Don Sanche, ou Le château de l'amour, S.1, is an opera in one act composed in 1824–25 by Franz Liszt, with French libretto by Théaulon and de Rancé, based on a story by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian. For 30 years it was believed to be lost until it was rediscovered in 1903; the first modern performance took place in 74 years after its rediscovery. The opera appears to have been ready as early as September 1824, it is known. This is the one from Don Sanche since no other overture exists from this period; the manuscript contains many passages that are reminiscent of the style of his compositions teacher Ferdinando Paer, who admittedly helped Liszt with orchestration. Liszt received a mere 170 francs for his opera. In the 1840s, Liszt tried to pursue a career as an opera composer, he planned, but never completed several other operas. Among them a work in the Italianate style known as Sardanapale, of which 111 sketched pages exists. Don Sanche premiered at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opéra on 17 October 1825 with Rodolphe Kreutzer conducting.
Liszt was a few days short of 14 years at the time of the premiere. Lina Ramann, his biographer, wrote:The 17th October had come, the day when "Don Sancho" was to be presented to the public. A brilliant audience had assembled in the Opera House. Rudolf Kreutzer was the director, the noble and celebrated tenor, Adolf Nourrit sang the principal part. At the conclusion the applause was boundless; the latter, a tall and stately figure, with an overflowing of amiability, took in his arms the young composer, still small for his fourteen years, carried him before the audience, whose jubilation was without bounds. Kreutzer, too and caressed and embraced him. Adam Liszt was beside himself with joy; the tears streamed from his eyes a reception such as "Don Sancho" had found exceeded all expectation! Franz, on the contrary, was only glad on his father's account, he received the applause, too, as only intended for his youth, could scarcely be tranquillized either as to himself or the worth of his work. Reviews were mixed.
In 1826, Almanach des Spectacles declared that "this work has to be judged with indulgence." In reply to his biographer, when asked about the overture of Don Sanche in 1880, Liszt said that if the lost opera would come to light it ought not be published "since it was nothing, it became nothing." The opera was not well received, only 4 performances took place. The opera was not staged again for more than 150 years; the manuscript was believed to have perished in the 1873 fire of Salle Peletier. However, in 1903 the French scholar Jean Chantavoine found the manuscript score of the opera bound in two volumes in the library of Palais Garnier; the score is not copied in Liszt's hand, contains extensive rehearsal markings and passages reminiscent of Paer, all of which led Emil Haraszti, a music critic, to declare that the opera was not by Liszt at all but a production by Paer only. He could not bring himself to believe that a 13-year-old boy could produce such a polished work. However, Adam Liszt disclosed so many details to Carl Czerny about his son's opera-in-progress that such claims are preposterous.
Since its discovery there have been only a few productions of the opera. The first modern performance took place on 20 October 1977, at the Collegiate Theatre in London. To date, the score of the opera has not been published, only a handful of microfilms of the manuscript are in circulation in various libraries of Europe and the United States; the original score is located in the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra in Paris. Night time, full moon outlines the silhouette of the Castle of Love. A pastoral song of invitation is heard from the cheerful company within the castle. Here estate and rank count for nothing and the song of peasants and nobles is entwined in the chorus of loving couples; the knight Don Sanche, arrives but a page bars his way at the gate, as only couples may enter this castle where love is a precondition. Don Sanche relates what lies on his heart: he cannot join the happy inmates of the castle because the one he loves, the beauteous Princess Elzire is cruel and does not return his affections.
The light march of the page and the chorus does not promise much hope for the desperate knight and Don Sanche plays with the thought of suicide. Alidor, Lord of the castle, appears, he tells how he has had his castle built as a memorial to love, in gratitude to destiny for having assigned him many happy lovers' trysts. Alidor, a magician, sees Elzire's future: the girl will choose a royal scion as her husband. Jealousy and a desire to fight are awakened in Don Sanche and he sings an angry duet with Alidor. Meanwhile he learns from Alidor; the magician promises to divert Elzire from her intended route. Alidor is left alone and as the sky becomes overclouded, he gives and order to the spirits to bring on a storm; the spell succeeds and Elzire is approaching with her retinue. The village people are afraid of the devastating storm and the thunder subdides and her lady-in-waiting Zelis, seek refuge in the Castle of Love but they too are stopped by the page, he tells the newcomer
The Consolations are a set of six solo piano works by Franz Liszt. The compositions take the musical style of Nocturnes with each having its own distinctive style; each Consolation is composed in either the key of E D-flat major. E major is a key used by Liszt for religious themes. There exist two versions of the Consolations; the first was published in 1992 by G. Henle Verlag; the second was composed between 1849 and 1850 and published in 1850 by Breitkopf & Härtel, containing the familiar Consolation No. 3, Lento placido, in D-flat Major. The source of the title Consolations may have been Lamartine’s poem Une larme, ou Consolation from the poetry collection Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. Liszt's piano cycle Harmonies religieuses is based on Lamartine's collection of poems. Another possible inspiration for the title are the Consolations of the French literary historian Charles Sainte-Beuve. Sainte-Beuve's Consolations, published in 1830, is a collection of Romantic era poetry where friendship is extolled as a consolation for the loss of religious faith.
