The reference to the Faust legend is maintained throughout all of the Mephisto music, but the seventy-year-old Liszt’s Mephistopheles is a grimmer, more.
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In the mid-twentieth century, Liszt ‘s piano music was unfairly viewed by many as generally flashy and virtuosic, often saccharine in its Romantic demeanor and only rarely of harmonic, rhythmic, or melodic interest.
Bagatelle sans tonalité, for piano, S. 216a (LW A338)
When his neglected and previously unpublished late works finally began appearing, and when musicologists also started to re-evaluate his middle-period output, his artistic worth was oiszt only upgraded, but his influence on succeeding generations of composers was finally recognized. It clearly anticipates Schoenberg and the Second Vienna School, as well as other modernist movements.
The piece liszh begins as the music seems to playfully hesitate, almost awkwardly, in mapping out its course, a sense of mischief seeming to hover above the proceedings. The mood remains amusing throughout, subtly so even when the music threatens to turn serious as it builds up with a rising series of chords.
In the end, the impression left is one of colorful, playful music clothed in odd-ball writing where notes stumble and bagateloe by turns. For all this charming three-minute work’s supposed modernism, first-time listeners unaware of the Bagatelle’s title will likely not notice its atonality.
Bagatelle sans tonalité – Wikipedia
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AllMusic Featured Composition Noteworthy. Share on facebook twitter tumblr. Preludes; Sonata 10; Liszt: The Art of Remembering.
Pictures at an Exhibition and Other Piano Pieces. Piano Music of Franz Liszt. Three Centuries of Bagatelles.
Great Pianists of the 20th Century: The Complete Edition Box 1. Alfred Brendel plays Liszt. Bernd Glemser Plays Franz Liszt.
Andre Watts Plays Liszt Album 2. Piano Sonata ‘Les adieux’; Etc. Les 4 Mephisto Valses.
Sony Classical Essential Classics.