Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Lin, Chia-Yin. "The Liszt Transcriptions for Piano of Songs by Beethoven, Chopin, and Mendelssohn: Inspiration, Process and Intention." D.M.A. document, University of Washington, 2003.

In his transcriptions of songs by Chopin, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, Liszt captures the essential textual and musical character of the original while transforming it into a purely keyboard idiom with distinctive elements, particularly bravura writing and pianistic sonority. The transcriptions portray the words and mood of the songs and also reflect Liszt's personal relationships with those composers whose works he transcribed. Liszt heightens the dramatic and emotional high points of each model by certain devices, including a prelude that sets up the mood, a fermata in the middle of the song, a short coda, and a cadenza, as illustrated in Hulanka and Adelaide. He often places the song's melody in different registers, doubling it in octaves or adding voices and ornaments, thus creating increasingly dazzling techniques, as found in Moja Pieszczota, Frühlingslied, and Adelaide. His interest in symphonic sound effects led him to explore a wide range of keyboard textures, well demonstrated in Frühlingslied. He differentiates the repetitions of the main melody from the model, each repetition being embellished with a variety of accompanimental patterns, as in Narzeczony, Suleika, Reiselied, Wiosna, and Adelaide. Liszt's piano transcriptions provided a means for the composer to enrich his public concert repertoire; to disseminate music in a new, altered form; and to promote composers he admired, exposing the audience to the masterworks of great composers.

Works: Liszt: Transcription of Chopin's Six chants polonais, Op. 74 (30-64), Transcriptions of Mendelssohn's Suleika, Op. 34, No. 4, Frühlingslied, Op. 47, No. 3, and Reiselied, Op. 34, No. 6 (98-124), Transcription of Beethoven's Adelaide (144-69).

Sources: Chopin: Six chants polonais, Op. 74 (27-64); Mendelssohn: Suleika, Op. 34, No. 4, Frühlingslied, Op. 47, No. 3, Reiselied, Op. 34, No. 6 (95-124); Beethoven: Adelaide (144-69).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Hyun Joo Kim

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