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Franz Liszt: The Final Years, 1861-86 v. 3: The Final Years, 1861-1886 Paperback – 25 Nov 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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  • Franz Liszt: The Final Years, 1861-86 v. 3: The Final Years, 1861-1886
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  • Franz Liszt: The Weimar Years, 1848-61 v. 2: The Weimar Years, 1848-1861
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  • Franz Liszt: The Virtuoso Years, 1811-47 v. 1: The Virtuoso Years, 1811-1847
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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (25 Nov. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801484537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801484537
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 326,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Alan Walker's biography of Liszt . . . has been widely hailed as a groundbreaking work of scholarship. . . . Not only did his dogged research correct numerous, mostly damaging preconceptions about Liszt, but his cogent musical analyses made the case for the importance of the music. . . . Love him or hate him as a saint or a sinner, Liszt still has the capacity to stir great passions . . . and Mr. Walker has done a great service in correcting many misconceptions and thus raising the question about the true character of Liszt." Johanna Keller, The New York Times. January 14, 2001"

"A conscientious scholar passionate about his subject. Mr. Walker makes the man and his age come to life. These three volumes will be the definitive work to which all subsequent Liszt biographies will aspire." Harold C. Schonberg, Wall Street Journal"

"What distinguishes Walker from Liszt's dozens of earlier biographers is that he is equally strong on the music and the life. A formidable musicologist with a lively polemical style, he discusses the composer's works with greater understanding and clarity than any previous biographer. And whereas many have recycled the same erroneous, often damaging information, Walker has relied on his own prodigious, globe-trotting research, a project spanning twenty-five years. The result is a textured portrait of Liszt and his times without rival." Elliot Ravetz, Time"

"You can't help but keep turning the pages, wondering how it will all turn out: and Walker's accumulated readings of Liszt's music have to be taken seriously indeed." D. Kern Holoman, New York Review of Books"

"The prose is so lively that the reader is often swept along by the narrative. . . . This three-part work . . . is now the definitive work on Liszt in English and belongs in all music collections." Library Journal"

From the Back Cover

This book is an in depth look at Liszt and anything connected with Liszt during the years from 1848 to 1861.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alan Walker’s magisterial 3-volume biography of Liszt needs no further endorsement having been a standard work for many years. This is just to urge anyone interested in Liszt to plunge in and not be put off by its length - it is compulsive reading, even the footnotes, which contain much fascinating material. The scholarship is awesome.

Liszt has suffered at the hands of his biographers in the 20th century - Ernest Newman’s disgraceful character assassination, Sacheverell Sitwell’s friendly but inaccurate biography, and Eleanor Perenyi’s quirky volume which stops abruptly in 1861, to name but three. Walker unpicks the many controversies surrounding Liszt’s long and complicated life, and explores the man, his life and his music in a compelling narrative.
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Format: Paperback
Higly informative both in F.L.'s music and private life. I recomment it for all lovers of F.L.
Bent Hagested, Denmark
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The world of Liszt, an era pulsing with life. 26 Aug. 2014
By eledavf Vivian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can only echo what I wrote about Volume 2:

This is a magnificent biography. I have read all three volumes and recommend them to every music lover. Liszt was significant in so many ways, as a nurturer of other composers, as a voice of his native land, and of course as a friend and victim of Wagner (but who was NOT a victim of that anti-musical megalomaniac?)

This biography covers other complex musical relationships existing between Liszt and the most famous composers of that time, including Brahms and both Schumanns. Then too there are stories of difficulties in the musical world beyond the personal, such as with the dedication of a memorial to Beethoven at his birthplace.

Without a doubt, a wonderful history of that thrilling era in European music when sonority and actual human passion meant something to the creators.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full-Length Portrait of Franz Liszt 30 Mar. 2010
By Bing-Alguin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How to review such a gigantic and magnificent biography as Alan Walker's on Franz Liszt and do full justice to its three bulky volumes and its about 1700 pages, all of them well stuffed with information? Almost impossible! This is probably one of the best biographies ever written, one of the most fascinating, one of the most readable and attractive. It is not only a ravishing story of a composer's life that is more riveting than most composers', glorious in its palmy days as well as a little tragic and sentimental in the third volume's account for his old age and its decay and fall, full of alcoholism, depression and diseases; sensationally super-romantic in his relationship with women and illegitimate children as well as sympathetically generous and open-handed in his contacts with other musicians and composers and musical disciples - and ultimately the pious Catholic Abbé Liszt taking holy orders. It is also a biography covering Liszt's music with initiated though always very lisible analyses, a great surplus in a biography, as biographies often turn their backs on the real reason why a composer, a writer, a painter is well worth being biographied. Finally, it gives a grandiose survey of the musical and cultural life in Europe in the middle of the 19th century, stunningly rich and meaty and well-informed, continuously offering you new aspects of an extremely enthralling field.
Walker's ambition has been to weed in the marshland of legends and errors and inaccuracies in the prevalent image of Liszt's life, spread since the composer's own lifetime. It is the scholarly result of his incredible efforts to get a clearer picture of his life. This is a truer picture of a mysteriously legendary composer than we have had earlier - though it is a very kind and maybe a bit uncritical portrait we get of this charismatic super-genius.
Liszt's position in European music and culture in all during his active life was incomprehensibly great, maybe greater and more influential than any composer ever had. It is a tremendous adventure to read about all his glorious triumphs as a virtuoso pianist and as a composer, a conductor, a teacher and a musical promotor, a writer, a freedom symbol and patriot, a friend of Chopin's and Wagner's and many other activities and characteristics. I have been rapturously plunged into these three volumes for a very long time, and I wish every music lover to enjoy them as much as I have. All three of them!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing justice to Liszt 3 Jan. 2007
By E. C. Alvarez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third and final volume of Alan Walker's lengthy and in-depth biography of Liszt. It so happens to be the third volume I purchase. This is the most informative and entertaining biography I've ever read (including footnotes and the appendices). Mr. Walker goes beyond the call of duty (or defines it), by having done extensive travels during his years researching for this masterwork on the master of Romantic music, Franz Liszt. He was even granted access to the Vatican's Secret Archive to study what happened during Liszt and Carolyne's struggle to get married.

Anyone truly interested in reading the definitive biography on Liszt cannot consider anything else but these three volumes by Mr. Walker. I came upon them by chance, and now do I consider myself very lucky. He has since the publication of the third volume released some complimentary books, with more specific topics and correspondence of the time. Alan Walker is indeed The Liszt erudite. Period!
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Writer 19 Jun. 2014
By CARL DIDONATO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walker spent a good portion of his life producing I believe 5 volumes on Liszt's life. His writing style flows and is enjoyable.
The info in those books is astounding. Walker presents a true picture of Liszt's amazing life. I would highly recommend all of the volumes. Because of Walker, Liszt's music is getting better known though much prejudice still exists from Liszt's time to this very day against his music esp. here in the USA.
5.0 out of 5 stars The journey that doesn't end. 28 Aug. 2012
By dfjm53 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Better than a motion picture! The Final Years, Volume III is full of history and music as well as the previous two volumes by Alan Walker on the life of Franz Liszt. This is not only the end of a virtuoso's life but the understanding of music from the side of Liszt himself. This book has made me not only a Listian music fanatic but also appreciated the art of research and writing of Mr. Alan Walker. Two geniuses in one book!! The sad part, this work of art ends here with volume IIII....oh! wait...! Mr. Walker also wrote one more... "Reflections on Liszt". Don't miss it!!
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