Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 September 2021
This chapter considers both Liszt as critic and the critics who commented on Liszt favourably and unfavourably. The discussion will focus on the critical milieux of France and Germany, the two regions where he engaged most actively as a cultural force and thus generated the most substantial criticism by and about him. As a critic and writer on music, Liszt both absorbed the literature of his times (and the past) and struck off in his own direction. Initially, as virtuoso, he enjoyed the admiration of the press, but when he ventured forth as composer of large-scale works, the opponents of the New German School became vocal critics of his musical innovations. At the time of his death, the war of words between the progress-minded New Germans and the conservative opposition continued, nevertheless, with the battles shifted to Wagner and his music dramas in Bayreuth.