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Liszt: The father of all rockstars with fangirls

Classical Music News

Franz Liszt became his career at age 9, when he performed his first public concert. Just like Mozart, he would amaze Europe with his talent at such young age. Many people at his time called him the reborn Mozart in his soul and spirit.
But what Mozart lacked was the maniac horde of fangirls that seemed to follow Liszt wherever he would go. During his 8-year tour between Spain and Russia, the term Lisztomania was coined by Heinrich Heine, due to his rampaging fandom.

With this Liszt become the first of his kind with many to follow many years later.
Women would worship the ground he walked, literally throw themselves at him when he was simply walking on the street. They were trying to force their way to him, in attempt to cut pieces of his clothing or his long hair. The piano strings he broke were like nowadays’ broken drum sticks – women would reach out for them, fight for them and make bracelets out of them. Some stored his cigar butts in neckaces, wearing them proudly around their necks, not caring about the smell, and others would go even further, emptying his tea dregs into their scent bottles and using it. By 1842 he was too dangerously popular to go on anywhere foot, so he rode a carriage, but then people would come, unharness the horses and pull the vehicle by themselves. Hector Berlioz has some interesting memories of Liszt, more specifically restraining him from starting a duel in his drunken state and proceeding to sleep until 11:30 the next day when he had a concert at noon. And yet, his performance was brilliant.

This went on for some years until he finally decided to retire and the “old” age of 35. He had surely generated enough drama to sustain a TV series for at least 7-8 seasons, but in the end he was called the God for pianists. His life as a concert pianist was over in 1847, after  carrying around a passport that said “Celebritate sua sat notus”, which in Latin means “Significantly well-known through his celebrity”.