Before there was Beatlemania, there was Film/{{Lisztomania}}. Franz Liszt (22 October 1811 - 31 July 1886) was the TropeCodifier for all music stars that came after him. (Violinist Niccolo Paganini was the UrExample, for anyone interested.)

As a child prodigy, Liszt was stage-managed by his father Adam (who played cello in the Esterházy family's orchestra under the baton of Music/JosephHaydn, and through whom the teenaged Liszt met Music/LudwigVanBeethoven and Music/FranzSchubert at least once each), until he dropped dead in 1827. Liszt entered a self-imposed exile until the 1830s. After coming out of seclusion, he toured for nine years in Europe, and accrued a devoted fanbase comparable to that of today's pop stars. When Liszt got tired of touring, he settled in Weimar, where he first met that young hotshot composer Music/RichardWagner. They were musical kindred spirits, with a flair for the dramatic. Liszt actually premiered several of Wagner's operas. After 15 years in Weimar, Liszt moved to Rome. Though Liszt was quite the womanizer, he was a practicing Roman Catholic; nonetheless, his decision to become a priest shocked everyone. After he took up the cloth, Liszt spent the last years of his life teaching in Rome, Weimar, and Budapest (which must have been quite the commute). Liszt died in 1886, without having his Last Rites, with his request to be buried simply in a monk's robe ignored.

He is the composer of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, immortalized in the cartoons "WesternAnimation/TheCatConcerto" and "WesternAnimation/RhapsodyRabbit" as ''the'' definitive concert piano music.

!! Liszt in Fiction
* He is mentioned as being dead in the song "Decomposing Composers" by Creator/MichaelPalin sang on Creator/MontyPython's ''Audioplay/MontyPythonsContractualObligationAlbum''.
* The ''WebComic/HarkAVagrant'' comic "[[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=302 Chopin and Liszt]]" focuses on the friendly rivalry Liszt had with Chopin.
-->'''Chopin:''' Unrelated, we are both on the cover of ''Enormous Ego'' this week.
-->'''Liszt:''' Only this week?
* In '' The Wiki/SCPFoundation'' lore Lisztomania was once considered an SCP.

