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Concert performance of Sardanapalo and Dante Symphony

Kirill Karabits | Staatskapelle Weimar | Hungarian National Choir

Müpa Budapest —
Béla Bartók National Concert Hall

22 October, 2023 | 7.00 pm

Liszt: Dante Symphony

Liszt: Sardanapalo

Sardanapalo, King of Assyria: Airam Hernández
Mirra, an Ionian slavegirl: Joyce El-Khoury
Beleso, a priest: Oleksandr Pushniak
Featuring: Staatskapelle Weimar, Female Choir of the Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Csaba Somos)
Conductor: Kirill Karabits

130 years after the death of a composer, rarely are such works discovered that substantially alter our view of the oeuvre. Ferenc Liszt was a unique composer in this regard as well: the surviving first act of the opera he based on Byron’s tragedy was first performed in Weimar in 2018.The manuscript of the composition was found at Weimar’s Goethe and Schiller Archive, and David Trippett, a musicologist at the University of Cambridge, thinks the music of Sardanapalo is breath-taking. It reflects the influence of Bellini, Meyerbeer and Wagner, and it combines an Italian lyricism with Liszt’s unmistakably original harmonic vocabulary. Trippett reconstructed the piece from the manuscript, and also wrote an orchestration for it, and this is the version that will be performed in Budapest.In the first half of their concert, Staatskapelle Weimar will perform one of Liszt’s most important compositions for large orchestra, the Dante Symphony. Standing on the podium will be a luminary of international opera, Kirill Karabits, the principal conductor of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

For more information and to book tickets, visit: - Staatskapelle-Weimar.

Complete Works for Harmonium

Lars David Kellner

Pianist and harmonium specialist Lars David Kellner, based in Munich/Germany, has released a remarkable series of recordings of Franz Liszt's works for harmonium.

For the first time ever since Liszt composed those works, an artist has recorded Liszt‘s complete works for harmonium solo. On the one hand, Lars David Kellner seeks to demonstrate the importance of Liszt’s sacred compositions, and on the other hand his intention is to present the harmonium as a fully-fledged keyboard instrument in the composer‘s oeuvre.

The recordings, originally planned to consist of three volumes, have fortunately been expanded through the generous support of the German Liszt Society and The Liszt Society (UK). Both contributed further manuscripts to the artist, so that Lars David Kellner was able continue his series with new and exciting material from Liszt's late creative period. The close relations between today's Liszt admirers are evident with a co-editor of The Liszt Society Journal writing the annotations to Mr. Kellner's fourth Liszt album.

Voices on Lars David Kellner's recordings:

"An absolute gem of interpretation on the harmonium! Kellner's playing sometimes gleams, sometimes glows, sometimes blazes, never exaggerates and always fascinates." (M. Straeter, German Liszt Society, 2022)

"With his recording, Lars David Kellner not only continues the rehabilitation of the harmonium in Liszt's oeuvre, but also makes a significant contribution to the interpretation of Liszt's sacred compositions." (M. Straeter, German Liszt Society, 2022)

"A successful recording of these compositions due to the very differentiated choice of registers." (M. Geisz, Weltkulturerbe Harmonium, 2021)

Links to audio and video material of Lars David Kellner´s recordings:

F. Liszt: Am Grabe Richard Wagner's, S. 267

F. Liszt: Rosario, S. 670: Mysteria gloriosa

F. Liszt: Via Crucis, S. 669b: Vexilla Regis

F. Liszt: La cloche sonne, S. 663c

Recently, a documentary of Lars David Kellner’s Liszt Harmonium Project has been produced for German television (with English subtitles). For this purpose, an extensive interview with the artist was made, in which he comments in detail on the background and challenges of his work as an artist, the harmonium as a forgotten instrument and Liszt as an outstanding composer for various keyboard instruments.

Purchase links:

Franz Liszt: Harmonium Works, Vol. 1

Franz Liszt: Harmonium Works, Vol. 2

Franz Liszt: Harmonium Works, Vol. 3

The Untold Story of Adele aus der Ohe

LaWayne Leno

American member LaWayne Leno tells, for the first time, in a new book published in April 2012, the story of Adele aus der Ohe. She was one of Liszt’s most important students during his later years in Weimar, and one of the most successful pianists of the 19th century. This first-ever biography is, in addition to a celebration of the 2011 bicentennial of Franz Liszt, also a celebration of the 150th birth year of Adele aus der Ohe.

Renowned Liszt scholar Alan Walker has praised the book saying, "Mr. Leno must be thanked for bringing Adele aus der Ohe out of the shadows…through his highly readable biography." Donald Manildi, curator of the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland called the book, "A fascinating, inspiring, and well-documented narrative about the life and career of a major figure in the annals of pianism…" Pianist Alexandre Dossin declared the book, "… a most welcome addition to the Lisztian bibliography. This well-documented easy-to-read book brings to life a fascinating musician."

The book is published in the United States by Beaver’s Pond Press and can be purchased online from, or from and

Salut d'amour

Albert Brussee

Member Albert Brussee has released a sixth CD Salut d'amour - Albert Brussee plays Romantic Music at the Interface of 'Salon' and 'Concert Hall'. It can be ordered at where some fragments can also be listened to.

Liszt's Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition

Shay Loya

Member Shay Loya has recently had a new book published - 'Liszt's Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition'. It looks closely at the relationship between the composer’s musical modernism and his “verbunkos idiom,” a musical idiom derived from the Hungarian-Gypsy tradition.

Full details and availability at

Tchaikovsky CD

François Schmitt

Member François Schmitt has produced a Tchaikovsky CD together with Nadav Hertzka, one of the best students of the Royal Academy of Music over the past few years who lives in London and is a devoted Liszt interpreter.

A Book of Liszts

John Spurling

‘John Spurling’s fictionalised biography, A Book of Liszts...interprets through fictive conversations and scenarios, much of Liszt’s life to great effect…Spurling draws the reader into Liszt’s extraordinary world of women, music and God....The last chapter, in which Liszt takes his final train journey to Bayreuth to see his daughter Cosima (married to Wagner) and reflects on all that he had achieved and neglected...makes for poignant reading....Spurling’s book…fully inhabits the world of Liszt, and is a tremendous achievement.’

Lucy Parham, The Saturday Guardian, 18 June, 2011

‘A most ingenious and original solution to the moral and aesthetic problems thrown up by the cult of biographical fiction is given in John Spurling’s A Book of Liszts (Seagull Books) – a brilliant set of supple variations encircling the life and career of the great virtuoso Franz Liszt.’

Michael Holroyd, The Guardian "Books of the Year 2011" 25 November, 2011