The Consolations are referred to as Six pensées poétiques, a title not used for Breitkopf's 1850 publication but for a set published shortly thereafter, in the same year, by the Bureau Central de Musique in Paris. The Consolations, S.171a consist of six solo compositions for the piano. Andante con moto Un poco più mosso Lento, quasi recitativo Quasi Adagio, cantabile con devozione Andantino - "Madrigal" Allegretto Composed between 1844 and 1849, they are Liszt's first version of the Consolations and were first published in 1992 by G. Henle Verlag; the manuscripts are located at the Schiller Archives in Weimar. The third Consolation is an arrangement of a Hungarian folksong that would be reused by Liszt in his Hungarian Rhapsody No.1, S.244/1. The fifth Consolation is the earliest of the compositions and dates from 1844. In an early manuscript the fifth Consolation is entitled “Madrigal”. Liszt dedicated the Madrigal to a friend of his, a Weimar Intendant named M. de Ziegäser. The Consolations, S.172 consist of six solo compositions for the piano.
Andante con moto Un poco più mosso Lento placido Quasi Adagio Andantino Allegretto sempre cantabile Composed between 1849 and 1850, they are Liszt's second version of the Consolations. This version of the Consolations is better known than the first version and was published in 1850 in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel. In comparison to the first version of the Consolations, the original third Consolation was replaced with a new Consolation and the remaining Consolations were simplified; the first of the Consolations is in E Major and marked Andante con moto. The shortest of the set, consisting of just 25 measures, it has an identical opening to another of Liszt's works, the Album-Leaf, S.171b. Consolation No. 2 is in E Major and is marked Un poco più mosso. It is played directly after the first, without a break; the third Consolation is in D-flat major and marked as Lento placido. It is the most popular of the Consolations and a favorite encore piece, its style is similar to the Chopin Nocturnes, in particular, it seems to have been inspired by Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2.
The similarity between the two works has been interpreted as a tribute to Chopin who died in 1849, a year before the Consolations were published. This third Consolation is however one of several of Liszt's works that take a style reminiscent of Chopin. In 1883, years after composing the Consolation, Liszt received a Grand piano from the Steinway Company with a design that included a sostenuto pedal. Liszt began transcribing this Consolation for the new sostenuto pedal and in a letter to Steinway he wrote: "In relation to the use of your welcome tone-sustaining pedal I inclose two examples: Danse des Sylphes, by Berlioz, No. 3 of my Consolations. I have today noted down only the introductory bars of both pieces, with this proviso, that, if you desire it, I shall gladly complete the whole transcription, with exact adaptation of your tone-sustaining pedal." Liszt recommended sparing usage of the sostenuto pedal in the interpretation of this Consolation and opined on the positive effect it would have on the more tranquil passages.
Consolation No. 4 is in D-Flat major and is marked Quasi adagio. Composed in 1849, it is known as the Stern-Consolation because of the six-pointed white star that appears on the printed score; the Consolation was inspired by a Lied written by Maria Pavlovna, the Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The mood of the composition has been described as "churchly-religious" and "prayerlike". Liszt re-used the Consolation's theme in the Andante sostenuto / quasi adagio section of his Piano Sonata in B Minor. Consolation No. 5 is in E-Major. It is marked Andantino; the Consolation has a cantilena vocal style.. This Consolation has the oldest genealogy having been reworked from the earlier fifth version of the Consolations, entitled the Madrigal. Compared to the earlier Madrigal, this Consolation: is shorter, having 56 measures compared to the Madrigal's 69; the sixth and final Consolation is in E Major. It is marked Allegretto sempre cantabile and is the longest of the Consolations with a total of 100 measures.