!!Tropes Present in Liszt's life and work:
* TheAce: Liszt was considered the best piano player in history by his contemporaries.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Franz Liszt himself considered Charles-Valentin Alkan the best pianist of his time.
* AscendedFanboy: Liszt became friends with composer [[TheMentor Hector Berlioz]]; his arrangement for solo piano of Berlioz' ''Symphonie fantastique'' helped to popularise the work in the older composer's lifetime, and it is now considered the his greatest work.
* BadassArmfold: He loved posing as such in portraits of him as [[http://i.imgur.com/F0waYDi.jpg a young]] [[http://i.imgur.com/pgCvWDX.jpg man]].
* {{Bishonen}}: [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Liszt_(Lehmann_portrait).jpg In his younger years]].
* TheCasanova: He was a notorious ladies' man.
* DarkerAndEdgier: His late work anticipated atonal music and was considerably darker in tone.
* DeadpanSnarker: At yet another person's (false) claim to be his illegitimate offspring, Liszt said, "I know his mother only by correspondence, and one cannot arrange that sort of thing by correspondence."
* DealWithTheDevil: His contemporaries suspected him to have sold his soul to the devil to be equal parts virtuoso, original, and dashingly handsome.
* DirectorsCut: The original ending of his Faust Symphony was a rather abrupt handful of bars celebrating Faust's apotheosis. A replacement ending instead featured a men's chorus supported by an organ, notably more [[LighterAndSofter tonal and glorious]] than the original ending which implied [[EvilIsCool Mephisto]] to be [[EsotericHappyEnding way more sympathetic]] than he would be in a classic good ending. JustifiedTrope since Liszt became [[HeelFaithTurn a clergyman later in life]].
* ElegantClassicalMusician: RealLife example.
* EpicRocking: Sonata in B minor. Performances finish around 30 minutes. It's considered one of the most badass pieces of Classical Music.
* EstrogenBrigade: Not surprisingly given his dashing good looks and flowing hair.
* FriendlyRivalry: With Music/FryderykChopin. Each admired the other's work as a composer, although Chopin was said to be jealous of Liszt's virtuosity as a pianist - and also annoyed at the liberties he took with Chopin's own work when he performed it in public. Their jealousy spilled into their personal lives as well; Liszt was suspicious of the friendship between Chopin and his own romantic partner (and the mother of his illegitimate children), Countess Marie d'Agoult, while Chopin thought there was something going on between Liszt and his own on-off girlfriend, author George Sand.
* GriefSong: He wrote ''dark'' tunes after the death of his son-in-law Music/RichardWagner, dedicated to him.
* GroupieBrigade: He had one of the first. Contemporary reporters dubbed it "Lisztomania," over 120 years before [[Music/TheBeatles Beatlemania]] happened.
* MadArtist: Was considered as such in old age, [[DarkerAndEdgier when he abandoned tonality]], [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy wrote harrowingly bleak tunes]], and thus became the most radical composer in the world.
* NoEnding: Some of his later works do this, such as Nuages gris and the various La lugubre gondola.
* OldGuardVersusNewBlood: The ''War of the Romantics''. Liszt was [[TheLeader the informal leader]] of ''New German School'', a loose group of German composers who wrote progressive music [[TheMentor inspired by Hector Berlioz and Robert Schumann]]. [[TheLancer His most important fellow]] was his friend and son-in-law Music/RichardWagner. Their opponents, the conservatives, were greater in numbers and support and included Music/JohannesBrahms, Music/FelixMendelssohn, and [[FaceHeelTurn Schumann's widow]] Music/ClaraSchumann. Interestingly, both sides heralded Music/LudwigVanBeethoven as their idol. The war was somewhat settled when Arnold Schoenberg clarified during the early 20th century, that Brahms and Wagner were NotSoDifferent and [[TakingAThirdOption took them both]] as a basis for his new music, the twelve tone technique, [[FromBadToWorse creating a whole new schism between classical music and his radical compositions]].
* RearrangeTheSong: A good chunk of his work consists of arrangements of other people's work, ranging from transcribing the symphonies of Music/LudwigVanBeethoven to rebuilding the medieval ''Dies Irae'' into a DarkerAndEdgier piano concerto with lots of EpicRocking.
* RecycledINSPACE: His declared aim was to become the Paganini [-OF THE PIANO-].
* TheRockStar: The TropeCodifier, albeit with ClassicalMusic rather than rock-and-roll.
* SelfDeprecation: On the cover page of his then-unpublished piece ''Csardas Macabre'' he wrote, [[WhoWritesThisCrap "May one write or listen to such a thing?"]]
* StandardSnippet: Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2. If someone on screen is shown playing classical piano, odds are pretty decent they will be playing this piece, especially in cartoons.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong:
** Liebestraum No. 3 is far more gentle than his usual work, partially [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] since it still requires virtuoso piano skills.
** "Nocturne (En Rêve)" is a very strong example of this as well.
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Liszt was lucky enough to have both, but compared to other pianists of the era, like Chopin, Liszt was a Performer.
* TropeCodifier: He codified the symphonic poem, a piece of music that illustrates a non-musical source on a larger scale than the concert overture, building on the [[TropeMaker innovations]] of Music/HectorBerlioz.
* UnbuiltTrope: Totentanz with its dissonant usage of the Dies Irae theme, making it sound like actual post-[[Music/IgorStravinsky Stravinsky]] Modern Classical, when it's "only" Liszt's progressive style coupled with Romantic Irony.
* UrExample: The shockingly modern ''Totentanz'' and his atonal experiments towards the end of his life predate Modern Classical.