The Hungarian-born musician, Franz Liszt, was one of the great piano virtuosos and composers of the 19th century. Liszt’s musical legacy is substantial, and he would be well-remembered even just for his musical compositions. But what makes Liszt interesting is the extraordinary life he lived. As Oliver Hilmes puts it in his recent Liszt biography, Liszt was a “superstar, a genius and a European celebrity – he was utterly exceptional.” During his long life, Liszt reinvented himself several times, yet each time he seemed to enhance his stature as one of the great characters of his age, or indeed of any age.
Continue Reading Sunday Arts: Liszt’s B Minor Piano Sonata

The Hungarian Parliament Building on the Danube River in Budapest

The D&O Diary is on assignment in Eastern Europe this week, with multiple destinations on the itinerary, starting with a weekend stop in Hungary’s capital city of Budapest. With a city population of 1.7 million and an urban population over 3 million, Budapest is a large, sprawling place. The taxi ride from the airport into the central city cuts through some pretty scruffy parts of town, so it was startling to arrive at the river and encounter the Danube’s sweeping beauty as it rolled through the city’s central district.
Continue Reading Budapest on the Danube