“Liebestraum” by Franz Liszt
Edited by Samuel O. Pratt
For Pedal Harp
Intermediate / Advanced 6 Pages
Copyright 1966 by CHARLES COLIN
No doubt this is the best known and best loved piece by Liszt. It is probably one of the most beautiful compositions ever written- it has simply been played too much, too often, and too badly. It is one of the three Liebestraume by Liszt and, in our opinion, is by far the best of the three. Liszt, himself, has suffered the same fate as Liebestraum; being played too much, too often, and very badly. This has taken its toll on his reputation and in recent years it has suffered. Liszt was, without question, a highly skillful composer even though not all of his works are of equal quality. Recent time, happily, are showing a trend toward re-evaluation, and perhaps a more fair appraisal of this long popular composer. His many not be an earth-shattering message, but he does provide lots of pleasant listening. Transcribed for the harp, Liebestraum takes on a somewhat different quality than the piano. Liszt was avowedly in favor of many of his works being transcribed for the harp, and encouraged both Parish-Alvars and Wilhelm Posse, among others, to do so. The harp lends an even greater dream- like quality to the music. It becomes more delicate and less bravura in style. The resultant intimacy is even more moving. The tempo need not be slowed from the usual speed. The cadenzas will necessarily be more delicate than brilliant. The work is well pedaled and fingered. Liszt and other composers of his time allowed great freedom of performance, so changes in the cadenzas would not be frightfully out of order. Do avoid the pitfall of glissandos, however. Too much rubato should also be avoided. Generally, rubato must fit within the rhythm of the left hand, and the true rubato is almost always just a right hand variation of rhythm within the phrase.