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Bundesstadt Bonn

The First & The Third

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no. 1 in C major, op. 21 (1799/1800) version for piano by Franz Liszt, S. 464/1

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no. 3 in E-flat major, op. 55 (‘Eroica’) (1802–04) version for piano by Franz Liszt, S. 464/3

Artist: Konstantin Scherbakow, piano

When Liszt was born in the Hungarian town of Raiding on 22 October 1811, Beethoven, living in Vienna barely 56 miles away, had just started work on his Seventh Symphony. It is known that Liszt, then a rising star only 12 years old, received a ‘kiss of consecration’ from the deeply moved composer. By the time Beethoven died four years later, the brilliant prodigy had long set out for new climes; Paris and half of Europe lay at his feet. Perhaps it was this brief but lasting encounter that made Liszt such an ardent admirer of Beethoven, a performer of his piano music and the creator of piano transcriptions of countless songs, the Septet and all nine of the symphonies.

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