The Piano Master Classes of Franz Liszt, 1884–1886

The Piano Master Classes of Franz Liszt, 1884–1886

Diary Notes of August Göllerich
Edited by Wilhelm Jerger
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/11/2010
Format: Paperback 1 b&w illus., 152 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22273-2
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The diaries of August Göllerich, secretary and student of Franz Liszt, provide a first-hand account of the Master’s approach to piano teaching, his preferences and prejudices both musical and social, and his way of encouraging and befriending his students. They contain the mature Liszt’s suggestions for interpreting his own works and those of his friend Chopin and of many other composers, offering invaluable advice from the most spectacular pianist of the 19th century. Pianists interested in the history of performance practice and the Romantic era will learn from and take delight in this volume.

Author Bio

Richard Louis Zimdars is Despy Karlas Professor of Piano at the Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. He is translator and editor of The Piano Master Classes of Hans von Bülow: Two Participants' Accounts (IUP, 1993).


“Providing a first-hand account of the Master’s approach to piano teaching, these diaries contain the mature Liszt’s suggestions on interpreting his own works, those of his friend Chopin, and of many other composers.”

“This book places us at the center of the celebrated master classes of Liszt. To read what Liszt said to his students and to observe the manner in which he conducted his master classes is in itself a great lesson for all pianists and teachers. ”
 — Fernando Laires, President Emeritus, American Liszt Society

“The book makes interesting reading and furnishes valuable knowledge of the piano literature taught and performed at the time . . . Recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections.”
 — Choice

“A useful contribution to documentary evidence of study with master pedagogues.”
 — Piano and Keyboard

“If one could go back in time and space, I feel sure most pianists, musicians and lovers of music would desire to go back to [Liszt’s] time and study with this great personality—but we cannot. However in this book you have it all.”
 — Keyboard Teacher

“Notes were taken during more than 100 classes and include Liszt’s ideas, sayings, teaching methods, and interpretive suggestions. The notes are impressive because of the breath of works studied and the intensity Liszt displayed while teaching.”
 — The American Liszt Society, Inc.

“. . . should prove of interest to pianists seeking insights into the standard repertory, to researchers needing primary source material . . . and to those interested in the performing traditions from the great age of Romantic pianism.”
 — Notes

“An unbelievable source of knowledge and thus indispensable . . . Belongs with the most important [diaries] in the Liszt literature.”
 — Lizst Saeculum

“These journals . . . are indispensable, clarifying both the presence and (matched by elegant typography) is supplemented with copious music examples, meticulous reference and biographical notes.”
 — International Piano Quarterly

“[Liszt] gives practical tips, drawn from a well of experience sans pareil . . . demonstrates how to project second-rate music (a Rubinstein concerto) . . . [and] suggests ways of coping with the truly profound (in response to a student's performance of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations).”
 — Times Literary Supplement

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Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction

The Piano Master Classes of Franz Liszt, 1884-1886

Chronology of August Gollerich’s Life
Introduction to the Diaries

The Diaries of August Gollerich

1. Weimar: May 31, 1884-July 6, 1884
2. Weimar: June 16, 1885-June 27, 1885
3. Weimar: June 28, 1885-September 29, 1885
4. Rome: November 11, 1885-January 12, 1886
5. Pest: February 18, 1886-February 25, 1886
6. Pest: Before March 2, 1886-March 6, 1886
7. Weimar: May 17, 1886-May 31, 1886
8. Weimar: June 15, 1886-June 26, 1886

Appendix A: "Liszt," from The Memoirs of Frederic Lamond
Appendix B: "Liszt as Teacher," by Jose Vianna da Motta


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