Franz Liszt: the first pop phenomenon

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From the Archives : Originally published July 31st, 2012
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Category : History of Gold





In many ways Franz Liszt was the Justin Bieber of his day.

It’s been said that Liszt generated such excitement that women would literally attack him: tear bits of his clothing, fight over broken piano strings and locks of his shoulder-length hair.

Born in Hungary in 1811, Liszt stood over six feet tall and had flashing brown eyes. He was portrayed in paintings and photographs as the ultimate romantic hero.

But Liszt was also a virtuoso pianist, an intellectual, and a dedicated teacher. Above all, he composed incessantly and performed an enormous amount of music on tours in Europe.

Praised for the brilliance, strength and precision in his playing, his used dramatic facial expression and gestures during emotionally-charged performances.

Of all the classical composers, Franz Liszt was the most colourful. His audiences had never experienced anything like the phenomenon that he was responsible for: Lisztomania!

Franz Liszt died on this day, 31 July 1886. Anyone celebrating his extraordinary contribution to classical music may be interested to know that this superb 2011 silver proof commemorative coin can still be acquired from The Perth Mint.



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