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Liszt - Années de pèlerinage - 02 Deuxième année: Italie



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Franz Liszt ‒ Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année – Italie, S161

A suite for solo piano by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886), which is in part a revision of his earlier work "Album d'un voyageur". The title "Années de pèlerinage" refers to the Bildungsroman "Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and there are numerous other literary allusions throughout the suite. Liszt wrote the following introduction to all three "Années de pèlerinage" suites:

"Having recently travelled to many new countries, through different settings and places consecrated by history and poetry; having felt that the phenomena of nature and their attendant sights did not pass before my eyes as pointless images but stirred deep emotions in my soul, and that between us a vague but immediate relationship had established itself, an undefined but real rapport, an inexplicable but undeniable communication, I have tried to portray in music a few of my strongest sensations and most lively impressions."

Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886), Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année – Italie, S161 (1837/1849)

Performed by Jeno Jando

Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année – Italie, S161

00:00 - No 1: Sposalizio
08:16 - No 2: Il penseroso
13:17 - No 3: Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa
15:53 - No 4: Sonetto 47 del Petrarca
21:18 - No 5: Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
27:28 - No 6: Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
34:14 - No 7: Après une lecture du Dante 'Fantasia quasi Sonata'

There are many similarities in the genesis of the first and second books of Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage: most of the pieces in both books were conceived in the 1830s during his travels to and from Switzerland and Italy with Marie d’Agoult, a time which saw the birth of the couple’s three children, Blandine, Cosima and Daniel, and for Liszt a period of intense compositional activity, punctuated by a good many concerts. The two books were eventually prepared for publication in their final form by the early 1850s, in Liszt’s busiest period as a composer/conductor at the court of Weimar. Their story is also paralleled by that of the Transcendental Etudes and the Hungarian Rhapsodies, which achieved their final form at about the same time. In the case of the Swiss volume, Liszt had selected all but one of the pieces from the previously published Album d’un Voyageur; with the Italian set only three of the pieces had appeared in print in earlier versions—the Petrarch Sonnets—although all but one of the remaining pieces had been drafted in the late 1830s. The supplementary volume Venezia e Napoli had been ready for publication in about 1840, but was withdrawn by Liszt at the proof stage. The later set of pieces with the same title discarded two of the earlier set, revised two, and added a new piece between them.

The important difference between the two books lies in the source of inspiration: although various literary references lie in the background to the Swiss volume, the principal imaginative spring is the landscape of Switzerland itself; the second Année draws entirely upon Italian art and literature.


The source of the experience

Liszt, Franz

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