Liebesträume, S. 541

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Liebesträume (Dreams of Love) is a set of three solo piano works (S.541/R.211) by Franz Liszt, published in 1850. Originally the three Liebesträume were conceived as lieder after poems by Ludwig Uhland and Ferdinand Freiligrath. In 1850, two versions appeared simultaneously as a set of songs for high voice and piano, and as transcriptions for piano two-hands. The poems depict three different forms of love. Uhland's Hohe Liebe (exalted love) is saintly or religious love. The second song Seliger Tod (bed death) and evokes erotic love; "dead" could be referring to what is known as "la petite mort" in French. Freiligrath's poem for the famous third Notturno is about unconditional mature love. Liebestraum no. 3 is the last of the three that Liszt wrote, and the most popular, and can be considered as split into three sections, each divided by a fast cadenza requiring dexterous finger work and a very high degree of technical ability. The same melody is used throughout the entire piece, each time varied, especially near the middle of the work, where the climax is reached. Liebestraum no. 3 is a standard repertoire piece, and most concert pianists will have studied or performed it.

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