Liszt – Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Minor, S. 124 (Movements 3 and 4)

by Max Derrickson

Franz Liszt
(Born in Raiding, Hungary in 1811; died in Bayreuth, Germany in 1886)

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Minor, S. 124
3. Allegretto vivace – Allegro animato
4. Allegro marziale animato


Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt is known as probably the most famous piano virtuoso in the last two centuries, and it’s no surprise that he wrote several piano concertos (3 in total, the third lost until 1988).  What is surprising, however, is that at the height of his fame in 1848, he walked away from the concert stage, moved to Weimar, Gernamy, [. . .] it was in Weimar that Liszt revised it countless times, and didn’t consider it completed until 1855 after decades of reworking.  Structural form and thematic progression were Liszt’s main concern in these years, and the First Concerto certainly breaks many molds.

The theme that opens the first movement blends its way through the whole work, and the movements have no pauses between them.  But the most ravishing part of this concerto [. . .] triangle as an integral and delightful part (and sometimes referred to as the “Triangle Concerto”).  Note that the brief cadenza and the music that follows, eventually blasting from the trombones, recounts [. . .] Here Liszt opens up the flood gates and finishes with a rousing march, first charming and then pacing to a very exciting finale, [. . .], it’s devilishly fun to hear.