Johann Ritter von Herbeck (1831–1877) was an important figure in the Viennese musical life of the day, with a zeal for the new music of Liszt, Wagner and Bruckner, as well as for the rehabilitation of the unknown Schubert. Liszt’s dealings with him relate particularly to Herbeck’s position as choirmaster of the Männergesangverein in Vienna, and Liszt’s first setting of the Mass in an arrangement for men’s choir and wind orchestra, prepared by Herbeck in consultation with Liszt in 1859. Herbeck’s Tanzmomente
for orchestra was published in 1868 as his Opus 14, and Liszt’s piano transcription appeared the following year. The influence of Schumann is clear in the music, but there is also an obvious kinship with the dance music of the Strausses. The work consists of eight dances, mostly in waltz form, the last of which is on a much grander scale than the others. Liszt’s delicate transcriptions mirror the winsome innocence of the originals. He allows himself some liberties in the fourth piece—extending many phrases to five bars from four—but the alternative version offers a more regular arrangement. But in the final piece Liszt develops the work into a real waltz-fantasy. The whole set, like the Bunte Reihe
of Ferdinand David deserves to be much better known.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1996