Reinventing Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody

Poster from 1934's 'Murder at the Vanities'

Poster from 1934's Murder at the Vanities hide caption

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The 1934 film Murder at the Vanities features Duke Ellington and his band playing Ebony Rhapsody — their version of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

The music is played in an over-the-top nightclub scene. At first, we see Franz Liszt at the piano, struggling to compose. But he doesn't last long. Ellington soon takes over, accompanied by his legendary band.

Performance Today presents a more traditional rendition of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, as performed at Yale University last year by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. We also hear the orchestra's encore, the Boccherini Menuet.



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