Liszt caught his era's mood by treating Beethoven's body of works as sacred, unlike his archrival Sigismond Thalberg
, who committed the ultimate musical sacrilege of paraphrasing the Beethoven symphonies (p.
He traces the development of pianistic culture from Frederic Chopin through Franz Liszt to Ignaz Paderewski, with intriguing sojourns into the careers of figures as diverse as Anton Rubinstein, Sigismond Thalberg
, Vladimir de Pachmann, Theodor Leschetizky, Josef Hofmann, Moriz Rosenthal, and Ferruccio Busoni, along with possibly less-remembered names such as Friedrich Kalkbrenner and Malwine Bree.
transcribed "Casta Diva" for solo piano and published it as his Op.
All the fashionable pianists including Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg
made appearances in the elite Parisian salons where musical and social life were closely linked to one another.
As an extraordinarily gifted pianist nurtured in the curriculum of the conservatoire, Alkan receded into the shadows of the Parisian musical scene as ostensibly more compelling characters like Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg
, and a host of other foreign virtuosos brought Parisian audiences to their feet.
Whereas Herz had performed almost two hundred concerts in more than fifty cities and towns, Sigismond Thalberg
(1812-1871) played approximately 340 concerts in at least 78 locations in the United States and Canada during his sojourn here a decade later (1856-58).
Hector Berlioz, reportedly moved to tears by the harmonium playing of Sigismond Thalberg
, composed his only three keyboard pieces for the instrument in 1845.
1850s The Swedish soprano Jenny Lind makes many tours, beginning in 1850; the German soprano Henriette Sontag tours from 1852 to 1854; pianists Henri Herz and Sigismond Thalberg
tour from 1845 to 1851 and from 1856 to 1857, respectively, resulting in much greater emphasis on the virtuoso performer and a consequent fissure between professional and amateur music-making and between concert and popular music.