Judging from our travels and discussions over the past seven years, this film is highly anticipated among scholarly, educational, and music-lover communities. Why? The knowledge base regarding Franz Liszt has been so fractured and sensationalized that there has never been a serious scholarly or “publicly accessible” statement about his life and music. Ken Russell and Roger Daltry certainly don’t count!
During our research on Franz Liszt over the past five years, we have been told and encouraged in this effort by many people. Our Europeans friends, in particular, are anxious to have what they keep calling “the American point of view” on Liszt. Quite frankly, their interest in this composer tends to be somewhat provincial and territorial. The Germans only know and study the works Liszt composed during the 20+ years he lived in Germany. The French are only concerned with his childhood Parisian compositions and his philosophy. The Hungarians, well, they are only interested in his more patriotic sacred works and those prescient late works that he composed while he lived in Budapest. The rest of Europe falls into one basket or another with regards to national orientation on Liszt. No one has ever been truly interested in Liszt as a lifelong phenomena without preference to national origin and mindset. As David Zsoldos says toward the end of the film, “The EU still has a long way to go.”
We have arranged for four preview showings in the next month or so:
Brown University — Monday, October 17th at 4:00 PM (click here for more information). This showing is part of the Brown U. Liszt Festival that runs throughout the month of October. Our evening should be made up of regional faculty and students in attendance.
Weimar, Germany — This is the premiere international conference (Congress) of Liszt scholars and takes place over the weekend of the Franz Liszt bicentenary; “everyone who is anyone” in the field (as well as many of our interviewees) will be there and we should get good feedback.
Budapest, Hungary — David Zsoldos (editor of FidelioMedia.HU – the weekly Hungarian TimeOut Magazine – and one of our interviewees) has arranged a preview evening (Monday, October 24th) at the Palace of the Arts (their Carnegie Hall) in Budapest. It is an invited audience of academics and subscribers to the Palace of the Arts. More good feedback, hopefully.
UCSD — A UCSD preview is being planned for January 2012 at The Loft. The preview will be an informal coffee & dessert event followed by discussion. We plan to invite the film’s donors, principals in the music department and at Thurgood Marshall College, and our friends and the many people who have contributed in so many different ways to this film.