A little Liszt…
How Franz wowed Blighty Britain undoubtedly thrilled to the sight and sound of instrumental virtuosos in the early 19th century. But while Paganini visited Britain to fill his coffers comparatively late in his career, Franz Liszt made his first visits while only just out of short trousers.
Even at the age of 13, the extraordinarily talented pianist was enthralling and amazing audiences, as the Manchester Guardian reported in June 1825:
‘No one could possibly hear him without being delighted; it did not need an acquaintance with music to feel that he was a most extraordinary performer; and it is not necessary, in estimating his powers, to make any allowance on account of his youth; for his performance would be most extraordinary in a person of any age… As far as delicacy of tone, and rapidity and brilliancy of execution go, he certainly is a finished performer; and we do not see how it is possible for the skill to be carried further.’
‘Master Liszt’, as he was dubbed, would continue to impress British audiences for many years to come.
Young star: Liszt in his teens