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, 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 Creator/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.

He is mentioned as being dead in the song "Decomposing Composers" by Creator/MichaelPalin sang on Creator/MontyPython's ''Audioplay/MontyPythonsContractualObligationAlbum''.

!!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]].
* 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."
* 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.
* FriendlyRivalry: with FryderykChopin.
* UsefulNotes/TheGreatNorthernWar: "Mazeppa" is a symphonic poem based on this.
* GriefSong: He wrote ''dark'' tunes after the death of his son-in-law RichardWagner, dedicated to him.
* GroupieBrigade: He had one of the first. Contemporary reporters dubbed it "Lisztomania," over 120 years before [[Music/TheBeatles Beatlemania]] happened.
** EstrogenBrigade: Not surprisingly given his dashing good looks and flowing hair.
* 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.
* RearrangeTheSong: A good chunk of his work consists of arrangements of other people's work, ranging from transcribing the symphonies of 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]] far since it still requires virtuoso piano skills.
** "Nocturne (En Rve)" 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.
* 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.
* TropeCodifier: He codified the symphonic poem, a piece of music that illustrates an non-musical source, building on the [[TropeMaker innovations]] of Music/HectorBerlioz.