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Funérailles - Liszt's Composition Elegy to Chopin ?

Updated on March 17, 2012

Funérailles - Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses

Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses

Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses is a piano suite comprised of ten compositions, Liszt dedicated the suite to his companion Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein. The suite's ten compositions are as follows:

  1. I. Invocation
  2. II. Ave Maria
  3. III. Benediction de Deus dans la Solitude
  4. IV. Pensee des Morts
  5. V. Pater Noster
  6. VI. Hymne de L’enfant a Son Reveil
  7. VII. Funerailles
  8. VIII. Miserere D’Apres Palestrina
  9. IX. Andante Lagrimoso ?
  10. X. Cantique d’Amour

Quite the innovator, Liszt used and explored many innovative concepts in this suite such as constantly changing meters, no key signatures in addition to emphasis on the tritone. Liszt develops these innovations further in his later compositions. Fifty years later Liszt once again returned to the exploration of atonality in his Bagatelle ohne Tonart (Bagatelle Without Tonality).

On the autograph manuscript of Funérailles,Liszt writes October 1849. Liszt indicated it was an elegy written as a tribute to three of his friends who died in the failed Hungarian Revolution. Prince Felix Lichnowsky, Count Laszlo Teleki and the Hungarian Prime Minister, Count Lajos Batthyany. It was a colossal defeat to the Hungarian people.

Death of Chopin October 1849

The intuitive use of material from Chopin’s heroic Ab major Polonaise op. 53 leads to speculation that this piece was more than an elegy to the Hungarian people but also an elegy to his dearly departed colleague F. Chopin.

Funérailles - Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses

Funérailles - Harmonies poétiques et religieuses

Funérailles-Elegy to Chopin or Hungarian Revolution

Does Funérailles remind you of Chopin's Heroic Polonaise ?

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    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 4 years ago

      Many thanks for your commentary. It is always fascinating to learn as much as possible about the history and political climate of the composer when a piece was being composed. I look forward to reading your hubs as well.

    • AlanDoughtyXIII profile image

      AlanDoughtyXIII 5 years ago

      It reminds me more of Chopin's "Revolutionary" Étude revised to depict the aftermath of a revolt. Chopin had recently departed Poland in October 1830, and one month later the Warsaw Rising occurred. The fact is both composers came from countries that were under foreign yokes, Chopin's Poland was ruled by Russia, and Liszt's Hunagry by Austria.