I have just finished the reading of all three volumes of Walker's Liszt biography and it is like the composer is in front of me, alive and awe-inspiring. Walker's fortes are the uncanny ability to revive the atmosphere of the 19th Century and its relevance to Liszt's compositional frame of mind. He is also extremely thorough on his research of primary sources, which leads to some unexpected conclusions about the composer's personality and creativity. As it is with many other biographies of men who seem to be one step up on the ladder of intellectual output, creative energy and forward looking imagination, the author seems to be a bit too keen on justifying his failures. To him, the object of his admiration can do no wrong and one has to go to the pains of blaming everyone else for what happens of negative in his life. Liszt had obvious shortcomings as a composer if we compare him to his contemporary Chopin for instance, but the all-embracing nature of his interests were surely unique and constitute themselves reason enough to attract one's admiration. One doesn't need to play down the bad aspects. The biographer has obviously to admire the object of his study, but he doesn't need to be his posthumous PR. Having said that, one cannot be but overwhelmed by the sheer ammount of information and by the delicious style with which it is presented. In fact, it is difficult to put the the books down inthe first place, and upon reaching the end one feels like forgetting it only to have the pleasure of reading it again. Walker's tremendous stature as a scholar and Liszt's absolutely super-human productivity and larger-than-life personality are an inspiration to anyone who feels that one has to do something out of one's life. It is impossible to read thiese magnificent books and remain stuck in petty pursuits. They give us a measure of the miracle each human life is.