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Kathleen Dunne, MUS303: Music History 2
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music
The Romantic composer Franz Liszt was arguably one of the greatest pianists of all time. His own original compositions “clearly written for his own use as a touring virtuoso “reflected this. One of his most famous pieces, Liebesträume [Dreams of Love], is comprised of a trilogy of piano works inspired by love poems written by the German poets Ludwig Uhland and Ferdinand Freiligrath. The poetic appeal commonly heard in Romantic era music is clearly present in this composition. In that regard, freedom of form and design aligns perfectly in Liszt's work because of his seemingly random key changes and symbolism behind the polarity of musical keys and love. The influence that Frédéric Chopin, a fellow Romantic composer-pianist and close friend of Liszt, had on these pieces is undeniable. As a performing pianist, my project goal is to understand the imagery and poetry behind this piece and the sheer complexity in realizing these characteristics in performance. I dig deeper into the brain and heart of Franz Liszt to understand the sense of idealized love he embodied in these compositions. There is great beauty in being able to perform a piece while understanding its full meaning, and extremely rewarding to discover how that meaning relates to one's own personal experience.
Dunne, Kathleen, "Liszt's Dreams of Love" (2021). Arts. 7.