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Franz Liszt:
Romani, or Gypsy Music

Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies were greatly influenced by gypsy, or Romani music. Brahms, Telemann and Verdi are among the many composers were attracted to this distinctive music.

Music heard in this episode:
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody #2
Traditional: Gypsy Suite II
Brahms: Hungarian Dance #5
Brahms: Zigeungerlieder: “Brauner Bursche”
Brahms: Piano Quartet #1: 4th mvt (Gypsy Rondo)
Telemann: Gypsy Sonata
Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
Ravel: Tzigane
Aleksandra Vrebalov: Pannonia Boundless
Bizet: Carmen: Les tringles des sistres tintaient” (Bohemian Song)
Verdi: La traviata: “Noi siamo zingarelle”
Verdi: Il trovatore: Anvil Chorus (“Vedi! Le fosche”)
Corigliano: The Red Violin: The Gypsies
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody #3

Other shows about Franz Liszt:
About Franz Liszt
Classial Music Superstars
Famous Pianist - Composers

Download this month's activity sheet

About Franz Liszt
10/22/1811 - 7/31/1886
Born in Hungary

While Franz Liszt was a composer, conductor, critic and teacher, he was best known as a pianist. He was the first of the virtuoso performers. When Liszt walked onto the stage, he took over the hall, amazing the audience with his incredible technique and his awesome presence. He was a true showman and the man who invented the solo recital. Although some were annoyed by his personality, Liszt was one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known.

As a composer, Liszt, of course, wrote music primarily for the piano. He also transcribed popular orchestral works for this instrument. Many of his pieces are tremendously difficult and few pianists can perform them properly. Later in his life, he started writing music for the orchestra and composed wonderful melodies.

Liszt also wrote music criticism and was known as a conductor and teacher. He trained many of the performers of his time in his tradition.

Because of his ego and attitude, Liszt was always a controversial figure. However, he is recognized as one of the dominant personalities of 19th century Romantic music.

See other composers born in Hungary


This Week's Quiz:

1. What instrument was important to Romani music?



Bass Drum


2.Which composer was not influenced by Romani, or gypsy, music?

Johannes Brahms

Maurice Ravel

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Pablo de Sarasate

3. Which opera has a gypsy as its title character?

Madame Butterfly

The Barber of Seville




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