Friday, January 21, 2011

The Return of Franz Liszt

I STILL remember the elementary school assembly in which a local musician in a long white wig came in to play piano and talk to us about classical music and the 19th century craze Liszt-omania.

And while it's true that Franz Liszt inspired all kinds of insane behavior, especially from swooning young women, there's more to the composer than that.

In today's LA Times I speak to Louis Lortie, HERE, a Berlin-based pianist who will perform Liszt's seldom-played Annees de Pelerinage at Orange County's Segerstrom Hall. The work, which translates as "years of pilgrimage" and last almost three hours, tells the story of Liszt's life as well as the evolution of his compositional style.

I also have a sidebar where Lortie talks about why Liszt is both the most intriguing 19the century composer and why he remains underrated.

Tonight, by the way, I will be at Disney Hall seeing a pianist of a very different stripe, jazz giant Brad Mehldau.

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