2 December: Liszt’s champagne-fuelled banquet

Every day throughout Advent, the season of overindulgence, we’ll be telling a tale of an overindulgent composer

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Composer: Franz Liszt

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How indulgent:  Fairly indulgent

How: Liszt had a fondness for alcohol, consuming a bottle of cognac a day, and sometimes even 2 bottles of wine a day!

Did you know:  Liszt attended a banquet in 1846 in which, as Berlioz recalled, ‘the fatal cup set such tides of champagne flowing that all Liszt’s eloquence was shipwrecked in it.’ Berlioz even had to come to Liszt’s aid in the early morning, not only dragging the pianist-composer back to his hotel, but also preventing Liszt from duelling with another drunken passer-by. Liszt even had a recital the following day….

Now indulge yourself with…..  La Campanella

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This Grand Study is based on the final movement of Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.2, which featured a handbell to underline the melody. Celebrate this festive season with the bell-like virtuosity of this Lisztian masterpiece!