Liszt turned to Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra
for his last completed operatic fantasy, Réminiscences de Boccanegra
(always assuming that the rumoured fantasy on Mackenzie’s The Troubadour
of 1886 does not come to light). Verdi, it will be remembered, produced a greatly revised version of his work in 1881, and Liszt was much impressed by this first taste of the late Verdi, and sought to popularize it in this fantasy which is, if anything, more avant-garde in its harmonies than the opera. Liszt makes free use of the orchestral introduction, the call to arms of the chorus in the finale to Act II and its orchestral variant at the beginning of Act III, and Boccanegra’s dying prayer and the finale to Act III, with an original coda based again on the orchestral prelude.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1994