Martha Argerich plays Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6

Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 (Martha Argerich, 1966)

Argentine classical pianist Martha Argerich performs Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 in D-flat major. Filmed in Munich in 1966.

This work was dedicated to Count Antoine of Appony and uses the form of Lassan(1) and Friska(2) like many other rhapsodies. It was later arranged for orchestra.

The piece is divided into three main sections:

  1. Introduction (Tempo Giusto – Presto)
  2. Lassan (Andante)
  3. Friska (Allegro)

The first part of the rhapsody is an introduction (Tempo Giusto), where the left hand of the player plays a steady bassline made up of the chords in the D-flat major scale. Due to the overlapping of the melody over the bars, the piece does not sound as though if it is in a 2/4 rhythm. This is because Liszt did not start the first chord of the piece as an upbeat, which is what many composers would have done to relate to the time signature of the piece. The melody of the first part is quite repetitive, ending with a long cadenza, using mostly the black keys. The second part (presto) is in C-sharp major (which is simply an enharmonic version of the previous D-flat, not a modulation) and has a lively rhythm, leading to the Lassan, in B-flat minor. The Lassan is played slowly like an improvised rhythm, again finishing with a large cadenza at the end, leading sequentially to Friska (Allegro) in B-flat major. The melody is played in semiquavers and is considered to be quite difficult, since it demands the player to move fast in octaves. The bass line stays the same, strong quaver rhythms, also quite difficult to hit with precision at high speed. The final part of the piece ends with chromatic scales in octaves moving in contrary motion, and ends with majestic B-flat major chords. The piece in whole is quite a lively piece, with the use of the gypsy scale.

Notes

  1. Lassan (Hungarian for slowly) or more properly lassú (slow) is the slow section of the csárdás, a Hungarian folk dance, or of most of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies, which take their form from this dance. It generally either has a dark, somber tone or a formal, stately one.
  2. Friska (from Hungarian; friss, fresh, pronounced frish), is the fast section of the csárdás, a Hungarian folk dance, or of most of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies, which take their form from this dance. The friska is generally either turbulent or jubilant in tone.

Sources