Montserrat Bergadà, Franz Liszt and Spanish Pianists

While it is true that Liszt attracted a following among Spanish pianists and in some cases encouraged their careers, the true extent of his legacy has still to be properly assessed. He met Spanish musicians not only during his tour of Spain in 1844–5 but also during his visits to France. Among them were a number of pianists whose names are inextricably linked to the musical life of the Iberian peninsula and who include Pedro Albéniz, who taught at the Madrid Conservatory; Marcial de Torres Adalid; Juan María Guelbenzu, who performed duets with Liszt; and Pedro Tintorer, whom Liszt taught in Lyons. Later, Isaac Albéniz recalled crossing the whole of Europe in order to meet Liszt in Budapest in 1880, a meeting said to have been uniquely fruitful in terms of the evolution of Albéniz’s playing and style. Although Ricardo Viñes was not a contemporary of Liszt, he none the less professed to be one of his most ardent admirers and devoted two articles to him, both of them with revealing titles, not to mention the countless references to Liszt in his diary. In view of the lack of reliable sources, the main objective of the present study is to help in identifying contemporary accounts, whether in the form of biographical evidence or press articles, and to examine teaching methods that might allow us to see to what extent the revolution brought about by Liszt also affected the Spanish school of piano playing.