Friday, 18 July 2008

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-Sharp minor by Franz Liszt

by Edwin Hesselthwite

As a brief lede to a piece I have been working on intermittently for the best part of 6 months, we at Little Man, What Now? would like to present you with several renditions of the second of Liszt's nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies, this one composed in 1847. Described by Wikipedia as containing “excruciating technical challenges... (that) led to its acceptance as the unofficial standard by which every notable pianist would prove his salt, usually as a smashing finalee” from the first date of publication, it is one of the most commonly played concert piano works.

This piece often forms the basis for seguing into other musical territory, and in the examples below the musicians have chosen to intermingle Liszt's ideas with (in the first example) a boogie-woogie sequence, and Largo Al Factotum from Rossini's The Barber Of Seville, (in the second examples) On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe, and (in the final version) progressing from Chopsticks by Euphemia Allen, personally I find the final version a little derivative, but he performs it well. Enjoy.

One further note: version's one and two were first performed in 1946, and are quite so similar in theme and emphasis that there was a significant scandal concerning plagiarism. History has not quite cleared up whether this was a case of parallel evolution or stolen ideas, but the second version did win an Oscar.

The Cat Concerto, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for MGM pictures.

Chopsticks, released by some anonymous YouTuber.

That's All Folks.

1 comment:

Charles Pooter said...

I wait in anticipation for the main post!