Tag Archives: Wilde Jagd

What could this exciting piece be?

When I was about 14 I heard the most amazingly passionate and exciting piece of piano music on the little transistor radio I carried to my ear, while waiting for a bus outside the two apartment blocks. They were entitled "Marlo" and "Oberon." As they were both of 1930s vintage, I have always thought that "Marlo" was really meant to be "Merle" for the block on the left.

What could this exciting piece be? I didn't have to wait very long, as it was only five minutes long--nothing could have maintained that level of passion and excitement any longer. It was a piece by classical pianist Franz Liszt, one of his Transcendental Etudes, entitled Wilde Jagd. No wonder it wasn't better known--who could be expected to get their tongue around that heavy Middle-Ages-sounding Germanic moniker? (Much later I discovered that Wilde Jagd, which means wild hunt, or chase, was indeed a Middle Ages tale, and had a much more svelte-sounding title in French: Le Chasseur Maudit or "The Accursed Hunter," used, among other incarnations, as the subject of a symphonic poem by Cesar Franck.)

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