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Odyssey of Love

We have been spending the last few months planning and preparing for our Odyssey of Love evening and now the event is almost upon us.

In a night of drama, passion and love, pianist Lucy Parham will reunite with actors Joanna David and Martin Jarvis and bring to life the music and words of the composer Franz Liszt.

Drawing together strands of Liszt’s life through sound and word, Lucy has created a programme that paints a portrait of the composer in a scrapbook of his music and writing. As a figure, Liszt is preceded by a scandalous reputation of multiple mistresses and it is said that he drove women wild with hysteria when they caught a glimpse of him. Indeed, when we spoke to Lucy she described Liszt as “the Tom Jones of the nineteenth-century” and recounted stories where women fought over his discarded cigar butts and treasured his locks of hair.

However, above the stories and scandal, Liszt’s greatest love was always music. A prolific composer and a friend of Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin and Wagner, Liszt wrote that “music is the heart of life – without it, there is no possible good and with it everything is beautiful”. The beauty of sound was, and remains today, at the very centre of all his work.

Lucy says that “people might come to the event knowing nothing about Liszt apart from the image of him as a man surrounded by women and who played the piano until it broke. But there is another, a different and deeper human side of the individual which is revealed throughout the programme.”

By his own description, Franz Liszt’s life was an odyssey of love – a journey, an exploration and a realisation of what it is to be alive. He performed over three thousand concerts in a career that spanned twenty years, outlived many of his contemporaries and each day was filled with adventure, travel and people. As Lucy underlines, “there was never had a sense of ‘oh, I’ll leave that until tomorrow’”; he truly did live life to the full.

Just as relevant today as it was then, it is a sentiment that becomes even more pertinent when we are faced with illness or disease. The passion for life and the refusal to accept nothing less in Liszt’s music perfectly reflects the determination of people we work with through the National Brain Appeal.

Lucy continues, “the whole evening tells a story through Liszt’s own words, it is an event aimed at everyone” and we can’t wait for you to join us at St James’s Church in Piccadilly on the 30th May.

For tickets and more information click here

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