It is the m
Sardanapalo or Sardanapale, S.687, is an unfinished opera by Franz Liszt based loosely on the 1821 verse play Sardanapalus by Lord Byron. As an Italian opera, it would certainly have been called Sardanapalo, though Liszt referred to it as Sardanapale in his French correspondence; the entire first act had been completed, allowing David Trippett to realize a full-orchestral performing edition, which received its world premiere by the Staatskapelle Weimar on August 19, 2018. Liszt was motivated to write a large-scale opera at least in an attempt to be recognised as more than a travelling keyboard virtuoso. Among the range of opera subjects he considered, he settled on an opera based on Byron's The Corsair, obtained in 1844 a libretto by Alexandre Dumas, but nothing came of this. Towards the end of 1845 he settled on the subject of Byron's Sardanapalus. At this time Liszt was working at the court in Weimar, briefly considered a possible opportunity at the Hoftheater, where the Kapellmeister, Gaetano Donizetti, was ill.
A large-scale opera was important for Liszt's emerging status. Yet he told her only a few months that, given the conduct of the people involved, "that post will do me no good" and was no longer a consideration. In correspondence with his close associate the Princess Belgiojoso, Liszt planned to have the opera performed in Milan in 1846–47 switching the planned venue to the Kärntnertor Theater in Vienna, to Paris or London. Sardanapalus was, according to the last king of Assyria; some have identified him with Assurbanipal, but the Sardanapalus of Ctesias, "an effeminate debauchee, sunk in luxury and sloth, who at the last was driven to take up arms, after a prolonged but ineffectual resistance, avoided capture by suicide" is not an identifiable historical character. Ctesias's tale was preserved by Diodorus Siculus, it is on this account that Byron based his play. Liszt had been present at the 1830 premiere of the oratorio The Death of Sardanapalus by Hector Berlioz, which featured an immolation scene, in preparation for which a "sacrifice of the innocents" is depicted in Eugène Delacroix's sensational 1828 painting of the subject.
These influences led Liszt to a sensational concept. With reference to the inferno that ends Byron's play, he tells Belgiojoso that his finale will aim to set the entire audience alight. By 1849, when he at last began to write the music, he conceived the idea of further altering the libretto by adding an orgy scene as in Delacroix, but this was turned down by Belgiojoso; as musicologist David Trippett argued, Liszt's first librettist, Félicien Mallefille, submitted an initial libretto too late for Liszt to consider continuing his planned collaboration with the Frenchman. An unknown contact of Belgiojoso delivered the first act of a libretto, in Italian, in 1847, with the remainder following a year thereafter. However, by 1849 Liszt had still not written a note of the music, it appears Liszt composed the first act between 1849 and 1851. Liszt wrote 110 pages of music and wrote to Richard Wagner that it would be ready for production on Paris or London in 1852. Liszt's assistant, Joachim Raff, notes in December 1851 that he would soon be asked to produce a provisional orchestration of the opera for Liszt, but this never took place.
Shortly thereafter Liszt seems to have abandoned his work on the opera. The pianist Kenneth Hamilton suggests that his diffidence may have resulted from reading Wagner's essay Opera and Drama, by whose standards Sardanapalo could have appeared somewhat dated. Trippett has argued this was unlikely to have been a decisive factor, suggested instead that Liszt's abandonment resulted from his concern over the libretto, the fact that he never received a revised libretto for Acts 2 and 3, so could not set these to music. In 2016, musicologist David Trippett discovered that the music and libretto are both decipherable and continuous, constituting the first act of Liszt's planned three-act opera; the resulting edition of Liszt's manuscript was published in 2019 in two editions: a critical edition for the Neue Liszt Ausgabe, an orchestrated performing edition that draws critically on all Liszt's indications and cues for orchestration. No music or libretto text is known to exist for Acts 2-3. Sardanapalo.
