The other library book I loved was a wildly fictional biography of Liszt called Immortal Franz. Dating from the 1930s, it was written by someone with the wonderful name, Zsolt Harsanyi, which gave it an extra dose of exoticism. I don't remember much detail from the book now other than that it spent a lot of time recounting the composer's many torrid affairs. And that was OK with me: classical music could not have seemed more exciting. (I see from searching online that it was subtitled "The Life and Loves of a Genius.") I also remember liking one part where fictional Franz told a female student, "Women can't play Beethoven." It actually seemed like that might be true to me - I figured this knocked out half my competition if I ever entered the Tchaikovsky! - but I've since learned that women can play Beethoven. (But, of course, they can't play Liszt.)
lecture a couple of years ago. But there's a lot of Liszt I'd love to play if time and fingers were willing - perhaps some day. High on the liszt of pieces I'd want to try are these two opposites, showing that Liszt can speak to both sides of our natures.
...and if you should choose to start playing these two recordings at the same time, well...that's between you and your shoulders. (Of course, I would never do such a thing to Liszt.)
P.S. Those pieces are: Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude & THE Mephisto Waltz.
P.P.S. Yes, I realize it would've tied this post together better if those were Van Cliburn recordings of Liszt - but I couldn't resist using YouTube videos with pictures of Liszt. I have to admit, I'm rather proud of the way those videos are sitting on my virtual shoulders there...
P.P.P.S. But, yes, Cliburn can play Liszt.