Author Identifier

Nicholas Mark Williams

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Performing Arts)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Supervisor

Associate Professor Jonathan Paget

Second Supervisor

Associate Professor Stewart Smith


Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies (1851, 1853) have long been among the most popular collections of piano music. They have also long garnered a reputation for “superficial brilliance and effect” which seems to have influenced the way that famous pianists play the works in public. But would a performer immersed in the Liszt tradition have approached them differently? This dissertation aims to promote a re-evaluation of the Hungarian Rhapsodies from this perspective: considering Liszt’s own ideas on music and performance, the writings and recordings of his pupils, and Liszt’s book Des Bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie (1859).