The devil or Liszt? following up the evidence on Paganini, here's my "match, set, point" on Liszt. those are the liner notes from: ... gotta love it, when someone makes my point for me! but, actually, took many, many hours to "deliver" on Liszt. maybe his image has been rehabilitated, due to his late life transformation into a Catholic. from that article: In the mid-19th century, Liszt was tearing up the polite salons and concert halls of Europe with his virtuoso performances. Women would literally attack him: tear bits of his clothing, fight over broken piano strings and locks of his shoulder-length hair. Europe had never seen anything like it. It was a phenomenon the great German poet Heinrich Heine dubbed "Lisztomania." "We hear about women throwing their clothes onto the stage and taking his cigar butts and placing them in their cleavages," says Stephen Hough, a world-renowned concert pianist. ... "Liszt was a very dynamic personality," Hough says. "He was someone who seduced people — not just in a sexual way, but in a dramatic way. He was someone who, like a great speaker, was able to capture an audience." Before Franz Liszt, no one thought a solo pianist could hold anyone's attention, let alone captivate an audience. Liszt set out across Europe in 1839 to prove the conventional wisdom wrong. As part of that mission, he made a radical decision to never bring his scores onstage. more on the "rock star": Personality: A handsome, charismatic child prodigy. He was multi-talented – piano virtuoso, composer, conductor, teacher and critic. The young Liszt was well-known for his dalliances with several aristocratic ladies – his love affairs were popular gossips during his time. Liszt enjoyed a luxurious life since he pursued lavish salary from royalty supports, performing, conducting and piano lessons. Besides that, he was a generous and kind man, who never ceased to encourage many young composers like Grieg, Smetana, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov etc. and even Brahms who hated Liszt’s music. Read more: http://www.quotesquotations.com/biography/franz-liszt/#ixzz3a1RY5K3p http://www.quotesquotations.com/biography/franz-liszt/ A defining moment in Liszt’s life came in 1832. He saw the famous violin virtuoso Paganini perform, and afterwards resolved to become the greatest piano virtuoso of the day. He began practicing piano for 10-12 hours a day, mastering all of the most difficult playing techniques. He toured all over Europe in the late 1830s and 1840s, dazzling, astounding, and shocking audiences with his electrifying and masterful performances. Princes and emperors showered him with gifts and praise, and he met all of the most powerful people in Europe. He stopped touring in 1847, after meeting Princess Wittgenstein. She convinced him to focus on composing. https://franzlisztomania.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/franz-liszt-biography/ while that is a 5 minute post, it took untold hours to find and put in one place! and now, for no particular reason, a "rock dove": when i have a chance, i'll post some particularly great/interesting Liszt/Paganini for anyone who wants to explore their music.