Thalberg, Sigismond

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.

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