Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Kregor, Jonathan. “Collaboration and Content in the Symphonie fantastique Transcription.” The Journal of Musicology 24 (Spring 2007): 195-236.

Franz Liszt’s piano transcription of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique has been long recognized as a high point of Liszt’s exceptional pianism and technique. Liszt and Berlioz were close friends in the early 1830s, and written correspondence between the two reveals an active collaboration which shaped Liszt’s transcription and possibly even Berlioz’s own revisions to his symphony. Liszt treated this transcription as a means to push his pianistic technique to new extremes, and the Parisian critics praised his ability to magnify the best elements of Berlioz in his arrangement. Liszt’s transcriptions of Symphonie fantastique and other Berlioz works draw attention to the performer and to the original music, and thus promote both Berlioz the composer and Liszt the artistic, musically sensitive virtuoso in a concert setting. Their respective successes ultimately affected each other, and Liszt’s constant stage presence undoubtedly increased Berlioz’s popularity. After distancing himself from Berlioz in the late 1830s, Liszt still applied some of what he had learned in his Symphonie fantastique project to his later arrangements of Schubert and others, using his transcriptions to promote both the original music and his own virtuosity and musical prowess.

Works: Liszt: Grande Symphonie fantastique de Hector Berlioz (195-213, 216-35), Ouverture des francs-juges de Hector Berlioz (212-14), Ouverture du roi Lear de Hector Berlioz (212-16).

Sources: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 (195-213, 224-28), Les francs juges (212), Le roi Lear (212).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew G. Leone, Christine Wisch

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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