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Liste Anton (1772-1832)

Biography of Liste Anton:

Anton Liste suffered the same fate as most composers who were active in Switzerland in the first half of the nineteenth century: after his death, he was completely forgotten. This CD – the first ever recording of Liste’s music – offers ample proof, however, that this fate was in Liste’s case quite undeserved. Anton Liste was born in Hildesheim in Germany on 14 April 1772, the second son of the cathedral organist. Liste senior was his first music teacher, and the son’s musical talent apparently showed itself early. In 1789 Liste went to Vienna to complete his composition studies with Georg Albrechtsberger. Reports that he studied with Mozart lack confirmation, however. Three years later, Liste was back in Hildesheim, where he seems to have kept his head above water by giving music lessons. In 1793, he was freed from all monetary worries when Count Clemens August of Westphalia appointed him music teacher to his children. In 1798, Liste married one Louise Frick. She died in 1801, at which Liste gave his son Franz Karl over to his own parents to be raised. In 1804, Liste applied for the post of director of the orchestra of the Zurich Music Society. He was appointed on the recommendation of Hans Georg Nägeli, at the time the most important figure in Zurich musical life. By the end of Liste’s trial period, Nägeli had changed his mind. However, his colleagues had in the meantime convinced themselves of Liste’s qualities, so he was allowed to stay. He also established himself rapidly as a teacher of piano and singing. When he resigned as orchestra director three years later, he remained in Zurich. He had in the meantime also taken a liking to the Swiss countryside, and was fond of wandering in the mountains. In September 1811, he even went on a hiking tour in the Alps with Carl Maria von Weber. Besides giving music lessons and occasionally playing viola in the Zurich orchestra, Liste also founded a choir of his own. He directed performances of oratorios by Handel, Haydn and others, but also of operas, such as Mozart’s Magic Flute and Rossini’s Moses in Egypt. Since there was at the time no theatre in Zurich, this was the only opportunity for the Zurich public to experience opera at all. Liste was also an active member of the Freemason’s lodge ‘Modestia cum Libertate’, and in 1811 wrote a cantata for the opening of new lodge building (the same one that provides a home for the Zurich Masons today). Liste died in Zurich on 31 July 1832, the cause of death being a ‘chest illness’ according to his friend and biographer Bürkli.

CD's with Liste Anton
Bassoon & Piano Sonatas by Anton Liste

ArtNr. GMCD 7154

Music by Anton Liste

ArtNr. GMCD 7184

Musik in Zürich 1500-1900

ArtNr. GMCD 7312

Piano Duets by Liste, Honegger, Schaeuble, Martin

ArtNr. GMCD 7370

Piano Sonatas by Beethoven, Schnyder von Wartensee and Liste

ArtNr. GMCD 7405/06

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