Hungaria

Liszt’s symphonic poem Hungaria is one of his twelve Weimar compositions in the same genre. It is a milestone in Hungarian music history in that it is the first Hungarian-style symphonic poem. Liszt intended it as a response to the poet Mihály Vörösmarty’s ode inspired by his concerts in 1839 and 1840 in Pest. Although the musical material of Hungaria largely dates from the Reform Era, it is a reflection on the revolution and war of independence of 1848, not unlike the piano piece Funérailles. The world première was conducted by Liszt himself in Pest. The effect was in elementary: “everyone cries, both men and women,” the composer recalled.