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lecture and concert on
Franz Liszt
and Italian Art

with projections of works of art

a project by Vittorio Bresciani
the project
the program
the images
the projectthe programsummarythe images
The idea of the project is to show the relationship between the piano music Franz Liszt composed during his first visit to Italy (1837/39) and the literary and artistic experiences which inspired him.

The pieces concerned are presented here with the title Viaggio in Italia, (Liszt in Italy) and comprise the first volume of the Années de pèlerinage Italie together with its appendix, Venezia e Napoli • and the unique transcription for piano solo of the Totentanz, the paraphrase on the theme of the Dies Irae better known in its celebrated arrangement for piano and orchestra.

The works of art to which Liszt’s music refers are: The Betrothal of the Virgin Mary by Raphael, in the Brera Gallery, Milan; Michelangelo’s statue of Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, in the Church of San Lorenzo, Florence; the frescos of The Last Judgement and The Triumph of Death in the Camposanto of Pisa, a work traditionally attributed to Orcagna, but more recently considered to be by Buffalmacco; the literary works which inspired Liszt are the Inferno from Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Sonnets 47, 104 and 123 by Petrarch.

The project consists of a regular piano recital and an introductory lecture, which may be held either in the morning, or in the afternoon preceding the concert. The lecture will describe the itinerary of Liszt’s romantic travels with his companion, Marie d’Agoult. Various examples of the works of art, which fired the imagination of the young composer, will be shown on slides and accompanied by brief critical comments. Finally, the relationship between the sources of inspiration and their musical results will be elucidated by formal analysis and illustrations at the piano.

The programme can also be condensed into a single event with a piano recital and brief introductory commentaries (with or without slides) and possibly a shorter selection of pieces.
the programthe projectsummarythe images
Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, Italie:
Il penseroso
Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa
Sonetto 47 del Petrarca
Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
Après une lecture du Dante. Fantasia quasi Sonata

Totentanz, Paraphrase on the Dies Irae demo
version for piano solo

Venezia e Napoli
Supplement au ‘Deuxième année de pèlerinage, Italie’
Tarantella demo
summarythe projectthe programthe images
The relationship between Franz Liszt’s music and Italian art

Piano recital preceded by a lecture with projection of slides

Repertoire of the recital
Deuxième année de pèlerinage, Italie, Totentanz, and Venezia e Napoli by Franz Liszt

Works of art and literature analysed
The Betrothal of the Virgin Mary by Raphael, Michelangelo’s statue of Lorenzo de' Medici in the Church of San Lorenzo, Florence, the frescos of The Last Judgement and The Triumph of Death in the Camposanto of Pisa, Dante’s Inferno from The Divine Comedy, Petrarch’s sonnets 47, 104, 123 and various examples of 17th- and 18th-century landscape paintings portraying Venice and Naples.

a) Lecture with slides + concert
b) Lecture/concert combined in a single event, with or without slides
the imagesthe projectthe programsummary
Raphael The Betrothal of the Virgin Mary
Michelangelo statue of Lorenzo de' Medici
Buffalmacco The Triumph of Death
Buffalmacco The Triumph of Death, detail
B. Bellotto San Marco
C. J. Vernet Naples, view from Mergellina
C. J. Vernet Naples, view from Marinella
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