A Health Warning: Lisztomania

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Sunday 17 July 7.30pm ST MICHAEL'S CHURCH

By Adam Jones

The poet Heine first coined the term ‘Lisztomania’ for an addiction that spread all over Europe and as far as Russia, Turkey and America. Clara Schumann, hearing Liszt play for the first time, was a typical sufferer: ‘I just couldn’t control myself, I sobbed freely with emotion’. Now, two hundred years after Liszt’s birth, with a reading by John Spurling - himself an addict - from his new novel A Book of Liszts, and some of Liszt’s ravishing music played by the prize-winning pianist Grace Francis, Brighton is warned . . . Reviewing the audiobook, Christina Hardyment (The Times) writes ‘Franz Liszt was a musical prodigy with astonishing mental energy . . . He heard the violinist Paganini perform and determined that he would apply the same pyrotechnic skill to the piano. It went down a storm, especially with the ladies, from aristocratic beauties and intellectuals such as George Sand to the notorious courtesan Lola Montes. Elegantly conceived, [Spurling brings a] highly effective variety of literary styles to his episodic and semi-fictional account of a life that Liszt himself said was “more to be invented than written after the fact” ’.

To book : Dome Box Office;Tel:01273 709709; WWW.BRIGHTONTICKETSHOP.COM or on the door FESTIVAL ENQUIRIES ;festival@cmpcaonline.org.uk; or Tel 07816 403099 

This page was added on 19/05/2011.

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