October 21st, 2012.
With heavy eyelids, I read midway through Bertrand Russell’s “Knowledge on Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description” to prepare for an Analytic Philosophy class. It had probably been my third time rereading the denser sections—my mission for understanding seemed arduous, and I had gone without proper sleep for several days. So in my library cubicle, I snoozed whilst a version of Antonín Dvořák’s Rusalka still played through my earphones. Soon after Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke begun to play, all the critical material I had read prior to my nap, sunk in. The material and the music, it all somehow mingled together, and the meaning of Russell’s paper clicked in my mind (or so I thought at the time).
So, I became side-tracked and looked up Liszt’s biography. It occurred to me his birthday was the next day!
Happy 201st birthday, Ferencz Liszt! Modern composers may try to replicate your original symphonies all they wish, but they will never generate a pandemic as passionately driven as Lisztomania, as you have done. Your work, Sir, flourishes to this very day, as it had over a century ago. Verily, a “Selected Symphonies of Liszt” album on iTunes would contain secondary interpretations of your music…nevertheless, any modern rendition of your original work could still catalyze creativity in any profession. And by creativity, I mean…well, this.