Joyce El-Khoury, Airam Hernández, Oleksandr Pushniak Weimar Staatskapelle, conducted by Kirill Karabits. Audite CD 97764; this recording was released on 8 February 2019 and arose from the world premiere performance in Weimar, 19-20 August 2018. Upon its release the recording received significant critical acclaim, became the best-selling classical CD in the UK Official Charts; the Times declared it "A torridly exciting recording … It is not too big a statement to say that the work’s emergence changes music history.... You wonder. … A most special and historic release"Gramophone awarded it'Editor's Choice' declaring it: "immensely important … the act is beautifully shaped, while Liszt’s fluid treatment of bel canto structures reveals an assured musical dramatist at work. Trippett has modelled his orchestration on Liszt’s works on
Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo (Liszt)
Franz Liszt composed his Tasso, Lamento e trionfo in 1849, revising it in 1850–51 and again in 1854. It is numbered No. 2 in his cycle of 13 symphonic poems written during his Weimar period. Liszt's first sketch for this work is dated August 1, 1849, he had heard the principal theme for Tasso in Venice, Italy several years earlier, using it in the 1840 version of his piano piece "Chant do Goldolier" in Venezia e Napoli. Liszt completed the 1849 version of Tasso as an overture in two sections, giving it to August Conradi to orchestrate; this version was performed in Weimar, Germany on the centennial of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's birth as an overture to his drama Torquato Tasso. Liszt corrected Conradi's score and had Joachim Raff produce a new score in 1850–51. Liszt revised this score extensively, adding a central section; this version was performed on April 1854 in Weimar, conducted by Liszt. Goethe's portrayal of Tasso focuses with his position as court poet of the Este family in Ferrara within the political intrigues of court life.
Liszt, was more drawn to the poet's inner conflicts and the seven years he spent in St. Anna's Hospital, an insane asylum, it was the suffering and triumphant Tasso that inspired Liszt's imagination. In his preface to Tasso, Liszt refers not only to Goethe but to Lord Byron's poem on Tasso admitting to being influenced by the latter, he adds: Tasso loved and suffered at Ferrara, he was avenged at Rome, today lives in the popular songs of Venice. These three moments are inseparable from his immortal fame. To reproduce them in music, we first conjured up the great shade as he wanders through the lagoons of Venice today; this work calls for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B♭, bass clarinet in B♭, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in B♭ and C, 4 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, triangle, snare drum, bass drum and strings. The 1849 version following a conventional overture layout, divided into a slow section and a fast one. With this division, the entire work was a set of variations on a single melody—a folk hymn sung to Liszt by a gondolier in Venice in the late 1830s.
Among the most significant revisions Liszt made was the addition of a middle section in the vein of a minuet. Calmer than either of the outer sections, it was intended to depict Tasso's more stable years in the employment of the d'Este family in Ferrara. In a margin note Liszt informs the conductor that the orchestra "assumes a dual role" in this section, with strings playing one self-contained piece while woodwinds play another; this was much in the manner of Italian composer Pietro Raimondi, whose contrapuntal mastery was such that he had written three oratorios—titled Joseph and Jacob—which could be performed either individually or combined. Liszt made a study of Raimondi's work but the Italian composer died before Liszt could meet him personally; the Romantics considered alienation self- and social alienation, as a prominent characteristic of artistic genius. Both these forms of alienation are present in Byron's poem and according to some critics may have influenced Liszt's tonal and formal plan of Tasso, as well.
The secondary theme is in E major, a distant major key of a raised third in a minor-key piece. He would use this same raised-third relationship with a similar intent in both Prometheus and the Faust symphony. Tonal expectations continue to be undermined with the central minuet, written in F♯ major and tonally distant from the work's tonic, adding to a sense of disassociation. In the film Hans Christian Andersen directed by Charles Vidor, starring Danny Kaye, Farley Granger,and Zizi Jeanmaire, the music for the climatic ballet based on the writer's work "The Little Mermaid" uses large portions of Tasso, most when the little mermaid goes to the prince's ball. Ed. Hamilton, The Cambridge Companion to Liszt. ISBN 0-521-64462-3. Shulstad, Reeves, "Liszt's symphonic poems and symphonies" ed. Walker, Franz Liszt: The man and His Music. SBN 8008-2990-5 Searle, Humphrey, "The Orchestral Works" Walker, Franz Liszt, Volume 2: The Weimar Years, 1848–1861. ISBN 0-394-52540-X Symphonic Poem No.2, Lamento e Trionfo: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
The Transcendental Études, S.139, are a series of twelve compositions for piano by Franz Liszt. They were published in 1852 as a revision of an 1837 series, which in turn were the elaboration of a set of studies written in 1826; the composition of the Transcendental Études began in 1826, when 15-year-old Liszt wrote a set of youthful and far less technically demanding exercises called the Étude en douze exercices, S.136. Liszt elaborated on these pieces and the far more technically difficult exercises called the Douze Grandes Études, S.137 were published in 1837. The Transcendental Études are revisions of his Douze Grandes Études; this third and final version was published in 1852 and dedicated to Carl Czerny, Liszt's piano teacher, himself a prolific composer of études. The set included simplifications, for the most part: in addition to many other reductions, Liszt removed all stretches of greater than a tenth, making the pieces more suitable for pianists with smaller hands. However, some regard the fourth étude of the final set, more demanding than its 1837 version, since it frequently alters and crosses the hand to create a "galloping" effect.
