At the age of eighteen Liszt intended to use the theme of La Marseillaise
in his projected Revolutionary Symphony
; during his Weimar years a phrase from it is used to startling effect in perhaps the finest of his symphonic poems, Heroïde-Funèbre
, but it was only in his post-Weimar period that Liszt finally produced a work which gives the theme its full due. This piano version, with its daring harmonies and heartfelt enthusiasm, stands comfortable comparison with the version for chorus and orchestra made by Berlioz.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1994