Tuesday, August 29, 2017




From Wikipedia:

Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, organist, philanthropist, author, nationalist and a Franciscan tertiary.

Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his prodigious virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was a friend, musical promoter and benefactor to many composers of his time, including Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Robert Schumann, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull, Joachim Raff, Mikhail Glinka, and Alexander Borodin.

As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the New German School (Neudeutsche Schule). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated many 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable musical contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form, and making radical departures in harmony.

Liszt never set foot in the United States, let alone in the wild, wild West.  But he had a connection to a legendary woman whose life story was told in an episode of 'Death Valley Days'.  (In fact, she narrated the flashback, proving her televersion was a serlinguist.)

Also from Wikipedia:
In 1844, Lola [Montez] made a personally disappointing Parisian stage début as a dancer in Fromental Halévy's opera, Le lazzarone. She met and had an affair with Franz Liszt.

I have no clue who played Liszt in this episode.  In the closing credits of the 'Death Valley Days' episode none of the actors listed had a character attributed to them.  And the IMDb had several actors in the same situation.  (If anybody recognizes the actor playing Liszt, let me know.)

Here are a list of the other actors who portrayed Franz Liszt on television from around the world:

"Notorious Woman"
 Played by Jeremy Irons
    - Conflict (1974)
    - Trial (1974)

"Il était un musicien" 
    - Monsieur Liszt (1979)
Played by Jean de Coninck

"Liszt Ferenc" 
Played by Géza Hegedüs D. [7 episodes]
Played by Iván Darvas [8 episodes]

There were 16 episodes and these two actors alternated in the role.  Darvas played the elderly Liszt while 
Hegedüs D. played the younger man.

"La vie de Berlioz" 
Played by Péter Trokán
    - Episode #1.4 (1983)
    - Episode #1.3 (1983)
    - Episode #1.6 (1983)

Played by Ekkehard Schall
    - Episode #1.1 (1983)
    - Episode #1.2 (1983)
    - Episode #1.6 (1983)
    - Episode #1.10 (????)

La musique de l'amour: Robert et Clara (1995)
Played by Aleksandr Cherednik

Liszt's Rhapsody (1996)

Played by Geordie Johnson

Szekszárdi mise (2001)
Played by Tibor Kenderesi

Moi, Hector Berlioz (2003) 
Played by Nicolas Cardonna

I'm not going to concern myself with who should be the official televersion of Franz Liszt at this time and in this focused spotlight.  Jeremy Irons was officially the first on a technicality and it is Jeremy Irons.  But I also lean towards the number of times an actor plays a role, which would give the combination of Darvas and Hegedüs D. the edge.  In the end, no matter which Liszt ultimately gets the nod, it doesn't affect this actor, whoever he is.  For he's not really Liszt "as seen on TV".  Instead he's the flashback vision of LIszt in the mind of Lola Montez.  No matter what he actually looked like based on the actor chosen, this was still how Lola Montez remembered him.

(Pictured above is Liszt as he looked in a portrait; not too far off this flashbacker.)


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