It is not just Liszt's pianistic brilliance that thrills me. Nor is it merely the brilliance and complexity of his personality. It's also his commitment to his own creative vision. His performances, compositions and writings are all part of the same sustained intellectual effort.

Liszt's life and work have caused me to make my own sustained intellectual effort. I have spent the last seven years engaged in writing a book on him and his fellow Romantic pianists, Chopin and Mendelssohn. Liszt once said: 'Le concert. C'est moi.' I say: 'Le piano. C'est Liszt.'