Walking in Budapest with Franz Liszt

Author: Ágnes Watzatka

Photographs: Miklós Török

Publisher: Helikon Publishing House

Year: 2011

Franz Liszt who is the first and and most recognized Hungarian musician and composer abroad, had a deep affection for the Hungarian capital which he visited for the first time at the age of 11 and lived in from the age of 58.

The book "Walking with Franz Liszt in Budapest" is an unconventional guide based on five sightseeing tours. In the introduction of the book the visitor and reader meets Franz Liszt himself and becomes familiarthrough a summary of his stays in Budapest and outside Hungary with the most important parts of his adventurous life, and with the diversity of his art. During the five walks the visitor becomes acquainted with both parts of the capital: Pest and Buda, win which Liszt lived his personal and social life, played, taught, etc. The reader accompanying Liszt obtains an insight into the musical, cultural and political life of Budapest and meets its representatives such as Ferenc Deák, Gyula Andrássy, Mór Jókai and the elite of the Hungarian musical life: Ferenc Erkel, Mihály Mosonyi, Ede Reményi, Jenő Hubay.

In the last two hundred years the centre of Pest has changed in many ways: the Danube flood in 1838, the battles fought in 1849, the several changes to the city's plan in the 1870s have all redrawn the face of the city. In the pages of the book reconstructed streets, squares, lost buildings and vanished concert halls burst upon the reader's view, providing an opportunity to see the perpetually changing city of Budapest through the eyes of Liszt.