Liszt in the 1840s and 50s

Before we detoured to look at mothers of composers, we had been taking a look at Liszt. Let’s go back to our Liszt overview!

In the early 1840’s, Liszt became what we would call a superstar today. He toured and gave concerts as the brilliant pianist he was. His popularity grew. He did many concerts for charity and donated to humanitarian causes. After the late 1850’s, his performing fees were given to charities as he had made more than enough money to live on. Quite an amazing thing to do in anyone’s lifetime!

The late 1840’s brought Princess Carolyne into his life. While they wished to marry, she was unable to obtain official permission. She had been previously married and the catholic church would not grant her an annulment. She was, however, a key figure in Liszt life until his death. He retired from the main performance stage, in 1847 and with Carolyne’s urging shifted his focus to composition.

He moved to Weimar, taking up his appointment as Kapellmeister. He would continue here until 1961, teaching pianists, conducting at court concerts, composing, and writing – a rich and amazing time in his life.


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