When revising the 1837 set of études, Liszt added programmatic titles in French and German to all but the Études Nos. 2 and 10. Editor Ferruccio Busoni gave the names Fusées to the Étude No. 2, Appassionata to the Étude No. 10. For example, music publisher G. Henle Verlag refers to these two by their tempo indications, molto vivace and allegro agitato molto, respectively. Henle ranks No. 4, No. 5, No. 8, No. 10 and No. 12 as the most difficult études of the set at difficulty 9 out of 9, according to the editor Henle's scale. The lowest difficulty is given to No. 3 at 6 out of 9. Liszt's original idea was to write one in each of the 24 major and minor keys, he completed only half of this project, using the flat key signatures. In 1897–1905 the Russian composer Sergei Lyapunov wrote his own set of Douze études d'exécution transcendante, Op. 11, choosing only those keys that Liszt had omitted, namely the sharp keys, to "complete" the full set of 24. Lyapunov's set of études was dedicated to the memory of Liszt, the final étude was titled Élégie en mémoire de Franz Liszt.
Sergei Lyapunov, 12 Études d'exécution transcendante, Op. 11 Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Études transcendantes Brian Ferneyhough, Etudes Transcendantales Étude en 12 exercices, S.136, Grandes études, S.137, Études d'exécution transcendante, S.139: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project Discography of Liszt's Transcendental Studies
A Symphony to Dante's Divine Comedy, S.109, or the "Dante Symphony", is a program symphony composed by Franz Liszt. Written in the high romantic style, it is based on Dante Alighieri's journey through Hell and Purgatory, as depicted in The Divine Comedy, it was premiered in Dresden in November 1857, with Liszt himself conducting, was unofficially dedicated to the composer's friend and future son-in-law Richard Wagner. The entire symphony takes 45 minutes to perform; some critics have argued that the Dante Symphony is not so much a symphony in the classical sense as it is two descriptive symphonic poems. Regardless, Dante consists of two movements, both in a loosely structured ternary form with little use of thematic transformation. Liszt had been sketching themes for the work since the early 1840s, in 1847 he played some fragments on the piano for his Polish mistress Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. At this early stage in the composition it was Liszt's intention that performances of the work be accompanied by a slideshow depicting scenes from the Divine Comedy by the artist Bonaventura Genelli.
He planned to use an experimental wind machine to recreate the winds of Hell at the end of the first movement. Although Princess Carolyne was willing to defray the costs, nothing came of these ambitious plans and the symphony was set aside until 1855. In June 1855 Liszt resumed work on the symphony and had completed most of it before the end of the following year. Thus, work on the Dante Symphony coincided with work on Liszt's other symphonic masterpiece, the Faust Symphony, inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's drama Faust. For this reason, because they are the only symphonies Liszt composed, the Dante and Faust symphonies are recorded together. In October 1856 Liszt visited Richard Wagner in Zürich and performed his Faust and Dante symphonies on the piano. Wagner was critical of the Dante Symphony's fortissimo conclusion, which he thought was inappropriate as a depiction of Paradise. In his autobiography he wrote: If anything had convinced me of the man's masterly and poetical powers of conception, it was the original ending of the Faust Symphony, in which the delicate fragrance of a last reminiscence of Gretchen overpowers everything, without arresting the attention by a violent disturbance.
The ending of the Dante Symphony seemed to me to be quite on the same lines, for the delicately introduced Magnificat in the same way only gives a hint of a soft, shimmering Paradise. I was the more startled to hear this beautiful suggestion interrupted in an alarming way by a pompous, plagal cadence which, as I was told, was supposed to represent St Dominic. "No!" I exclaimed loudly, "not that! Away with it! No majestic Deity! Leave us the fine soft shimmer!" Liszt agreed and explained that such had been his original intention, but he had been persuaded by Princess Carolyne to end the symphony in a blaze of glory. He rewrote the concluding measures, but in the printed score he left the conductor with the option of following the pianissimo coda with the fortissimo one. Liszt's original intention was to compose the work in three movements: an Inferno, a Purgatorio and a Paradiso; the first two were to be purely instrumental, the finale choral. Wagner, persuaded Liszt that no earthly composer could faithfully express the joys of Paradise.
