Liszt’s Csárdás Macabre: Alfred Brendel

Among Franz Liszt’s final works for solo piano is the Csárdás macabre, composed in 1881. The piece is a ghoulish joyride, filled with convention-defying parallel fifths and intimations of the Dies irae. Its innovative harmonies anticipate the twentieth century music of Béla Bartók and others. Above the title on the manuscript, Liszt inscribed the words, “May one write or listen to such a thing?”

The csárdás is a Hungarian folk dance in 2/4 or 4/4 time, which begins at a slow tempo and accelerates wildly. Liszt’s Csárdás macabre begins ominously in the piano’s dark lower register and erupts into a thrilling display of virtuosic fireworks. Here is a performance by the Austrian pianist, Alfred Brendel:


  • Liszt: Csárdás macabre, S.224, Alfred Brendel Amazon

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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