Looking back in 1876, Liszt admitted candidly to the publisher Breitkopf & HŠrtel that his "Wagner transcriptions" had "only served as modest propaganda for Wagner's noble genius, using the meagre possibilities of the piano". In fact, in around 1850, Wagner's operas Der fliegende HollŠnder, TannhŠuser and Lohengrin - which would later be so successful - were only being performed at the Weimar Court Theatre under Liszt's baton. Liszt was inspired to compose his TannhŠuser Paraphrase by performances in Weimar of the overture in 1848 and of the whole opera in February 1849. Liszt's piano arrangement of the overture is a technically brilliant piece of the highest order. It is a further milestone in Henle Publishers' series of Liszt's Wagner arrangements.
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