The Older Liszt: Music, World and Spirit

By Peter Coleman

A brilliant analysis of the famous composer’s later years, and his struggles with the people, music and religion that he valued beyond all else.

ISBN: 9780718897154


Franz Liszt is well known for his early years as ‘super-star’ pianist who excited audiences throughout Europe, but his later life is also of great interest. In his final 25 years he sought to achieve his life’s aims of promoting new forms of music and giving stronger witness to his Christian faith, while continuing to support his stalwart life partner Princess Carolyne. However, he was to face unexpected problems in the continued negative reception of his music and recrimination in his closest relationship.

Drawing on detailed analysis of Liszt’s correspondence from his fiftieth year onwards, Peter Coleman approaches his later life as a case study of an older person grappling with a succession of often disturbing life experiences. These included the deaths of two of his children, political upheaval and war within Europe, and a growing realisation of his own past failings. Liszt suffered frequent bouts of depression but never ceased composing music nor steadfastly heeding Christ’s command to bear one’s cross. This sensitive treatment of an extraordinary individual will appeal to the scholar and general reader alike.

Additional information

Dimensions 254 × 156 mm


Trade Information LGENPOD

About the Author

Peter Coleman is a psychologist and gerontologist specialising in the interplay between ageing, spirituality and mental health. He is Emeritus Professor of Psycho-Gerontology at the University of Southampton, and has co-authored numerous books including Belief and Ageing: Spiritual Pathways in Later Life and Self and Meaning in the Lives of Older People. Love of Liszt’s music led him to join the Liszt Society while still a teenager and he has continued to read widely about Liszt’s life.