Lizst - Trois études de concert - 03 Un Sospiro
Type of Spiritual Experience
Three Concert Études (Trois études de concert), S.144, are a set of three piano études by Franz Liszt, composed between 1845–49 and published in Paris as Trois caprices poétiques with the three individual titles as they are known today.
As the title indicates, they are intended not only for the acquisition of a better technique, but also for concert performance. Liszt himself was a virtuoso on the piano. Due to an unusual flexibility in his fourth fingers, he was easily able to play many complex patterns some consider difficult. The Italian subtitles now associated with the studies –
- Il lamento ("The Lament"),
- La leggierezza ("Lightness"),
- Un sospiro ("A sigh")
were not in early editions
This étude, along with the other Three concert études, was written in dedication to Liszt's uncle, Eduard Liszt (1817–1879), the youngest son of Liszt's grandfather and the stepbrother of his own father. Eduard handled Liszt's business affairs for more than thirty years until his death in 1879
A description of the experience
Concert Etude No. 3 in D Flat Major, S 144, "Un sospiro"" by Dubravka Tomsic
The third of the Three Concert Études is in D-flat major, and is usually known as Un sospiro (Italian for "A sigh").
The étude is a study in crossing hands, playing a simple melody with alternating hands, and arpeggios. It is also a study in the way hands should affect the melody with its many accentuations, or phrasing with alternating hands. The melody is quite dramatic, almost Impressionistic, radically changing in dynamics at times, and has inspired many listeners. Liszt kept the étude in his repertoire until his final years.
Un sospiro consists of a flowing background superimposed by a simple melody written in the third staff. This third staff—an additional treble staff—is written with the direction to the performer that notes with the stem up are for the right hand and notes with the stem down are for the left hand. The background alternates between the left and right hands in such a way that for most of the piece, while the left hand is playing the harmony, the right hand is playing the melody, and vice versa, with the left hand crossing over the right as it continues the melody for a short while before regressing again. There are also small cadenza sections requiring delicate fingerwork throughout the middle section of the piece.
Towards the end, after the main climax of the piece, both hands are needed to cross in an even more complex pattern. Since there are so many notes to be played rapidly and they are too far away from other clusters of notes that must be played as well, the hands are required to cross multiple times to reach dramatic notes near the end of the piece on the last page.