"This innovative documentary biography of Franz Liszt is a triumph of scholarship, as well as a magnificent achievement in the art of book design and production. Ernst Burger presents an enormous amount of new information about the life, times, and works of this quintessential nineteenth-century musical genius, and he organizes that information in a beautiful and accessible format. He supports his account of Liszt's dramatically successful career as performer and composer with an exceptional range of gloriously reproduced illustrations. The text is further enhanced by running chronologies of Liszt's compositions and of the salient events in his life. A large proportion of the documents presented here are being made available for the first time, and the numerous testimonies of Liszt's contemporaries include many that have not appeared in any other Liszt biography. "When Liszt died, he made the mistake of leaving behind an unusual legacy of envy," Alfred Brendel points out in his foreword to the volume. Liszt's boundless pianistic skill and his originality as a composer were "barely forgivable," especially when combined with his personal magnetism, masculine beauty, and energetic love life. He began his concert career as a child prodigy, hailed by a dazzled public as a second Mozart. In his later years, he took Holy Orders--a decision that may have been the culmination of a personal quest for the numinous, or the crowning public-relations coup, or both. Objective and yet contagiously enthusiastic, this book has a unique place in the current rehabilitation of any part of Liszt's prestige that was tarnished by resentment or jealousy. It enriches our appreciation of Liszt's genius and his musical influence, and of the selflessness and generosity that were important parts of his character. "In its wealth of (in part unpublished) material, in the manageability and care with which the material has been arranged, and in the extraordinary visual quality of the layout as chosen by the author himself, Ernst Burger's astonishing documentary study of Liszt must be reckoned among the most important and lasting works to be published on nineteenth-century cultural history as such, I hope that it may open many readers' eyes, if not also their ears, to Liszt."--Alfred Brendel Ernst Burger was born in Munich in 1937. After attending his local grammar school, he studied at the Munich Conservatoire. In addition to his activities as a concert pianist, he teaches at the Richard-Strauss-Konservatorium in his home town. The present study is the result of many years of intensive interest in the music, literature, and painting of the nineteenth century, and in particular in the life and works of Franz Liszt. Stewart Spencer is a free-lance writer and translator living in London. He is the editor, with Barry Millington, of Selected Letters of Richard Wagner (Norton)."--Publisher's description.