Liebestraum No. 3 in A♭ Major
Uploaded on Sep 29, 2012
Liebesträume is a set of three solo piano works (S/G541) by Franz Liszt, published in 1850. Liszt called each of the three pieces Liebesträume; but, often they are referred to incorrectly in the singular as Liebestraum (especially No. 3, the most famous of the three). Originally the three Liebesträume (Notturni) were conceived as songs after poems by Ludwig Uhland and Ferdinand Freiligrath. In 1850, two versions appeared simultaneously as a set of songs for high voice and piano, and as transcriptions for piano two-hands.
The two poems by Uhland and the one by Freiligrath depict three different forms of love. Uhland's Hohe Liebe (Exalted Love) is saintly, or religious, love: the "martyr" renounces worldly love and "heaven has opened its gates". The second song Seliger Tod (Holy Death) is often known by its first line ("Gestorben war ich") ("I was dead"), and evokes erotic love; "dead" could be a metaphor here referring to what is known as "la petite mort" in French ("I was dead from love's bliss; I lay buried in her arms; I was wakened by her kisses; I saw heaven in her eyes"). Freiligrath's poem for the famous third Notturno is about unconditional mature love, and warning that love lost is miserable: "Love as long as you can! The hour will come when you will stand at graves and mourn" ("O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst").
Liebestraum No. 3 is the last of the three that Liszt wrote, and the most popular, and can be considered as split into three sections, each divided by a fast cadenza requiring dexterous finger work and a very high degree of technical ability.
The same melody is used throughout the entire piece, each time varied, especially near the middle of the work, where the climax is reached.
At the end, the piece dies down into a final chorded section, and has a broken chord for an ending, usually played slowly as if they were individual notes, rather than rippled.
Liebestraum No. 3 is a standard repertoire piece, and most concert pianists will have played or studied it.
|Key signature||4 flats|
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