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Franz Liszt, His Circle, and His Elusive Oratorio

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Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1: Romanticism and the musical background Chapter 2: Youth and the Prodigy Chapter 3: Beranger and the Revolutions Chapter 4: Paganini and his crucial influence Chapter 5: Liszt and the Polish pianist Chapter 6: Chopin and the Polish bowman Chapter 7: Chopin and Polish Romanticism Chapter 8: Liszt and the great virtuosity Chapter 9: Chopin and his letters Chapter 10: The Princess and settlement at Weimar Chapter 11: Liszt and his three lives Chapter 12: Wieniawski and the hard-earned years Chapter 13: Liszt and the Polish Oratorio Chapter 14: The Survivor and his friends Chapter 15: The Decline and End Epilogue Appendix: Listings of Franz Liszt's music connected to Poland Index

About the Author

Xavier Jon Puslowski taught at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and served as an economist with the U.S. Department of Energy.


The spate of Liszt books appearing since the 2011 bicentennial of his birth has yielded some treasures, including the current volume. The title gives only the barest clue to the contents; in fact, the book provides a thorough account of Liszt's interest in Poland, which had ceased to exist as a formal political entity by the end of the 18th century. The oratorio is not Liszt's Christus...but Saint Stanislas, a work that occupied the composer for years but remained unfinished at his death. Saint Stanislas was to have been Liszt's crowning contribution to the 'Polish purpose,' which was important to him and some of his contemporaries (the circle of the book's title). Puslowski not only documents the tortuous development of the oratorio but also examines several of Liszt's relationships in light of Poland's then role in European culture. The book, with its fascinating perspective, constitutes an unexpected but lovely...biography. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE * Now there is another reason to get excited about Liszt. It comes in the form of an erudite book written by Xavier Jon Puslowski about a rarely remembered oratorio that Liszt struggled to write almost all his adult life. . . .There was . . . a wider circle of friends and lovers and passions of the man and it's all recounted with great scholarship in this book. . . .The prose is elegant, leaps and bounds in vaunted glissandos and darting arpeggios almost the prose itself were composed on a piano after Liszt. Who could ask for anything more? * Jazz da Gama *

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