Saturday, 24 November 2018


The University of Pisa has announced the occurence of a free-admission roundtable meeting this Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at the Centro Congressi Le Benedettine to discuss 19th century Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Lizst's time in Tuscany's prized city - specifically, the occurrence of a solo recital by the musician that may predate his first known performance of its kind, historically believed to have been held at the Hanover Square Rooms in London in 1840.[1]

*CLICK TO ENLARGE* Invitation/RSVP infomation for roundtable

Word of a game-changing discovery was first revealed by musicologist Mariateresa Storino in July of this year, who spoke with faculty at the University of “documents related” to the discovery of a Graf fortepiano (containing within hitherto unknown documents) believed to have been played by Liszt, which had been in the possession of one Cardella family. According to her research, the unspecified documents will conclude “for the first time” a clear corroboration with the written testimony of the musician’s one time travel companion and mother to his three children (including Cosima, who would marry Richard Wagner) the Countess Marie D’Agoult, who placed him in Pisa in March, 1839.[2]

These elusive documents, which have yet to be revealed on the international circuit, are the end result of a two year long research project, set up as a competition (with the granting of a research award as the prize) by the Center for the Dissemination of Culture and Musical Practice at the University. The project was led by Storino and funded by the educational institution and the Agenzia Generale UnipolSAI divisione SAI di Pisa.

Wednesday's panel discussion, which will begin at 9:30, will be led by a four-member committee consitisting of musicologists and Liszt scholars Alessandro CecchiMaria Antonella GalantiMaurizio Sbrana and Mariateresa Storino under the patronage of the Liszt Institute Foundation, Bologna and the Italian Society of Musicology. RSVP information can be found by enlarging the graphic above, or by clicking the PDF file listed at the bottom of this post under "External links."

Unraveling Musical Myths announced the impending reveal in August.


[1]The Hanover recital occured on Tuesday, June 9, 1840. According to a contemporary advertisement announcing the impending concert, Liszt performed the following works, in the following order: 1) the Scherzo and Finale of Beethoven's "Pastorale" Symphony; 2) Schubert's Serenade; 3) Ave Maria, by Schubert [sic]; 4) Hexaméron (variations on the Grand March in Bellini's I Puritani); 5) Neapolitan Tarantelles [sic], and 6) Liszt's Grand Galop Chromatique. Tickets were sold for 10s. 6d each, with reserved seats near the pianoforte at 21s.
[2]What we know so far: According to Dr. Storino's extensive research, the alleged concert which took place in Pisa occurred in the small Teatro della Soffitta (adjacent the Palazzo Mazzarosa in Lungarno Pacinotti) during Liszt's time in Italy. A "random" discovery of the Graf fortepiano, which contained inside writings by various unknown persons - all of them traceable to the concert of 1839 - directly corroborated the written testimonies of the Countess d'Agoult, who accompanied Liszt to Italy and may have been present at the performance in question. Aided by these new documents,  Storino was able to uncover hitherto unknown newspaper articles, manuscripts  and other related documents which support her case, and which will "conclusively" answer questions pertaining to the composer's activities in Italy, of which many aspects have hitherto remained unexplored.

Listen below to the fourth number on Liszt's Hanover programme: the "Hexaméron" - a collaborative composition of variations on Vincenzo Bellini's "I Puritani," written by Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg, Johann Peter Pixis, Henri Herz, Carl Czerny, and Frédéric Chopin. Marc-André Hamelin performs:

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- Rose.

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