Sigismond Thalberg

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Thalberg, Sigismond


Born Jan. 7, 1812, in Geneva; died Apr. 27, 1871, in Posillipo. Austrian pianist.

Thalberg gave concerts in many countries and performed in Russia in 1839. He was known for the melodious tone of his music and for his brilliant technique. Thalberg’s contemporaries (1830’s), including H. Heine, considered him one of the three greatest pianists in the world, along with Chopin and Liszt. Thalberg’s music, representative of salon piano music, was contrasted with Liszt’s new, dramatic art, which was rich in content and ideas. Liszt, however, emerged victorious from his famous competition with Thalberg in Paris in 1837, and also the subsequent “war” between the followers of the two. As a result, Thalberg’s works, including salon piano pieces, transcriptions, and fantasias with operatic themes, lost much of their significance.

References in periodicals archive ?
Among these were some of the most highly-regarded pianist-composers of the era, including Frederic Kalkbrenner, Ignaz Moscheles and, later still, Henri Herz, Franz Liszt, and Sigismund Thalberg. Having heard and played the airs in Ireland, these virtuosi brought them back to Europe and disseminated them through publication, and public and private performances.
Sigismund Thalberg. Grande fantaisie et variations sur deux motifs de Don Juan, opus 14; Grande fantaisie sur la serenade et le menuet de Don Juan, opus 42.
From 1845 to 1876 Leopold de Meyer, Henri Herz, Sigismund Thalberg, Anton Rubinstein and Hans von Bulow dazzled audiences; made and broke alliances with tour managers, other performers, newspapers and piano manufacturers; and considerably enriched their purses along the way.
Opera lovers will enjoy singing along with piano transcriptions by Sigismund Thalberg of Bellini's Norma, La Sonnambula, and Beatrice and Benedict.