The young Liszt spent much time playing Weber’s two concertos, and only learned the more famous Konzertstück
in his twenties, after which he never returned to the concertos again. But it was not until many years after he had retired from concert playing that Liszt produced his instructive edition of the piece, with its many intelligent suggestions for a text more apposite to the power of the newer pianos. Weber’s orchestration remains unaltered, but Liszt offers many interesting solutions to passages which present problems of balance in the original, or which demand things like octave glissandos which work less well on the heavier instruments of the later nineteenth century (or most concert grand pianos since). The introduction remains virtually unaltered, but various tasteful and helpful embellishments are suggested in the principal Allegro
. The most obvious difference lies in the march, where Weber has the piano silent except for a glissando interruption (the châtelaine’s beloved emerges from the distant crusaders’ march, according to the fanciful programme which Weber allowed to be attached to the score), but Liszt allows the piano to play distantly in a high register above the orchestra. In the final section Liszt again offers many practical suggestions for a more effective text without ever doing any musical violence to Weber’s work.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998