During his peak years, Franz Liszt was the embodiment of his times, churning out music that was virtuosic, flamboyant, vulgar, and unabashedly Romantic in nature. However, many future musicians and critics found solace in the music he composed during his later years, when Liszt had largely withdrawn from public life. His late works, which were dismissed at the time as the tinkerings of an old crank, wound up inspiring impressionists and even atonal modernists.
The British pianist Stephen Hough has spent much of his career delivering objective interpretations of music from all phases of Liszt’s life. This weekend, he comes to the Kimbell Art Museum to play both High Romantic Liszt (the splendidly Satanic Mephisto Waltz No. 1) and the Liszt who foresaw the future (the brief but impactful Bagatelle Without Tonality). In addition, Hough will play Chopin’s famous Second Piano Sonata, the Berceuse from Busoni’s Elegies, and his own austere Fourth Piano Sonata, whose lyricism and technical passages recall the piano works of Prokofiev. The concerts will make you see an old master in a new light.
Stephen Hough plays 7:30pm Thu-Fri at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Tickets are $25-65. Call 817-332-8451.