The great Liszt scholar Maria Eckhardt has expounded at length and with great lucidity the complicated relationship between Liszt and the theme of the Rákóczi March
in her exemplary study Liszt’s Music Manuscripts in the National Széchenyi Library
, to which the reader is earnestly commended. For our present purposes suffice it to say that of all Liszt’s complete surviving versions of this work there are no fewer than seven for piano. The present version, the first to survive, was not printed at the time of its composition because of Austrian censorship, and was first printed with an article by Dr Eckhardt in 1975 and appeared in Vol I/18 of the splendid Neue Liszt-Ausgabe
ten years later. The version, harmonically and texturally quite different from all the others (compare, for example, the well-known Fifteenth Hungarian Rhapsody), created a sensation when Liszt first toured with it in Hungary in 1839/40.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1994