At the end, she herself could play the relevant pieces,' he told Ella Smith, who wrote a book about Stanwyck's career.