André Watts

Written by Harry Clark
Music by Liszt including the rarely performed melodrama The Sad Monk
1M: Franz Liszt
1M: pianist

“Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.”
Franz Liszt

“Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words.” Franz Liszt

Michael York

Franz Liszt has emerged as one of the most awe-inspiring figures in all of music history. Regarded by most as the greatest pianist of all time, Liszt’s genius extended far beyond the piano to expand musical composition and performance well beyond its 19th century limitations. His unique compositions bewildered, inspired, and inflamed the imaginations of his own era, yet quite miraculously, he also laid the seeds for a series of schools that would flourish in the near and distant future. Namely, the Late Romantic, Impressionist, and Atonal schools. For these remarkable contributions, Liszt

Numerous reviews highly praised his achievements, as he was the first superstar adored by the masses, and probably no other composer in history received as much media attention in their lifetime. Yet, that sinister sector of brutal critics and vicious gossip columns did soil his reputation. The result was a culmination of improprieties that “temporarily” blurred the vision of history. It’s unfortunate that Liszt had to endure such humiliation, as he would in later life insist to his students not to perform his works in public, since the selfless Liszt didn’t wish to hinder their careers. Yet, it’s comforting to know truth does eventually prevail. For music history has dramatically been altered by the ingenious inventions of this superlative master far more than any such rivals, and possibly more than any other composer in history.

It’s truly gratifying to see how Liszt’s sublime influence cascades over the centuries like a beautiful glissando.

What made Liszt so fascinating was his relentless quest to experiment with sound, and to release the very heart, soul and existence of human kind via musical notation.

A pioneer at every stage of his life Liszt had no rivals, only jealous detractors or enlightened followers.

Harry Clark wrote this new work with great affection for his friend and musical mentor, André Watts. We are thrilled that Mr. Watts joined by distinguished actor Michael York will be on hand for the world premiere.The production will be replicated at the Ravinia Festival, July 20, 2011.


Review on line