A classic works from one of the giants of mid 19th century classical music, we have here Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt. It’s a fairly familiar piece, though perhaps not in its entirety, and despite its exceptional technical difficulty. But it’s not just that this piece is difficult on the technical level; it has quite a bit of delicacy, elegance and grace, which requires the performer to be both agile and emotional. Both a popular and a deep work, it will be hard to listen to this one just once.

Here we have the wonderfully whimsical and classic piece from Franz Liszt, Liebestraum. You’ve probably heard this in popular culture somewhere, but it’s worthy of a serious treatment as fantastic music for its own sake. I tried giving a more technical comment since I feel like there’s a lot going on, but I think all I can really say that is if you listen to this and don’t feel moved at all, you probably aren’t human.

Here we have Franz Liszt’s Totentanz, which consists of variations on the Dies Irae, one of the most quoted melodies in classical music, particularly in the Romantic era. Several of these variations are particularly interesting, with a lot of rhythm and percussive emphasis coming from the piano. Certainly not a piece for the weak.