Similarities Between Franz Liszt and Kurt Cobain

Franz Liszt was one of many classical composers. In some ways, he can
be compared to a modern rock and roll star.

Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, Hungary, on October 22, 1811. Much
like Mozart, he was a very great piano player at a very young age. Liszt
composed an opera called Don Sancho at the age of fourteen. Professionals of
Liszt's time thought that he was only a genius with the piano, which was not
enough to give his ideas the great recognition they deserved. Many people
thought that Liszt was “a mover and a shaker, a rebel, chased women, and had
much talent and personality." He had invented the solo recital. When Liszt had
a concert, he usually played his own music and came out wearing decorations
hanging on chains, which was unusual for his time. For two years Liszt was
hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. In some ways he was much like Kurt Cobain,
the late lead singer of the rock band Nirvana.

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. He
was passed on to several relatives after his parents divorced when he was eight
years old. For some time he even lived under a bridge and was hospitalized for
a heroin addiction. It was not entirely unexpected that Cobain committed
suicide. He had had entered a coma by overdosing on a mixture of champagne and
tranquilizers on March 4. Also, Kurt's family history showed that two of his
father's uncles committed suicide, along with the fact that there were a lot of
dysfunctional marriages and alcoholism present. During a concert, Kurt would
jerk around as if he was being electrocuted. After his death, the sale of
Nirvana memorabilia increased dramatically.

As you can see, both Franz Liszt and Kurt Cobain have some
characteristics in common. They had both been hospitalized for an illness.
However, one was physical while the other was mental. Both had unusual concert
styles. Like many classical composers, Kurt was not truly appreciated until his
death, as shown by the fact that the sale of Nirvana memorabilia increased


Dougherty, Steve, “No Way Out.” People Weekly April 25 1994. Pg. 38

Goulding, Phil G. Classical Music New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1992

Rosen, Craig, “Cobain death spurs rush at retail; biz talk turns to
bands unreleased work.” Billboard April 23 1994. Pg. 9

Schoenberg, Harold C. The Lives of the Great Composers. New York, London:
WW Norton & CO., 1981

Seidenberg, Robert, “The Day the Demons Won.” Entertainment Weekly April 7
1995. Pg. 108

Category: English