palace of arts | october 2011

The 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt’s birthday provided some rather extraordinary events for the visitors of The Palace of Arts. The audience in wait for the concert were suddenly struck by a peculiar atmosphere through which they could experience the composer’s adventures in foreign lands.

Participants of the first occasion found themselves in the middle of an English tea-party. The rhythmic clicks of spoons against cups even called forth Queen Victoria herself. Along the stairway of the Palace was the Queen led by the tea-drinkers to Franz Liszt himself, who had actually met her back in 1886. The visit came to an abrupt end, interrupted by a clash of English and French forces, redirecting the gazing audience to the piano concert they had originally come to listen to. (The flashmob's video is right here on the left.)

On 22 October, the guests of the Palace had the unique opportunity of celebrating the 200th birthday of the famed artist. When the first notes of a composition by Mahler (played by the Four Bones Trombone Quartet) started to distract their attention, a group of singers of various ages detached from the crowd. They continued singing the alternated version of the melody to call for Liszt himself in many languages, gathered from numerous places which Liszt visited during his journeys. While he received his 200th birthday cake, the one-time choir performed his own piece called Salve Regina, and holding symbols of candles soon all of them faded away into the darkness, leaving only guests in silent wonder.

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