Liszt added a choral Magnificat at the end of the second movement. This action, some critics claim destroyed the work's balance, leaving the listener, like Dante, gazing upward at the heights of Heaven and hearing its music from afar. Moreover, Liszt scholar Humphrey Searle argues that while Liszt may have felt more at home portraying the infernal regions than the celestial ones, the task of portraying Paradise in music would not have been beyond his powers. Liszt put the final touches to the symphony in the autumn of 1857; the premiere of the work took place at the Hoftheater in Dresden on 7 November 1857. The performance was an unmitigated disaster due to inadequate rehearsal, he persevered with the work, conducting another performance in Prague on 11 March 1858. Princess Carolyne prepared a programme for this concert to help the audience follow the unusual form of the symphony. Like his symphonic poems Tasso and Les préludes, the Dante Symphony is an innovatory work, featuring numerous orchestral and harmonic advances: wind effects, progressive harmonies that avoid the tonic-dominant bias of contemporary music, experiments in atonality, unusual key signatures and time signatures, fluctuating tempi, chamber-music interludes, the use of unusual musical forms.
The Symphony is one of the first to make use of progressive tonality and ending in the radically different keys of D minor and B major anticipating its use in the symphonies of Gustav Mahler by forty years. Liszt was not the only symphonic composer, inspired by Dante's Commedia. In 1863 Giovanni Pacini composed a four-movement Sinfonia Dante; the symphony is scored for one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets in B♭ and A, one bass clarinet in B♭ and A, two bassoons, four horns in F, two trumpets in B♭ and D, two tenor trombones, one bass trombone, one tuba, two sets of timpani, bass drum, two harps, harmonium, a women's choir comprising soprano and alto singers (second movement only
Nuages gris, S.199 or Trübe Wolken, is a work for piano solo composed by Franz Liszt on August 24, 1881. It is one of Liszt's most haunting and at the same time one of his most experimental works, according to Allen Forte, "a high point in the experimental idiom with respect to expressive compositional procedure."'Departing from his earlier virtuoso style, Liszt in his years made several radical, compositional experiments, including Nuages gris, Unstern S.208 and Bagatelle sans tonalité S.216. Yet it was only in the second half of the twentieth century that the significance of Liszt's late experimental works began to be appreciated. R. Larry Todd, for example, has noted that "Arguably, Liszt was the first composer to establish the augmented triad as a independent sonority, to consider its implications for modern dissonance treatment, to ponder its meaning for the future course of tonality. Liszt's accomplishments in these areas were considerable and support in no small way his position, in Busoni's phrase, as the'master of freedom.'
Scholars such as Humphrey Searle, Zoltán Harsányi, Bence Szabolcsi, Lajos Bárdos, István Szelényi have contributed much to placing these works in the repertoire of today's pianists. Nuages gris is technically simple. According to Jim Samson, "the most distinctive features of Liszt's late style are present in this short work—the avoidance of a conventional cadential structure, the importance of semitonal movement, the use of the augmented triad as the central harmonic unit and of parallelism as a principal means of progression." The harmonies are based on augmented triads while the melody line makes extensive reference to the Hungarian minor scale. The harmonies, which are different from those found in his earlier works, give a dark and morbid feel to the piece. Leonard Ratner has commented: "The restless, unresolved dissonances of Nuages gris the isolated figures, the sense of alienation—these have a clear affinity with the somewhat expressionism of the Viennese composers Mahler and Schoenberg.... is a musical bellwether that indicated what was happening and what would happen in European music: sound, with the assistance of symmetry, would take over, harmony would be absorbed into color and lose its cadential function."Claude Debussy had Nuages gris in mind when he composed his own Nuages.
Mauricio Kagel used Nuages gris in his Unguis incarnatus est. in 1986, Heinz Holliger worked the piece out into Zwei Liszt-Transkriptionen for orchestra. A shocking scene at the morgue in Stanley Kubrick's last film Eyes Wide Shut is accompanied by Nuages gris. Nuages Gris: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project Video clip on YouTube