Lisztomania and Franz Liszt
A young, handsome, and enormously talented Franz Liszt.

Did you know? The band Phoenix wrote Lisztomania in honor of composer Franz Liszt‘s stud factor.

Here’s Lisztomania by Phoenix (yes, it was featured on Gossip Girl, too. When that was a thing):

As for the term itself, “Lisztomania” was first coined by German critic/poet/journalist Heinrich Heine as he discussed the fanaticism and fandom surrounding virtuosic pianist and composer Franz Liszt. He was a bona fide chick magnet. And the phenomenon bore a striking resemblance to how today’s music fans revere icons such as Michael Jackson and The Beatles: swooning, screaming, and wearing broaches bearing Liszt’s portrait. Liszt lovers would fight over any physical souvenir possible; from coffee grounds, to cigar butts, and some even tried to steal locks of hair.

Lisztomania and Franz Liszt
A young, handsome, and enormously talented Franz Liszt.

Here is how Heine first described Lisztomania:

When formerly I heard of the fainting spells which broke out in Germany and specially in Berlin, when Liszt showed himself there, I shrugged my shoulders pityingly and thought: quiet sabbatarian Germany does not wish to lose the opportunity of getting the little necessary exercise permitted it… In their case, thought I, it is a matter of the spectacle for the spectacle’s sake…Thus I explained this Lisztomania, and looked on it as a sign of the politically unfree conditions existing beyond the Rhine.

And that isn’t where “Lisztomania” ends, either! In 1975, a film called Lisztomania was released; it has a reputation for being a pretty terrible movie.

Get started on your own Lisztomania with over an hour of Franz Liszt’s best!




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