Liszt‘s Dutch reimagination: A review of the repertory deployed in the Dutch Liszt Festivals from 1980 to 1986 and the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition from 1986 onwards.
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The image of Franz Liszt changed in the Netherlands during the 1980‘s. This thesis explores who were responsible for this change and what motivation they had. During six annual Liszt Festivals, Liszt was aligned again as a Hegelian genius. By promoting the late works of Liszt as if they were written by a genius, there came a general revision onto his entire musical output (including the transcriptions). With this motivation, the music of Liszt - whose music was often neglected because his music would contain no meaning or be to virtuosic and was known for his Liebestraume and Hungarian Rhapsodies - was deemed worthy enough to host an international piano competition for in 1986, a hundred years after the death of the composer. When the first International Franz Liszt Piano Competition was held, the program was selected based on pieces which were performed during the previous festivals. This new corpus in turn established a new Liszt ―core repertory‖ for the competitions from 2009 to 2017 based on the ideals in the 1980‘s. The idea of the Hegelian genius returns when the competition decided to incorporate the music by Beethoven for the edition of 2020, since Liszt attempted during his lifetime to incorporate the life of Beethoven within his own biography. The narrative is constructed through several newspaper articles commenting on the Liszt Festivals (1980-1986) and the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition (1986-2020), accompanied by analysis of the deployed repertories of these events.