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2 The Hungarian Patriot

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the development of Hungarian assertions of nationhood along political, linguistic and cultural lines. Cultural nationalism was indebted to the writings of Johann Gottfried von Herder, and by the 1830s, artists across Europe were making a national turn for inspiration and expression in their work, particularly in music. These ideas influenced Franz Liszt's adoption of Hungarian patriotism as well as his musical compositions. His book about Hungarian and Gypsy music reveals the tensions inherent in national identity creation as well as in Liszt's desire to be both original and civilized. Nationalism became a way for composers to be fresh and original, and to appeal to their new audiences. By 1850 art music culture increasingly reflected nationalist aspirations, particularly in the Habsburg lands. Liszt's travels to Central Europe and articulation of Hungarian patriotism illuminate several points about identity in the mid-nineteenth century.

Keywords: Franz Liszt; Gypsy music; Hungarian patriotism; Romantic nationalism



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