Franz Liszt, Années de pèlerinage: Analysis and Discussion

Franz Liszt’s années de pèlerinage is a set of three suites for solo piano. The title is French for Years of Pilgrimage.

Much of it derives from his earlier work, Album d’un voyageur, his first major published piano cycle, which was composed between 1835 and 1838 and published in 1842 according to The Cambridge Companion to Liszt.

Première année: Suisse. Catalog number S.160, R.10a

The title in French translates to “First year: Swiss”.
1. La chapelle de Guillaume Tell
“William Tell’s Chapel”

2. Au lac de Wallenstadt
“At Lake Wallenstadt”

3. Pastorale

4. Au bord d’une source
“Beside a Spring”

5. Orage
“Storm”
6. Vallée de Obermann
“Obermann’s Valley”

7. Èglogue
“Eclogue”

8. Le mal du pays
“Homesickness”

9. Les cloches de Genève
“The Bells of Geneva: Nocturne”

2nd Year (‘Italie’), S.161

Liszt first wrote the three settings of Petrarch as songs. Professor John H. Lienhard of the University of Houston has recorded a history of Liszt’s love of Petrarch discussing how Liszt’s travels at age 26 with the Countess Marie d’Agoult inspired him to write letters about Dante and Petrarch. The countess herself was a writer who published under the name Daniel Stern

1.Sposalizio
The title “Marriage of the Virgin” is a painting by Raphael

2.Il penseroso
Named “The Thinker” after a statue by Michelangelo

3.Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa
“Canzonetta of Salvator Rosa”

4.Sonetto 47 del Petrarca
“Petrarch’s Sonnet 47”

5.Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
“Petrarch’s Sonnet 104”

6.Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
“Petrarch’s Sonnet 123”

7.Après une lecture du Dante, fantasia quasi una sonata
“After Reading Dante: Fantasia Quasi Sonata”. Often nicknamed the “Dante Sonata”

Venezia e Napoli, S.162 (supplement to S.161), R.10d

“Venice and Naples”

1.Gondoliera
Gondolier’s Song

2.Canzone
3.Tarantella

3rd Year, S.163
1.Angélus! Prière aux anges gardiens
Angelus! Prayer to the Guardian Angels

2.Aux cyprès de la Villa d’Este I
“To the Cypresses of the Villa d’Este I: Threnody”

3.Aux cyprès de la Villa d’Este II
“To the Cypresses of the Villa d’Este II: Threnody”

4.Les Jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este
“The Fountains of the Villa d’Este”

5.Sunt lacrymae rerum en mode hongrois
There are Tears for Things, In the Hungarian Mode

6.Marche funébre
Funeral March, In memory of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico

7.Sursum corda
Lift Up Your Hearts

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Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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