Among the many legends that sprang up around Franz Liszt was a story that Beethoven attended a concert the 11-year-old wunderkindgave in Vienna’s Redoutensaal. Allegedly, the 53-year-old composer even supplied a theme for Liszt to improvise on. Following the performance, the older man was supposedly so moved by Liszt’s playing that he ascended the platform to give his enthusiastic benediction, kissing the pianist on the brow – a Weihekussor ‘kiss of consecration’.

The story was repeated during Liszt’s...

This article is only available online for Limelight subscribers. LOG IN now or SUBSCRIBE to gain access and you could win a double pass to the Huntington Estate Music Festival.