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Liszt Transcendental Études

1826, revised 1837, revised 1852

  • Étude No. 1 (Preludio) C major
  • Étude No. 2 [Fusees*] A minor
  • Étude No. 3 (Paysage) F major
  • Étude No. 4 (Mazeppa) D minor
  • Étude No. 5 (Feux Follets) B-flat major
  • Étude No. 6 (Vision) G minor
  • Étude No. 7 (Eroica) E-flat major
  • Étude No. 8 (Wilde Jagd) C minor
  • Étude No. 9 (Ricordanza) A-flat major
  • Étude No. 10 [Appassionata*] F minor
  • Étude No. 11 (Harmonies du Soir) D-flat major
  • Étude No. 12 (Chasse-Neige) B-flat minor

*Liszt gave titles to all but numbers 2 and 10, to which the editor Busoni added his own titles)

In the the 1720s, J. S. Bach wrote a set 24 Preludes and Fugues in all keys to demonstrate the virtues of the well-tempered tuning system. He followed up with another set of 24 (book 2) and together they are often just known as The 48.

Bach's purpose was partly to show that a well-tempered tuning system would allow all 24 keys to be played without major tuing problems. However it also served as a splendid primer right down to teh present day for the student to get practice at playing in all keys.

Since Bach's time, many other composers wrote sets of studies or etudes with the purpose of honing particular keyboard skills. Through the early to mid 19th century, most musicians settled on the equal tempremant tuning system which gives a compromise of equally good and equally bad tuning in all keys., so a set of etudes in all keys became more a technical exercise in being able to read and play in all keys. In addition, the particular mixture of black and white keys in each key provided the fingers with differing ease of playing certain patterns and combinations.

The teenage Liszt set about writing 12 such etudes - 12 because he only included the keys with flats (or nothing) in their key signature. The mid career Liszt then expanded thes pieces to make them truly transcendental in their demands. He later revised them again and while keeping them prodigious in their demands, revised the passages that called for extra large hands.

Some forthcoming performances of Liszt Transcendental Études:


___________________  White Hat  ___________________

Selected Sheet Music of Liszt Transcendental Études

look inside Liszt: Collected Works For Piano (Version 2.0) (CD Sheet Music (2-CD Set)). Composed by Franz Liszt (1811-1886). For Piano (Piano). CD Sheet Music (Version 2.0). CD-ROM. CD Sheet Music #30400017. Published by CD Sheet Music (HL.220529).
look inside Complete Etudes For Solo Piano, Series I - Including The Transcendental Etudes Composed by Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Edited by Ferruccio Busoni. For solo piano. Masterworks; Piano Collection. Dover Edition. Form: Etude. Classical Period and Etudes. SMP Level 10 (Advanced). Collection. Introductory text and performance notes (does not include words to the songs). 272 pages. Published by Dover Publications (AP.6-258157).
look inside Transcendental Studies (Piano Solo). Composed by Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Edited by Ernst-Gunter Heinemann and Ernst-G. For Piano. Piano (Harpsichord), 2-hands. Henle Music Folios. Pages: IX and 123. SMP Level 10 (Advanced). Softcover. 131 pages. G. Henle #HN717. Published by G. Henle (HL.51480717).