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Liszt and Wagner: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

We are sorry to announce that this concert has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak
London, Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall

Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1
Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2
Wagner Overture Tannhäuser

Sir Mark Elder conductor
Stephen Hough piano

Pre-concert talk, 6pm | Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall

Like the Sex Pistols or Black Sabbath, Liszt and Wagner were controversial musical figures in the 19th century. Even doctors thought they were dangerous to be around. This concert with conductor Sir Mark Elder and pianist Stephen Hough revels in the music that stirred such passions.

Liszt’s piano playing whisked audiences into a mystical frenzy. Dubbed Lisztomania, it even inspired audiences to throw their underwear at him.

In this concert, hear Stephen Hough play two of the Liszt piano concertos that caused such excitement.

Wagner’s operas led to deeper moral panic. Depending on who you asked, they could drive you mad, send you to ecstasy, or cause a revolution.

In a Southbank Centre first, on its 19th-century period instruments, we perform stunning sections from his tales of doomed love, Tristan and Isolde, and salvation through love, Tannhäuser.

Stephen Hough joins us for his first performance with us since playing on Queen Victoria’s golden piano (loaned by HM The Queen from the Royal Collection) at BBC Proms in 2019.

"What gripped the attention from start to finish… was the high seriousness of the playing and the imaginative intelligence that Hough brought "
The Guardian