Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt Ferenc.


This is a mesmerising piece of music.

It opens ominously. The strings start ponderously, deepen and go yet impossibly deeper. The strings speak of mysterious mourning and wonderment. The profound struggle and sorrow is majestic in its pathos. There is something serene in this sadness No other melody is so affecting. The tune would subjugate even the dullest soul.

A minute and a half in the piece turns into a cheerful querying tone. It questions wryly and treads lighter.

Then the piece breaks into an up tempo patter. The flutes feel like fairy footsteps. The music gambols as though dancing on the dew of a summer dawn.

At three minutes the strings announce something gravely. The grief and grandeur of Hungarian history is contemplated. Heavy tribulations are remembered.

Then the tune morphs into a gleeful memory of a riverbank in bloom. The sunlit tune sentimentally soothes the spirit.

Yet again the tune slows and almost slumbers. It quietly menaces. Something dolorous is never far away.

Then we are back to an optimistic jig or is it alarum after six minutes. The strings fret and race us. Near seven minutes the tune erupts in a splendid jubilee. The flutes celebrate a blessed emancipation.

With the triangle and cymbals the tune gallops into life. The brass section blasts out a gleeful tune. We scurry with joy.

The orchestra thunders out volleys of ecstasy.

This extraordinary movement seems to run the full gamut of human emotion. Towards the end the music turns exuberant.

A blissful tranquility descends. But still the tempo races us and the happiness comes rushing back. It ends with a defiant fanfare.




About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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